To Samuel W. Moulton

                                        Executive Mansion,
My Dear Sir                 Washington, July 31, 1863.

There has been a good deal of complaint against you by your superior officers of the Provost Marshal General’s Department and your removal has been strongly urged on the ground of “persistent disobedience of orders and neglect of duty.” Firmly convinced as I am of the patriotism of your motives, I am unwilling to do anything in your case which may seem unnecessarily harsh, or at variance with the feelings of personal respect and esteem, with which I have always regarded you. I consider your services in your district valuable, and should be sorry to lose them. It is unnecessary for me to state however, that when differences of opinion arise between officers of the Government, the ranking officer must be obeyed. You of course recognize as clearly as I do the importance of this rule. I hope you will conclude to go on in your present position under the regulations of the Department. I wish you would write to me. I am very truly your friend and Obt Servt

[A. LINCOLN]

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