An Old Friend Seeks Help from President Lincoln

May 19, 1864

“I take this liberty to inform you that my son, William Duff has got home and is now married and doing well at this present time,” writes Hannah Armstrong to President Lincoln, who had once defended the son against a murder charge.   The president had ordered “Duff” Armstrong discharged from the army in September 1863.

Now Honerable Sir I have one more request to ask of you and I have hope through your good and kind feeling for the distressed you will grant it to me.

It is this there is here in my neighbourhood a daughter of Old Mr Jonathen Louge an old acquaintance of yours and she is in a very destitute condition on account of a long and protracted case if Sickness, and She having a large family of Small children she cannot now get along in any way without the assistance of her husband whose names in Louis Ishmel he is Company C 85th regiment Ills Infantry and has been in the service now nearly two years and has never had any leave of absence since he left home

And she is now in Such destitute circumstances that she is not able to maintain herself and family and he has always bourne an honourable character at home

I hope you now will grant my request by Discharging him from the Service and restoring him to his now destitute family and by so doing you will confer a favor on his poor Wife and me

President Lincoln sends a letter to Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner in which in refers him to Mary Elizabeth Booth, widow of Major Lionel Booth killed at Fort Pillow: “She makes a point, which I think very worthy of consideration which is, widows and children in fact, of colored soldiers who fall in our service, be placed in law, the same as if their marriages were legal, so that they can have the benefit of the provisions made the widows & orphans of white soldiers. Please see & hear Mrs. Booth.”

Journalist Noah Brooks writes: “At this present writing our people, who have been unduly elated at the successes of Grant, are unduly cast down at the temporary check which has attended the National arms in the Shenandoah Valley, where Sigel has been unable to cope with the superior numbers of the rebel force under [John] Breckinridge, and has retired with considerable l9oss, and has probably allowed heavy reinforcement to join Lee’s army,a t present held in check by Meade.”

Published in: on May 19, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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