ADfS, DLC-RTL; LS, RPB. The letter sent is in Hay's handwriting signed by Lincoln. The enclosed copy of Lincoln's communication of August 9 (supra), is also in Hay's handwriting.
Butler telegraphed his reply on December 27:
``I have just received your note relating to the Election on the Eastern Shore. The President is incorrectly informed. I have not, nor has any officer under my command ordered an election on that Shore.
``The inhabitants asked of me, leave to hold a meeting to take into consideration their relations to the state Government of Virginia. I replied that I would not order such a meeting, but that if the people chose to assemble . . . to petition for a redress of supposed grievances, or to consider any question of civil order I could see no military objection. . . .
``I have heard nothing on the subject since, and do not know even when the meeting is to be
``Shall I issue an order to prevent their assembling to vote on civil affairs?'' (DLC-RTL. As published in Private and Official Correspondence of General Benjamin F. Butler, V, 443, this telegram is misdated December 29.)
See further Lincoln's telegram to Butler on December 28, infra.