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

To John M. Palmer [1]

Office U.S. Military Telegraph,
Major Genl. Palmer War Department,
Louisville, Ky. Washington, D.C., Feb. 24 1865

Please telegraph me an exact copy of the order of John C. Breckinridge borne by Col. Robert J. Breckinridge. A. LINCOLN


[1]   ALS, DNA WR RG 107, Presidential Telegrams, I, 355. On February 24, General John M. Palmer telegraphed Stanton: ``Robert J. Breckinridge, colonel in the rebel army, was captured near Versailles, Ky., on the 22d instant, with orders from John C. Breckinridge ordering all Confederate officers and men out of the State, under the penalty of being reported to the Federal authorities as guerrillas. Breckinridge came into the State secretly. When he surrendered was in uniform---probably put on for the occasion. What shall be done with him?'' (OR, I, XLIX, I, 764).

On February 25, Palmer replied to Lincoln's telegram:

``In obedience to your orders I have the honor to forward you the following copy of the order found on Col. R. J. Breckinridge. . . .

`General Orders,} Hdqrs. West Virginia and East Tennessee

No. 2.} Wytheville, Va., January 6, 1865.

`All officers and men now in Kentucky upon military service under authority other than that of the Secretary of War, are required to report to Robert J. Breckinridge, whose orders they are commanded to obey. All who have authority from the Secretary of War prior to April 4, 1864, or from these headquarters, whose time has expired, will report to their respective commands or these headquarters. All who fail to obey this order promptly will be at once reported to the existing authorities in Kentucky as not recognized by the Confederate Government as prisoners of war, if captured.

`By command of Major-General Breckinridge.' '' (Ibid., p. 770).