One bullet grazed his elbow, but a second lodged in the back of President James Garfield, who was shot this day, July 2, 1881, as he waited in the Washington train station. He had been in office four months. Though not wounded seriously, unsterile medical practices caused him to die two months later. A distinguished Civil War major, James Garfield was also a college president and was a preacher for the Disciples of Christ. He said: "If the next century does not find us a great nation ... it will be because those who represent the ... morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces."