To Thomas J. Henderson

Executive Mansion, Washington,
Hon. T.J. Henderson. December 20, 1862.

My dear Sir:— Your letter of the 8th to Hon. William Kellogg has just been shown me. You can scarcely overestimate the pleasure it would give me to oblige you, but nothing is operating so ruinously upon us everywhere as “absenteeism.” It positively will not do for me to grant leaves of absence in cases not sufficient to procure them under the regular rules.

It would astonish you to know the extent of the evil of “absenteeism.” We scarcely have more than half the men we are paying on the spot for service anywhere. Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

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