James Abram Garfield (November 19, 1831 – September 19, 1881) was the 20th president of the United States, serving from March 4, 1881, until his death by assassination six and a half months later. He is the only sitting member of the United States House of Representatives to be elected to the presidency.Garfield entered politics as a Republican in 1857. He served as a member of the Ohio State Senate from 1859 to 1861. Garfield opposed Confederate secession, served as a major general in the Union Army during the American Civil War, and fought in the battles of Middle Creek, Shiloh, and Chickamauga. He was first elected to Congress in 1862 to represent Ohio's 19th district. Throughout Garfield's congressional service after the war, he firmly supported the gold standard and gained a reputation as a skilled orator. He initially agreed with Radical Republican views on Reconstruction, but later favored a moderate approach to civil rights enforcement for freedmen.