To William S. Rosecrans

Major General Rosecrans        Executive Mansion,
My dear Sir:                                  Washington, April 4th, 1864.

This is rather more social than official, containing suggestions rather than orders. I somewhat dread the effect of your Special Order, No. 61 dated March 7. 1864. I have found that men who have not even been suspected of disloyalty, are very averse to taking an oath of any sort as a condition, to exercising an ordinary right of citizenship. The point will probably be made, that while men may without an oath, to assemble in a noisy political meeting, they must take the oath, to assemble in a religious meeting.

It is said, I know not whether truly, that in some parts of Missouri, assassinations are systematically committed upon returned rebels, who wish to ground arms, and behave themselves. This should not be. Of course I have not heard that you give countenance to, or wink at such assassinations.

Again, it is complained, that the enlistment of negroes, is not conducted in as orderly a manner, and with as little collateral provocation, as it might be.

So far you have got along in the Department of the Missouri, rather better than I dared to hope; and I congratulate you and myself upon it. Yours very truly A. LINCOLN.


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