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    Description

    Lincoln launches an investigation to the War Department after sensing a potential injustice in drafting a woman's husband after he was previously rejected from serving in the military

    Abraham Lincoln Autograph Letter Signed Regarding an Investigation into the War Department. One page, 5" x 8", Executive Mansion, Washington; December 14, 1864. Written to Hon. Sec. of War Edwin Stanton on Executive Mansion stationery. On the upper edge of the letter is written in an unknown hand: "Case of Private William Richardson Co. F. 2nd D. C. Vols."



    Lincoln writes in full:

    "Dear Sir, I think a man who offers to volunteer, and is reject, should not afterwards [be] drafted and forced to serve. This lady alleges that such is the case of her husband. Please have the case investigated & reported on.

    Yours truly A. Lincoln."

    Below Lincoln's text is written in an unknown hand:

    "War dept. Report. Dec. 19/64 The solider, it appears was refused enlistment because he had a wife and family dependent on him, and not for any physical disqualification. He has recently been examined, & pronounced fit to serve, although his wife represented him to be physically unfit. Respectfully, To the President."

    Volunteering had almost halted during the winter of 1862-1863. One 3 March 1863, President Lincoln signed a new conscription act known as the Civil War Military Draft Act of 1862 which applied to all males between the ages of 20 to 45 for service instead of assigning quotas for each state.

    An extraordinary letter, exhibiting Lincoln's compassion for what he sees as an injustice in the wartime draft system for which he authorizes an investigation. The War Department report, written below Lincoln's request, clearly shows the information " The lady alleges" was not the complete story and the full facts were withheld to keep the husband at home.

    Condition: Lightly rubbed and toned with some minor soiling that does not affect the text. Boldly signed.


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