President Lincoln Addresses Draft Policy

July 20, 1863

President Lincoln writes New Jersey Governor Joel Parker: “Yours of the 15th. has been received, and considered by the Secretary of War and myself. I was pained to be informed this morning by the Provost-Marshal-General that New-Jersey is now behind twelve thousand irrespective of the draft. I did not have time to ascertain by what rule this was made out; and I shall be very glad if it shall, by any means, prove to be incorrect. He also tells me, that 8000 will be about the quota of New-Jersey on the first draft; and the Sec. of War says the first draft in that State would not be made for some time in any event. As every man obtained otherwise lessens the draft so much, and this may supersede it altogether, I hope you will push forward your volunteer regiments as fast as possible. It is a very delicate matter to postpone the draft in one State, because of the argument it furnishes others to have postponements also. If we could have a reason in, one case, which would be good if presented, in all cases, we could act upon it.

I will thank you therefore to inform me if you can, by what day, at the earliest, you can promise to have ready to be mustered into the U.S. service, the 8000, men. If you can make a reliable promise (I mean one which you can rely on yourself) of this sort, it will be of great value, if the day is not too remote.

I beg you to be assured I wish to avoid the difficulties you dread, as much as yourself.

President Lincoln writes General John Schofield, Union commander in Missouri, “I think the suggestion you make, of discontinuing proceedings against Mr. McKee, a very proper one. While I admit that there is an apparent impropriety in the publication of the letter mentioned without my consent or yours, it is still a case where no evil could result, and which I am entirely willing to overlook.”

Illinois Congressman Isaac N. Arnold and Owen Lovejoy meet with President Lincoln to discuss Border State slavery.

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Published in: on July 20, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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