To Gideon Welles

Hon. Gideon Welles. Executive Mansion,
My dear Sir May 11, 1861.

Some time ago, at the request of Commander E. B. Boutwell, I asked you to look into the case of his suspension, and ascertain whether he might not, without inconsistency, be relieved from the remainder of his suspension. I am now informed that his case is not yet acted upon. I make no complaint of this, knowing you are overwhelmed with business; but I will be obliged if you will attend to it as soon as possible. Yours very truly A. LINCOLN.

In June, 1858, Edward B. Boutwell of Virginia had been found guilty of disobedience to lawful orders, neglect of duty, and scandalous conduct. The court sentenced him to be dismissed, but the sentence was commuted to “five years Furlough Pay.” Welles replied, May 16, 1861, ” . . . I am not in possession of any fact which calls upon me to advise a further mitigation. . . . ” (DLC-RTL). Boutwell was dismissed from the service, July 31, 1861.

[A good example of how Lincoln was dealing with his cabinet members at the time, I think]


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