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Abraham Lincoln Papers
Document: Jesse K. Dubois and Ozias M. Hatch to Abraham Lincoln, September 16, 1863
Springfield Sept 16. 1863.
Your despatch was received last evening.1 Before telegraphing you last Saturday the following despatch was received here, to wit:
St Louis Sept 12th 1863”
“To Gov Yates.
There is to be a new Quarter Master General will you go for me, if so telegraph the President and get the state officers to do the same. Robt. Allen
Governor Yates was absent, and supposing that General Allen knew what he said, and as we have always understood him to be a faithful officer and beleiving him competent to discharge the duties of the office, and as he had treated us in Illinois with some consideration -- we telegraphed you.
We profess to be your friends and have no desire to embarrass you, or annoy you -- and in all instances, when we have had occasion to write, or telegraph you, -- we have done if from the best of motives, and according to the light before us at the time,-- We trust the same spirit governs you -- though we confess your despatch read harshly to us.2
Always Your friends
O. M. Hatch
Jesse K Dubois
Document: Christopher C. Andrews to Abraham Lincoln, September 17, 18631
Hd. Qrs. Post of Little
Rock, Sept. 17, 1863.
I take the liberty to enclose you two of my orders more particularly calling your attention to No. 3.2
I will not take your time by an account of matters which you will hear else-where; but as I have seen some hundreds of the citizens of this town personally, many of whom are genteel people I will say that their appearance and manners are respectful and quite civil; in many instances cordial. There are many union people here. Present population 2.000. Population in best days of place 4.000.
As soon as we can remove all organized rebel forces from the State, and clean out the guerrillas thoroughly, I think a civil government can be put in successful operation. But as long as a rebel army remains in the state to ex inspire hope in rebel citizens, or guerrillas are allowed to awe helpless people, loyally disposed citizens will not dare to show their hands in overt acts.
An active, enterprising, severe campaign by small parties of mounted troops against the guerrillas -- who show themselves about here to be the worst kind of assassins -- will hasten the termination of the rebellion here.
I should be glad of advice and suggestions from you in relation to the treatment of citizens.
I do not suppose you know me, though I was at the head of the Douglas Electoral ticket in my state (Minnesota) being then thirty years of age.
Several months ago I caused to be sent to you a copy of my treatise on the Revenue Laws of the U. States and a copy of my “Hints to Company Officers”.
I am with sincere respect
Your good friend
C. C. Andrews
Col. Comg. Post of Little Rock.
Document: John W. Crisfield to Abraham Lincoln, September 17, 18631
Princess Anne, Md. Sept. 17th, 1863.
On my return home last night from an abscence of several days, I found this community agitated by a rumor that a force of black troops was soon to be sent here. I do not know how this rumor became current, or whether it reposes on any just foundation. I trust it is wholly untrue.
In a community like this, the advent of troops of that complexion, will necessarily stir up deep feeling, and no one can tell to what result it may lead. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to restrain all from the expression of the disgust, which some at least unhappily feel; and that expression will provoke retorts, which may produce serious consequences.
Our people are peaceful and quiet; they wish well to the government; and cheerfully submit to all its requisitions, and so will continue, unless they are exasperated by unwise and imprudent measures. Even the practice of running the blockade, which was never indulged in to aid the rebellion, but only from personal cupidity, has, as I have strong grounds for believing, wholly ceased. There is really no necessity here for troops of any sort, unless it be to catch deserters; and the few who are here are sufficient for that purpose. But if more troops are deemed necessary, I implore you not to send the blacks. Their presence violates the prejudices of this community, and every feeling essential to good order.
Our People, of course I speak of the majority, are entirely loyal to the Government, and among the most loyal, are the slaveholders. They have done and suffered much, and are ready to do and suffer all, that may be essential, for the suppression of the rebellion, and the restoration of constitutional authority. If they do not happen to agree with you, in all you think necessary for these objects, it is only a difference of opinion as to the means, and not as to the end. They recognize you as the lawful head of the Government, and desire to sustain you, in the just exercise of all your constitutional functions, to the end that you may, according to the regular course of the Constitution, transmit that Government to your successor, with all its powers unimpaired, and its authority every where respected. They have demonstrated this resolution in every form in which a People can express its sentiments; and this, it seems to me, should entitle them to some consideration and forbearance-- If the presence of these troops were essential to the great cause of the Union, they would submit without a murmer; but it is not essential, And no fair minded man can say so; and it does seem to me, the sending of them here, under existing circumstances, would be a wanton an unnecessary, if not a wanton, strain on their constancy and endurance. I pray you to forbear; and, if such a measure is now, or ever has been, contemplated, which I cannot bring myself to believe, that the order may be witheld or countermanded.
