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

To Ulysses S. Grant [1]

Executive Mansion, Washington,
Lieut. General Grant Sep. 22, 1864.

I send this as an explanation to you, and to do justice to the Secretary of War. I was induced, upon pressing application, to authorize agents of one of the Districts of Pennsylvania to recruit in one of the prisoner depots in Illinois; and the thing went so far before it came to the knowledge of the Secretary of War that in my judgment it could not be abandoned without greater evil than would follow it's going through. I did not know, at the time, that you had protested against that class of thing being done; and I now say that while this particular job must be completed, no other of the sort, will be authorized, without an understanding with you, if at all. The Secretary of War is wholly free of any part in this blunder. Yours truly A. LINCOLN

Annotation

[1]   ALS-P, ISLA; ADfS, DLC-RTL. See Lincoln's order to Huidekoper, September 1, and to Stanton, September 20, supra. On September 25 Stanton telegraphed Grant substantially the same information contained in Lincoln's letter of September 22, and Grant replied on the same day: ``Your dispatch in relation to the organization of troops from prisoners of war is just received. I would advise that they be placed all in one regiment, and be put on duty either with Pope, or sent to New Mexico.'' (OR, III, IV, 744).

On September 26, S. Newton Pettis wrote Lincoln from Meadville, Pennsylvania:

``Nothing ever helped our cause here as your order, and the manner which you have so justly sustained it when assailed has quickened their efforts and renewed their energies. . . .

``I go to Rock Island by next train. I fear the War Department has sent a man out to embarrass our action, and if so shall telegraph you directly. . . . I asked when I left that nothing be said but there was no such thing as bridleing the tongues or pens of our people. Their gratitude will be mannifested at the Polls. . . .

Page  18``I pray you for the sake of our cause which is the cause of the country, allow no embarrassment to the execution of the order.'' (DLC-RTL).

See further Lincoln's order to Fry, October 8, infra.