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

To James B. Fry [1]

War Department,
Washington, D.C., October 8, 1864.

It is now said that under present instructions in recruiting from prisoners at Rock Island the names of those willing to enlist have to be first ascertained and sent here, and then an order from here for their examination and muster of such as are found suitable.

It is proposed to change this so that the ascertainment of names, examination, and muster can all be gone through with there, under the supervision of Colonel Johnson and Captain Rathbone [2], thus saving much time and trouble.

It is also proposed that the restriction in the President's order limiting the recruits to persons of foreign and Northern birth be removed, and that the question of good faith on the part of those offering to enlist be left to the judgment and discretion of Colonel Johnson and Colonel Caraher [3]. The limit of the whole not to exceed 1,750 men.

Annotation

[1]   OR, III, IV, 756-57. A footnote in the source identifies this memorandum as follows: ``Unsigned memorandum made by President Lincoln and given to the Provost-Marshal-General with verbal instructions to conform thereto.'' See Lincoln's orders to Huidekoper, September 1, to Stanton, September 20, and letter to Grant, September 22, supra.

[2]   Andrew J. Johnson, commanding at Rock Island, and Henry R. Rathbone.

[3]   Andrew P. Caraher.