Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 6.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To Samuel W. Moulton [1]

Executive Mansion,
My Dear Sir Washington, July 31, 1863.

There has been a good deal of complaint against you by your superior officers of the Provost Marshal General's Department and your removal has been strongly urged on the ground of ``persistent disobedience of orders and neglect of duty.'' Firmly convinced as I am of the patriotism of your motives, I am unwilling to do anything in your case which may seem unnecessarily harsh, or at variance with the feelings of personal respect and esteem, with which I have always regarded you. I consider your services in your district valuable, and should be sorry to lose them. It is unnecessary for me to state however, that when differences of opinion arise between officers of the Government, the ranking officer must be obeyed. You of course recognize as clearly as I do the importance of this rule. I hope you will conclude to go on in your present position under the regulations of the Department. I wish you would write to me. I am very truly your friend and Obt Servt

[A. LINCOLN]

Page  360

Annotation

[1]   Df, DLC-RTL. The draft is in John Hay's handwriting. Samuel W. Moulton, enrollment commissioner for the Tenth District of Illinois at Shelbyville, tendered his resignation on August 11, 1863:

``Your very kind favor of the 31st Ultimo was missent & was not received until to day.

``I regret very much that my superior officers have had cause to complain of my seeming neglect of duty. I confess that I have not been constantly at my post on account of sickness in my family & some matters of business that I could not possibly neglect. . . . My heart is in the work & . . . I want to act honorably. . . . Would it not be better for me to resign & have another appointed who can better discharge his duty by more constant attendance. . . .

``I therefore . . . enclose . . . my resignation. . . .'' (Ibid.).