Allow me also to bring to your notice the admirable letter of Gov Bradford2 on Negro enlistments, which has fallen under my eye since I began to write. The general sentiments of that letter are the sentiments of the Loyal People of Maryland, and I cannot too earnestly press them on your attention.
Mr President you have known me too long and too well not to feel assured, both of my loyalty and sincerity. I think you have no doubt on either point. Then let me assure you, in all truth and solemnity, that many of those in this State, who claim to be your peculiar friends, in this state, and boast of the favor with which their counsels are listened to, are not the best informed, or the safest advisers, of what is best for the advancement of the cause of the Union, and the restoration of national tranquility, so far, at least as this state is concerned. In their impetuous zeal for one object, they are oblivious of all others and unless restrained will plunge the state and you, into terrible difficulties wholly unnecessary, and which calmer judgements might easily avoid. I should be wanting in duty to you, to the country, and the peace and good order of my State, if I failed to convey to you this intimation.
Pardon the freedom of this letter; it has nothing to commend it, but its truthfulness and its sincere devotion to the government, over which you preside. Allow me to hope for a brief note, in reply.
I have the honor to be, with great respect,
Your obedient servant.
J. W. Crisfield.
Document: Andrew G. Curtin to Abraham Lincoln, September 17, 1863
Harrisburg Pa. Sept. 17. 1863
A number of our friends from the Army, are now home on furlough, whose leaves expire a few days before the election, and who are writing to me, for permission to remain to vote.
Can I say to them, that they will incur no penalty by remaining until the day following the election?1
Yr obdt sevt
A. G. Curtin.
Document: Andrew G. Curtin to Abraham Lincoln, September 17, 1863
Harrisburg Pa. Sept 17. 1863
I earnestly request your kind interposition in behalf of the young gentleman whose father will present this. From letters which he will exhibit you it is evident that his son has fallen a victim to the artifices of a professional substitute-broker, and his mental sufferings have already been such as to almost expiate his desertion.
I ask you, if possible to have him discharged from the 111 P. V. & returned to his regiment, the 8 Pa. Cavalry, without expense or punishment, or if you think such a course inconsistent with the interests of the service, that you will deal with his offence, as leniently as his youth and sincere repentance seem to justify.1
His family is of the first respectability , & he is an only son.
I beg you will give this your prompt & favorable consideration
I am very respectfully
Your obdt servt
A. G. Curtin
Document: Isaac N. Morris to Abraham Lincoln, September 17, 1863
Washington City Sept 17th 1863.
In your letter to me under date of the 26th ult you say, in refering to the business of Illinois, then pending before the Secretary of the Interior, “when he shall have acted, if his action is not satisfactory, there may or may not be an appeal to me.1 It is a point I have not considered, but if then it be shown that the law gives such appeal, I shall not hesitate to entertain it when presented”. I could not ask, as the Agent of the State, any fairer proposition.
The action of the Interior Secretary not being satisfactory I am now ready to make the showing you refer to. I have also some general views to present, which, I am sure, you will not be averse to hearing as you can not but feel an interest in all that pertains to Illinois. I desire an audience in her behalf, and if, after I shall have presented the facts, you should think she has no rights which you have power to enforce so let it be2
Your obliged and
I N Morris
The Hon Reverdy Johnson will assist in the argument and will be oblige if you will state when you will hear us. Tomorrow morning at ten o’clock would suit us for the interview. Will it suit you? I await an answer Truly
I. N. Morris
Document: Robert C. Schenck to Abraham Lincoln, September 17, 1863
The following Telegram received at Washington, 5. PM. Sept 17 1863.
From Baltimore Md 2 PM.
Dated, September 17 1863.
