October 17, 1863
President Lincoln releases a proclamation that declares: “Whereas, The term of service of a part of the Volunteer forces of the United States will expire during the coming year, and whereas, in addition to the men raised by the present draft, it is deemed expedient to call out three hundred thousand volunteers to serve for three years or the war, not however exceeding three years.
Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy thereof, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into actual service, do issue this my Proclamation, calling upon the Governors of the different States to raise and have enlisted into the United States service, for the various companies and Regiments in the field from their respective States, their quotas of three hundred thousand men.
I further proclaim, that all volunteers thus called out and duly enlisted, shall receive advance pay, premium and bounty as heretofore communicated to the Governors of States by the War Department through the Provost Marshal General’s Office by special letters.
I further proclaim, that all volunteers received under this call, as well as all others not heretofore credited, shall be duly credited on and deducted from the quotas established for the next draft.
I further proclaim, that if any State shall fail to raise the quota assigned to it by the War Department under this call, then a draft for the deficiency in said quota shall be made on said State or on the Districts of said State for their due proportion of said quota; and the said draft shall commence on the fifth day of January, 1864.
And I further proclaim, that nothing in this Proclamation shall interfere with existing orders, or those which may be issued for the present draft in the States where it is now in progress or where it has not yet commenced.
The quotas of the States and districts will be assigned by the War Department, through the Provost Marshal General’s office, due regard being had for the men heretofore furnished whether by volunteering or drafting, and the recruiting will be conducted in accordance with such instructions as have been or may be issued by that Department.
In issuing this Proclamation, I address myself not only to the Governors of the several States, but also to the good and loyal people thereof, invoking them to lend their willing, cheerful and effective aid to the measures thus adopted, with a view to reinforce our victorious armies now in the field and bring our needful military operations to a prosperous end, thus closing forever the fountains of sedition and civil war.
President Lincoln writes Major General John Foster: “It would be useless for Mrs. Dr. Wright to come here. The subject is a very painful one, but the case is settled.” The husband had been already scheduled for execution.
Responding to two Knoxville residents who insisted on the maintenance of Union troops in their area: You do not estimate the holding of East Tennessee more highly than I do. There is no absolute purpose of withdrawing our forces from it; and only a contingent one to withdraw them temporarily, for the purpose of not losing the position permanently. I am in great hope of not finding it necessary to withdraw them at all—particularly if you raise new troops rapidly for us there.”
President Lincoln goes to Grover’s Theater to watch performance of Macbeth. The proceeds go to the U.S. Sanitary Commission. The president is accompanied by Mrs. Lincoln and presidential aide William O. Stoddard. The performance stars Charlotte Cushman, whom Mr. Lincoln met earlier in the week.