To Worthington G. Snethen

W. G. Snethen             Executive Mansion,
My dear Sir                  Washington, December 16. 1863.

The application filed by you in behalf of Samuel K. Boyd, to be a Captain in the regular Army has been received, and referred to the War Department. You may not be aware that the application is directly in the teeth of a rule which we have felt constrained to adopt. Suppose your relative were now a First Lieut. in the regular Army, and the Captaincy directly above him were vacant, he would be entitled to be promoted to that vacancy. But suppose I should say to him “Stand back sir; I want that place for outsider” what would you and he think of it? And yet that is precisely the way you you [sic] now ask me to treat some other Lieutenant. I suppose you have not thought of this. Yours truly

A. LINCOLN

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