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

To John Pope [1]

Major Genl. Pope Executive Mansion,
St. Louis, Mo. Washington, Feb. 12, 1865.

I understand that Provost-Marshals in different parts of Missouri are assuming to decide that the conditions of bonds are forfeited,Page  293 and thereupon are seizing and selling property to pay damages. This, if true, is both outrageous and ridiculous. Do not allow it. The courts and not Provost-Marshals, are to decide such questions, only when military necessity makes an exception. Also excuse John Ecton of Clay Co. & Wesley Martin of Platte from being sent South & let them go East, if anywhere.

A. LINCOLN

Annotation

[1]   ALS, DNA WR RG 107, Presidential Telegrams, I, 338. General John Pope had been placed in command of the Department of the Missouri to succeed General Samuel R. Curtis who was transferred to the Department of the Northwest (AGO General Orders No. 11, January 30, 1865). He replied on February 13: ``Dispatch recd & attended to Provost Marshal system in Mo is oppressive and absurd I am examining into & will correct the whole matter'' (DLC-RTL).

On February 11, Austin A. King had written Lincoln:

``I ask the President for a despatch to Gen. Pope changing the order for the banishment of John Ecton of Clay County, and Wesley Martin of Platte County, from being sent South---and at their options, to be banished to the state of Illinois, or some other loyal state, East of the Mississippi---and that Ecton's personal property only---be sold by the U.S. Marshal---when required to do so, by the proper order made under the confiscation act---and not under a military order, and by a Military Provost Marshal.

``I respectfully ask for this order by a despatch as early as you conveniently can.''

See further, Lincoln to Pope, February 14, infra.