Soldier's Fair at Washington,
Springfield, Massachusetts. Dec. 19, 1864.
Your kind invitation to be present at the opening of your Fair is duly received by the hand of Mr. Ashmun. Grateful for the compliment, and ever anxious to aid the good cause in which you are engaged, I yet am compelled by public duties here, to decline. The recent good news from Generals Sherman, Thomas, and indeed from nearly all quarters, will be far better than my presence, and will afford all the impulse, and enthusiasm, you will need Your Obt. Servt A. LINCOLN