Major Hayner has prepared the writing you requested & will go to you with it tomorrow morning1
Robt. C. Schenck
Document: Francis C. Sherman and Samuel S. Hayes to Abraham Lincoln, September 17, 18631
Chicago Sept. 17th 1863
Other important and pressing engagements, and the hope that our object might be attained through the channel pointed out by you, prevented an immediate answer to your last dispatch.2 In the mean time, we have received, through the Governor, from Lieut. Col. James Oakes As. Provost Marshall General Illinois, a communication, (a copy of which we herewith transmit,) denying our request, and stating that he had approved the action of the Board of Enrollment of this district, in sealing up, and refusing our Committee of the Common Council access to the “consolidated enrollment list.”
We are aware that many practical difficulties must occur in organising and conducting the various operations of pertaining to the suppression of a rebellion of such magnitude as the present, and we would not lightly, or in a doubtful case, question the propriety of such regulations as the Government might see fit to adopt. But the principles involved in this case are important, and the practice adopted seems to us clearly erroneous. From your Excellency’s reply to our last note, in which we had expressed our intention to proceed in the manner indicated by your first dispatch, we infer that the subject is still open for consideration. We therefore feel at liberty to submit these additional remarks; -- which we do with the utmost respect for your exalted station, and better opportunities of judging correctly.
Had the Conscription Act been framed upon the theory that the conscripts are drafted as a part of the militia of the several States, the State authorities besides the clearly expressed constitutional right to appoint their officers, would have also the implied right to determine all questions relating to the regularity and equality of the enrollments in their districts. But all these functions are denied them under this act, hence it must have been framed upon a different theory, viz. that these forced levies are authorised by the clause of the constitution which empowers Congress to raise and support armies. However obvious it may appear to us that such a construction annuls the other clause relating to the Militia, and that the true intent of the constitution is only to authorise the enlistment of such, in the ordinary way, into armies officered by, and belonging exclusively to the Federal Government, we will suppose the Act to be fully authorised by that section. As we have siad it must have been framed upon that theory. All the machinery which it provides is subject to the appointment and exclusive control of the Executive Department of the Federal Government. To almost all intents and purposes the force raised becomes a part of the regular army of the United States.
Now where ever the General Government has jurisdiction, direct communication and direct action between the Federal authorities and the people is the rule, recognised by the constitution, the laws of Congress, and constant usage since the formation of the Government. If a citizen were aggreived by the conduct of a post master, a land officer, or a collector of customs, he has always had audience at Washington.
It seems to us, under these circumstances, a singular and erroneous practice to forbid the people, in this matter of the conscription which involves their lives and fortunes, to communicate with the Government, until their enquiries and petitions have passed through the hands of the State officials. The result of our experience, in the present instance, has been a troublesome correspondence, which alone would deter most men from that indirect and slow method of seeking redress, and finally a positive refusal of a request so reasonable and just as scarcely to admit of an argument.
It cannot be disputed that the record of names enrolled for the draft is a record of such public interest and importance that it ought to be kept open for public inspection. That such a record should be sealed up; and all access to it refused except to government officers, is opposed to the nature of our institutions, & to the habits of our people, and is in itself a wrong of the most serious character. What good will result from privacy and secrecy in these matters? Can the Government be profited or strengthened by taking to the field men who, regarding that secrecy as a badge of fraud, will beleive themselves unfairly drafted? Will not apprehensions exist in the community unfavorable to a united and cheerful support of the government in administering its difficult duties? Even if such action be acquiesced in without a murmur, is it not wrong and unjust to a generous and devoted people.
The injustice in the present instance is not lessened by the offer to permit us access to the original lists or memoranda to which Col. Oakes adverts; for those lists do not constitute the enrollment, and may be, and probably are very different from the list on file in the Enrollment Office here and at Washington. For any useful purpose, we might as well have been referred to the pollbooks or the City Directory.
What we seek is not amusement, but information, clear and definite, of each and all of the names as they stand on the list from which the draft will be made. We wish to know who have been enrolled, who have been omitted, and who have been enrolled more than once. That knowledge we cannot obtain from the original lists. It can only be had from the corrected or final enrollment, which is now sealed up.
Our object is to secure equal rights to this community, and especially to protect the ignorant and poor from injustice and oppression, to bring such cases, if we find any, to the attention of the Government for correction, and thereby to promote harmony, and mutual reliance, and concert of action between all classes of the people in doing whatever may be necessary and right to suppress the rebellion, and preserve our constitutional system amidst the trials to which it is exposed.
We have not yet surrendered the hope that further reflection may lead you to order a compliance with our request. We venture to
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