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

To J. Bates Dickson [1]

Officer in Command at Executive Mansion
Lexington, Ky: Washington, Dec. 27. 1864

If within your power, send me the particulars of the causes for which Lieut. Govr. Jacobs was arrested and sent away.



[1]   ALS, DNA WR RG 107, Presidential Telegrams, I, 269. See Lincoln to Bramlette, November 22, supra. On December 26, 1864, Richard T. Jacob wrote Lincoln from Richmond, Virginia: ``On the night of the 11th of November last, I was arrested by the order of . . . General Burbridge at my country home. . . . I was carried to Lexington, and kept at General McLeans head quarters some two hours. I courted [?] and confidently expected to have had an interview with General Burbridge. I was by his orders carried under strict guard, and expelled through the Federal lines under the penalty of death if I returnedPage  183

during the war. I was thus forced by necessity into the Confederate lines, to accept the hospitality and protection of a people that I had fought against. . . . A poor return for wounds received, and hard service rendered to ones country. Even a thief has the boon of being condemned before he is punished. . . . It is difficult to defend ones self, when no charges are preferred. I have not even a conjecture to go on except a telegram that I had cut out of the Cincinnatti Commercial. Which is as follows, `The Post's Washington letter says the arrest of Lieutenant Governor Jacob will lead to important disclosures. There are rumors of a wide spread conspiracy existing in that State, not to take it over to a rebel confederacy, but to inaugurate a second revolution, the object of which is to make Kentucky independent of the General Government.' If my arrest would lead to important disclosures would not common sense have suggested that I should have been detained and examined. If there was a wide spread conspiracy I knew not of it, nor do I believe for one moment there was any such. I never was connected with a conspiracy. . . . True Mr. President I was opposed to your re-election, and it is the only charge that can with truth be brought against me. . . . Three days after the election I was seized. I find this in the Richmond Sentinel of the first of December taken from the Louisville Journal. [`]We are happy to announce that President Lincoln has consented to the release of Lieutenant Governor Jacob and Col. Frank Wolford. We sincerely hope that this may be the commencement of a new policy. . . .' Now Sir, I wish to find out whether this is true or not, and if so whether you will not order that I be passed through the lines to return to my duties as Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky. . . . As I have committed no crime, I ask not for pardon, but merely simple justice. . . .''

Captain J. Bates Dickson, assistant adjutant general in command in the absence of General Stephen G. Burbridge, answered Lincoln's telegram on December 28, 1864: ``So far as I am informed, . . . Jacob's offense was making treasonable and seditious speeches, calculated and intended to weaken the power of the Government. . . . His arrest was advised by Doctor [Robert J.] Breckinridge and other prominent loyal men of Kentucky. General Burbridge will address you fully on the subject upon his return. I have had no communication with him since the 14th instant, and do not know his present location'' (OR, I, XLV, II, 402).

See further Lincoln to Grant, January 5, 1865, infra.