Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 8.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To Oliver P. Morton [1]

Cypher Office U.S. Military Telegraph, Gov. O. P. Morton War Department, Washington, D.C.,
Indianapolis, Ind. Oct. 13 1864.

In my letter borne by Mr. Mitchell to Gen. Sherman, I said that any soldiers he could spare for October need not to remain for November. I therefore can not press the General on this point. All that the Sec. of War and Gen. Sherman feel they can safely do, I however, shall be glad of.

Bravo, for Indiana, and for yourself personally.

A. LINCOLN.

Annotation

[1]   ALS, DNA WR RG 107, Presidential Telegrams, I, 200. William Mitchell, former representative from Indiana (1861-1863), who had carried Lincoln's letter of September 19 (supra), telegraphed Lincoln from Louisville, Kentucky, on October 7: ``I have succeeded very well.'' (DLC-RTL).

Re-elected on October 11, Governor Morton telegraphed Lincoln and Stanton on October 12: ``In consideration of the fact that nearly all of the Indiana sick & wounded soldiers furloughed from Hospitals under your late order did not reach their homes until within a few days past & many not until yesterday &Page  47 the day before leaving them little or no time to see their friends & families & secure the rest & recuperation they so much need on account of long & arduous Journey they have performed I most earnestly ask that their furloughs be extended by a special order until after the Presidential Election say Nov (10) tenth. If this is done I feel confident hundreds of them will return to the front able for active duty If sent on the fifteenth inst they will be worse off than ever For the best interests of the service and the sake of humanity I earnestly hope this request will be granted & the order telegraphed to me as soon as possible'' (DLC-RTL).

Morton's reply to Lincoln's telegram was received October 13 at 1 P.M.: ``I fear you misapprehend my dispatch of yesterday I only asked that the sick & wounded who are furloughed under Mr Stantons order to the Surgeon Genl be allowed to remain Genl Sherman had nothing to do with sending them home & would not be strengthened any by their return now as they would all have to go into Hospitals again It seems to me the order of extension asked for yesterday can be granted without consulting the Genl & without the least detriment, but rather benefit to the service Please let Mr Stanton see this & for God's sake let the order be made at once'' (ibid.).

At 5 P.M. Morton telegraphed Lincoln and Stanton again: ``It is my opinion that the vote of every soldiers in Indiana will be required to carry this state for Mr Lincoln in November. The most of them are sick and wounded and in no condition to render service and it is better to let them remain while they are here.

``It is important that this be answered immediately.'' (Ibid.).