Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 1.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To John J. Hardin [1]

Dear Hardin: Springfield, May 29th. 1846

Dr. F. A. McNeil, is desirous of going the campaign to Mexico, as a surgeon, [2] and he thinks that you, more probably than any one else, may have the power to give him the place. If it shall turn out that you hold the power, and can, consistantly with the claims of others, give him the appointment, it would very much gratify many of us here, and dissatisfy none. We regard him as a very sensible, and very clever man; and an excellent physician & surgeon.

Genl. Covell [3] has just arrived here direct from Washington. I infer from some things he says, that some Loco foco rascality is in contemplation in relation to officering the army. He says that Shields, as well as Semple, is coming on, and doubtless he came on himself with his eye upon a military office. He says, moreover, that a supplemental bill, to the army bill, had been introduced into one branch of congress, authorizing the President to appoint two Majors general, and four Brigadiers. This, in connection, with his expressions of doubt, as to whether Genl. Scott, will proceed to the seat of war, induces me to think they even contemplate placing these new made heroes over the heads of Scott, Gaines, Taylor & others. You will understand, while I do not, whether, by the organization of the army, this is possible. If it is possible, it is, in my opinion, decidedly probable. Let these conjectures of mine be confidential. Yours as ever A. LINCOLN


[1]   ALS,IHi.

[2]   Dr. Francis A. McNeill was also a minister of the gospel, which perhaps accounts for the seeming redundance of Lincoln's stipulation.

[3]   Merritt L. Covell of McLean County was a general of militia.