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Executive Order [on the death of James K. Polk]

June 19, 1849




Washington, June 19, 1849.

I. The following orders of the President of the United States and Secretary of War communicate to the Army the death of the late ex-President. James K. Polk:

WASHINGTON, June 19, 1849.

The President with deep regret announces to the American people the death of James K. Polk, late President of the United States, which occurred at Nashville on the 15th instant.

A nation is suddenly called upon to mourn the loss of one the recollection of whose long services in its councils will be forever preserved on the tablets of history.

As a mark of respect to the memory of a citizen who has been distinguished by the highest honors which his country could bestow, it is ordered that the Executive Mansion and the several Departments at Washington be immediately placed in mourning and all business be suspended during to-morrow.

It is further ordered that the War and Navy Departments cause suitable military and naval honors to be paid on this occasion to the memory of the illustrious dead.


WAR DEPARTMENT, June 19, 1849.

The President of the United States with deep regret announces to the Army the death of James K. Polk, our distinguished and honored fellow-citizen.

He died at Nashville the 15th instant, having but recently left the theater of his high public duties at this capital and retired to his home amid the congratulations of his fellow-citizens. He died in the prime of life, after having received and enjoyed the highest honors of the Republic.

His Administration was eventful. No branch of the Government will be more intimately associated with it in history than the Army and its glorious achievements. Accordingly, the President orders that appropriate military honors shall be paid to his memory by the Army of the United States.

The Adjutant-General will give the necessary instructions for carrying into effect the foregoing orders.


Secretary of War.

II. On the day succeeding the arrival of this general order at each military post the troops will be paraded at 10 o'clock a. m. and the order read to them, after which all labors for the day will cease. The national flag will be displayed at half-staff.

At dawn of day thirteen guns will be fired, and afterwards at intervals of thirty minutes between the rising and setting sun a single gun, and at the close of the day a national salute of thirty guns.

The officers of the Army will wear trope on the left arm and on their swords and the colors of the several regiments will be put in mourning for the period of six months.

By order:

R. JONES, Adjutant-General.

Zachary Taylor, Executive Order [on the death of James K. Polk] Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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