To Frederick F. Low

“Cypher”
Hon. F. F. Lowe                    Executive Mansion
San Francisco, Cal.              Washington, D.C. Oct. 30. 1863

Below is an Act of Congress, passed last session, intended to exclude applicants not entitled to seats, but which, there is reason to fear, will be used to exclude some who are entitled. Please get with the governor and one or two other discreet friends, study the act carefully, and make certificates in two or three forms, according to your best judgment, and have them sent to me, so as to multiply the chances of the delegation getting their seats. Let it be done without publicity. Below is a form which may answer for one. If you could procure the same to be done for the Oregon member it might be well. A. LINCOLN.

To Jacob Collamer

                                                Executive Mansion
Hon. Jacob Collamer.       Washington, D.C., Oct. 30, 1863.

My Dear Sir:—There is danger that the above Act of Congress, intended to exclude improper members, will be used to exclude proper ones. May I ask that you, Senator Foot and your Governor will study the Act, and have certificates made out in two or three different forms and bring them on with you to be used if needed? On the other half of the sheet is a form which I have thought might do for one. Let it be done quietly, as publicity might increase the danger. The members themselves need not to know of it. Yours truly, A. LINCOLN.

To Zachariah Chandler

Hon. Z. Chandler                 Executive Mansion
My dear Sir                            Washington D.C. Oct. 30. 1863.

There is danger that the above act of congress, intended to exclude improper applicants from seats in the House of Representatives, will be used to exclude proper ones. Your State is one upon which the attempt will probably be made if upon any. If the Governor has already made out the ordinary certificates, let the M.C’s bring them along. In addition, I suggest that you, Senator Howard, and the Governor, have a consultation, and that another certificate or set of certificates be made out according to the form on the other half of this sheet, and still another, if you gentlemen can frame one that you shall think will give additional security, and bring them with you to be used, if needed. Let it be quietly done. Publicity might stir up the danger we wish to guard against. The M.C’s themselves need not to know it

Yours truly A. LINCOLN

To Hannibal Hamlin

Executive Mansion, Washington, D.C., October 29, 1863.

My dear Sir: The above act of Congress was passed, as I suppose, to exclude improper applicants from seats in the House of Representatives and there is danger now that it will be used to exclude proper ones. The attempt will be made, if at all, upon the members of those States whose delegations are entirely, or by a majority, Union men and of which your State is one.

I suppose your members already have the usual certificates—which let them bring on. I suggest that for greater caution, yourself, the two senators, Messrs. Fessenden and Morrill, and the Governor consider this matter, and that the Governor make out an additional certificate, or set of certificates, in the form on the other half of this sheet, and still another, if on studying the law you gentlemen shall be able to frame one which will give additional security; and bring the whole with you, to be used if found necessary. Let it all be done quietly. The members of Congress themselves need not know of it.

Yours truly, A. LINCOLN.

To James W. Grimes

October 29, 1863

AN ACT to regulate the duties of the Clerk of the House of Representatives in preparing for the organization of the House.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, before the first meeting of the next Congress, and of every subsequent Congress, the Clerk of the next preceding House of Representatives shall make a roll of the representatives elect, and place thereon the names of all persons, and of such persons only, whose credentials show that they were regularly elected in accordance with the laws of their States respectively, or the laws of the United States.

Approved March 3, 1863.

Hon. James W. Grimes Executive Mansion

My dear Sir: Washington D.C. Oct. 29, 1863.

The above act of congress was passed, as I suppose, for the purpose of shutting out improper applicants for seats in the House of Representatives; and I fear there is some danger that it will be used to shut out proper ones. Iowa, having an entire Union delegation, will be one of the States the attempt will be made upon, if upon any. The Governor doubtless has made out the certificates, and they are already in the hands of the members. I suggest that they come on with them; but that, for greater caution, you, and perhaps Mr. Harlan with you, consult with the Governor, and have an additional set made out according to the form on the other half of this sheet; and still another set, if you can, by studying the law, think of a form that in your judgment, promises additional security, and qu[i]etly bring the whole on with you, to be used in case of necessity. Let what you do be kept still Yours truly

A. LINCOLN

To John M. Schofield

Private & Confidential                  Executive Mansion Washington,
General John M. Schofield,         October 28th. 1863.

