Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 7.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To John M. Schofield [1]

Gen. Schofield Washington, D.C.,
St. Louis, Mo. Nov. 10. 1863

I see a despatch here from St. Louis which is a little difficult for me to understand. It says ``Gen. Schofield has refused leave of absence to members in Military service to attend the Legislature. All such are radical and Administration men. The election of two Senators from this place on Thursday will probably turn upon this thing''

What does this mean? Of course members of the Legislature must be allowed to attend it's sessions. But how is there a session before the recent election returns are in? And how is it to be at ``this place''---that is---St Louis? Please inform me.

A. LINCOLN

Annotation

[1]   ALS, RPB. General Schofield replied the same day, ``The legislature meets at Jefferson City today. The recent election was not for members of the Legislature except perhaps to fill vacancies. I have not authority to grant leaves of absence to officers except in case of sickness. The orders of the War Dept. expressly forbid it. I have informed members of the Legislature who are in the Military service that I will accept their resignations to enable them to attend the session of the Legislature. There are but few of them & they are about equally divided between radicalls & conservatives. If authorized to do so I will grant the leaves of absence long enough to elect senators but I would not think it proper for them to be absent all winter and still retain their commissions in the army.'' (DLC-RTL). See Lincoln to Schofield, November 11, infra.