To Edwin M. Stanton

Hon. Sec. of War:           Executive Mansion,
My dear Sir                       Washington, Dec. 18. 1863.

I believe Gen. Schofield must be relieved from command of the Department of Missouri, otherwise a question of veracity, in relation to his declarations as to his interfering, or not, with the Missouri Legislature, will be made with him, which will create an additional amount of trouble, not to be overcome by even a correct decision of the question. The question itself must be avoided. Now for the mode. Senator Henderson, his friend, thinks he can be induced to ask to be relieved, if he shall understand he will be generously treated; and, on this latter point, Gratz Brown will help his nomination, as a Major General, through the Senate. In no other way can he be confirmed; and upon his rejection alone, it would be difficult for me to sustain him as Commander of the Department. Besides, his being relieved from command of the Department, and at the same time confirmed as a Major General, will be the means of Henderson and Brown leading off together as friends, and will go far to heal the Missouri difficulty.

Another point. I find it is scarcely less than indispensable for me to do something for Gen. Rosecrans; and I find Henderson and Brown will agree to him for the commander of their Department.

Again, I have received such evidence and explanations, in regard to the supposed cotten transactions of Gen. Curtis, as fully restores in my mind the fair presumption of his innocence; and, as he is my friend, and, what is more, as I think, the countries friend, I would be glad to relieve him from the impression that I think him dishonest, by giving him a command. Most of the Iowa and Kansas delegations, a large part of that of Missouri, and the delegates from Nebraska, and Colorado, ask this in behalf of Gen. C. and suggest Kansas and other contiguous territory West of Missouri, as a Department for him.

In a purely military point of view it may be that none of these things is indispensable, or perhaps, advantageous; but in another aspect, scarcely less important, they would give great relief, while, at the worst, I think they could not injure the military service much. I therefore shall be greatly obliged if yourself and Gen. Halleck can give me your hearty co-operation, in making the arrangement. Perhaps the first thing would be to send Gen. Schofield’s nomination to me. Let me hear from you before you take any actual step in the matter. Yours very truly A. LINCOLN


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