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

To James B. Fry [1]

This is too large a job for the officers to be encumbered with now in the midst of preparations for the approaching draft.

Feb. 4. 1865 A. LINCOLN


[1]   AES, owned by Charles W. Olsen, Chicago, Illinois. Lincoln's endorsement appears on a letter to Fry from Orison Blunt and other members of the Committee of the Board of Supervisors of New York, February 4, 1865, asking for the figures and the manner of arriving at the quotas assigned on December 23, 1864. Stanton endorsed below ``I concur with the President that the job is too large for the present but direct such force as can be, to be put on it. The draft will go on in the meantime.''

This endorsement Stanton crossed out and continued: ``The demand of the committee appears to me unreasonable & impracticable, but the Provost Marshal General will put on it such force as he can and in the meantime go on with the draft. Filling the army cannot be delayed by calls on the office of the Provost Marshal that will require months to fill and which can serve no other purpose than delay.''

As printed in OR, III, IV, 1121, Lincoln's endorsement is preceded by an endorsement of the same date by Fry:

``Respectfully referred to the Secretary of War.

``The principles and figures upon which the quotas of the city of New York were assigned on the 24th ultimo, and which designate the number of men required, have been already examined by a committee on the part of the Board of Supervisors of New York, who approved of the same and reported that the revised quotas of January are correct, except that they allege an excessive enrollment. It is respectfully submitted that it is unnecessary now to inquire into the basis of previous assignments, which have now no practical bearing, when current business requires all the time of the office.''

See Lincoln to Fry, February 6, infra.