There have recently reached the War Department, and thence been laid before me, from Missouri, three communications, all similar in import, and identical in object. One of them, addressed to nobody, and without place or date, but having the signature of (apparently) the writer, is a letter of eight closely written foolscap pages. The other two are written by a different person, at St. Joseph, Mo., and of the dates, respectively, October 12th and 13th. 1863, and each inclosing a large number of affidavits. The general statements of the whole are, that the Federal and State authorities are arming the disloyal, and disarming the loyal, and that the latter will all be killed, or driven out of the State, unless there shall be a change. In particular, no loyal man, who has been disarmed, is named; but the affidavits show by name, forty two persons, as disloyal, who have been armed. They are as follows:

Jackson Christopher Ratcliffe Baker John Keyes

Henry Highsmith Thomas J Nolan Capd Enos Woodward

Richard Highsmith Calvin James William Marsh

David Alderman, James Raneer Barney Clark

& two sons Milton R. Singleton Caswell Goodman

William Jones John Smedie John Smith

Perry McVay Anderson Cameron Geo. Cunningham

John Goslin John Utz Fleming Tate

Newton Rogers John Register A. H. Leach

Alfred Rogers Joseph Register David Fitzpatrick

Jacob Cox. Capd Lewis De Voss Samuel Wyatt

Perry Hamilton Joseph Corton Aquilla I. Morrow

John Chestnut P. Burge William Morrow

William Ferrill Dillard Woodward Thomas Fly

Tip Russell

A majority of these are shown to have been in the rebel service. I believe it could be shown that this government here have deliberately armed more than ten times as many, captured at Gettysburg, to say nothing of similar operations in East Tennessee. These papers contain, altogether, thirty one manuscript pages, and one newspaper in extenso; and yet I do not find it any where charged in them, that any loyal man has been harmed by reason of being disarmed, or that any disloyal one has harmed any body by reason of being armed by the Federal or State government. Of course I have not had time to carefully examine all; but I have had most of them examined and briefed by others, and the result is as stated. The remarkable fact, that the actual evil is yet only anticipated—inferred—induces me to suppose I understand the case. But I do not state my impression, because I might be mistaken; and because your duty and mine is plain in any event. The locality of nearly all this, seems to be St. Joseph, and Buchanan County. I wish you to give special attention to this region, particularly on election day. Prevent violence from whatever quarter; and see that the soldiers themselves, do no wrong.

Yours truly A. LINCOLN

Opinion on the Loss of Robert H. Milroy’s Division

[October 27, 1863]

In June last a Division was substantially lost at, and near Winchester, Va. At the time it was under Gen. Milroy as immediate commander in the field Gen. Schenck as Department commander at Baltimore and Gen. Halleck as General-in-Chief at Washington. Gen. Milroy, as immediate commander, was put in arrest, and subsequently a Court of Inquiry examined, chiefly with reference to disobedience of orders, and reported the evidence. The foregoing is a synoptical statement of the evidence, together with the Judge Advocate General’s conclusions. The disaster, when it came, was a surprize to all. It was very well known to Gen. Schenck and Gen. Milroy for some time before that Gen. Halleck thought the division was in general danger of a surprize at Winchester, that it was of no service there commensurate with the risk it incurred, and that it ought to be withdrawn; but although he more than once advised it’s withdrawal he never positively ordered it. Gen. Schenck, on the contrary, believed the service of the force at Winchester, was worth the hazard, and so did not positively order it’s withdrawal, until it was so late that the enemy cut the wire and prevented to [sic] order reaching Gen. Milroy. Gen. Milroy seems to have concurred with Gen. Schenck in the opinion that the force should be kept at Winchester at least till the approach of danger, but he disobeyed no order upon the subject. Some question can be made whether some of Gen. Halleck’s despatches to Gen. Schenck, should not have been construed to be orders to withdraw the force, and obeyed accordingly; but no such question can be made against Gen. Milroy. In fact the last order he received, was to be prepared to withdraw, but not to actually withdraw till further order, which further order never reached him. Serious blame is not necessarily due to every serious disaster, and I can not say that in this case, any of their officers is deserving of serious blame. No Court-Martial is deemed necessary or proper in the case.