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

To John W. Garrett [1]

Mr. J. W. Garrett Executive Mansion
My dear Sir. Washington, Jan. 10. 1865

It is said we shall soon all be in the dark here, unless you can bring coal to make gas. I suppose you would do this, without my interference, if you could; and I only write now to say, it is very important to us; and not to say that you must stop supplying the army to make room to carry coal. Do all you can for us in both matters. Yours truly A. LINCOLN


[1]   ALS, DLC-Garrett Papers. President John W. Garrett of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad replied on January 13:

``I have the pleasure of acknowledging the receipt of your valued favor of the 10th inst.

``The pressure upon our Company for supplies for army purposes, and for the immense variety of interests which depend upon the route . . . is exceedingly great. . . .

``The demand for coal for the manufacture of gas, as well as the Bituminous coals for the Navy, and other purposes . . . is much beyond our present capacity. . . .

``I have . . . repeatedly advised the Gas Light Company of Washington, that our capacity on the Road betwixt Baltimore and Washington, is much greater than the entire demands upon us, and that any coal brought to Baltimore by other routes, can be transferred, without delay or difficulty, to Washington. It is true, that by . . . proper foresight, the Managers . . . should have obtained a portion of their supplies elsewhere . . . but I am especially determined that our friends at the White House, as well as in the City of Washington, shall not suffer by being `placed in the dark'. . . .

``I have instructed that, until the Gas Light Company can improve its position, a sufficient quantity of gas coal shall be forwarded to them daily, to the partial exclusion of much other very urgent business. . . .'' (DLC-RTL).