To William S. Rosecrans

                                                       Executive Mansion,
Major General Rosecrans,       Washington, Sep. 26, 1864

One can not always safely disregard a report, even which one may not believe. I have a report that you incline to deny the soldiers the right of attending the election in Missouri, on the assumed ground that they will get drunk and make disturbance. Last year I sent Gen. Schofield a letter of instruction, dated October 1st, 1863, which I suppose you will find on the files of the Department, and which contains, among other things, the following:

“At elections see that those and only those, are allowed to vote, who are entitled to do so by the laws of Missouri, including as of those laws, the restrictions laid by the Missouri Convention upon those who may have participated in the rebellion.”

This I thought right then, and think right now; and I may add I do not remember that either party complained after the election, of Gen. Schofield’s action under it. Wherever the law allows soldiers to vote, their officers must also allow it. Please write me on this subject. Yours truly, A. LINCOLN.

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