James A. Garfield   (1831-1881)

Ca. 1870-1881. Courtesy of Library of Congress

Twentieth President, March-September 1881

James A. Garfield was the third Civil War general to become president. In his short time in office, Garfield moved against the patronage system, with plans to reform the civil service system and purge the post office of corruption. But an assassin shot Garfield only four months into his term--he was the second president to be killed in office.