To Benjamin F. Butler

                                             Office U.S. Military Telegraph,
Major General Butler     War Department,
Fort-Monroe, Va             Washington, D.C., Dec. 28. 1864.

I think you will find that the Provost-Marshal on the Eastern Shore has, as by your authority, issued an order, not for a meeting, but for an election. The order printed in due form was shown to me, but as I did not retain it I can not give you a copy. If the people on their own motion wish to hold a peaceful meeting I suppose you need not to hinder them. A LINCOLN


To William T. Sherman

                                                       Executive Mansion, Washington,
My dear General Sherman.      Dec. 26, 1864.

Many, many, thanks for your Christmas-gift—the capture of Savannah.

When you were about leaving Atlanta for the Atlantic coast, I was anxious, if not fearful; but feeling that you were the better judge, and remembering that “nothing risked, nothing gained” I did not interfere. Now, the undertaking being a success, the honor is all yours; for I believe none of us went farther than to acquiesce. And, taking the work of Gen. Thomas into the count, as it should be taken, it is indeed a great success. Not only does it afford the obvious and immediate military advantages; but, in showing to the world that your army could be divided, putting the stronger part to an important new service, and yet leaving enough to vanquish the old opposing force of the whole—Hood’s army—it brings those who sat in darkness, to see a great light. But what next? I suppose it will be safer if I leave Gen. Grant and yourself to decide.

Please make my grateful acknowledgments to your whole army, officers and men. Yours very truly A. LINCOLN.

General Sherman’s despatch to Lincoln from Savannah, Georgia, via Fort Monroe, Virginia, December 22, 1864, was received on December 25: “I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah with 150 heavy guns & plenty of ammunition & also about 25000 bales of cotton.”

To Robert K. Stone

Will Dr. Stone please make me a prescription for a ring worm?

Dec. 23, 1864. A. LINCOLN

Proclamation Calling for 300,000 Volunteers

December 19, 1864

By the President of the United States:

A Proclamation.

Whereas, by the act approved July 4, 1864, entitled “An Act further to regulate and provide for the enrolling and calling out the national forces, and for other purposes,” it is provided that the President of the United States may, “at his discretion, at any time hereafter, call for any number of men, as volunteers, for the respective terms of one, two, and three years, for military service,” and “that in case the quota, or any part thereof, of any town, township, ward of a city, precinct, or election district, or of any county not so sub-divided, shall not be filled within the space of fifty days after such call, then the President shall immediately order a draft for one year, to fill such quota, or any part thereof, which may be unfilled:”

And whereas by the credits allowed in accordance with the act of Congress on the call for five hundred thousand men made July 18th. 1864, the number of men to be obtained under that call was reduced to two hundred and eighty thousand; and whereas the operations of the enemy in certain States have rendered it impracticable to procure from them their full quotas of troops under said call; and whereas, from the foregoing causes, but two hundred and forty thousand men have been put into the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps under the said call of July 18, 1864, leaving a deficiency on that call of two hundred and sixty thousand: (260,000):

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America, in order to supply the aforesaid deficiency, and to provide for casualties in the military and naval service of the United States, do issue this my call for three hundred thousand (300,000) volunteers to serve for one, two, or three years. The quotas of the States, districts, and sub-districts under this call will be assigned by the War Department through the Bureau of the Provost Marshal General of the United States, and, “in case the quota or any part thereof of any town, township, ward of a city, precinct or election district, or of any county not so sub-divided, shall not be filled” before the fifteenth day of February, eighteen hundred and sixty-five, then a draft shall be made to fill such quota, or any part thereof, under this call, which may be unfilled on said fifteenth day of February 1865.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.


Done at the city of Washington, this nineteenth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four; and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-ninth. ABRAHAM LINCOLN

By the President:

WILLIAM H. SEWARD Secretary of State.

To George H. Thomas

                                             Office U.S. Military Telegraph,
Major General Thomas         War Department,
Nashville, Tenn.                    Washington, D.C., Dec. 16. 1864.

Please accept for yourself, officers, and men, the nation’s thanks for your good work of yesterday. You made a magnificent beginning. A grand consummation is within your easy reach. Do not let it slip. A. LINCOLN

To Edwin M. Stanton

December 14, 1864

I think a man who offers to volunteer and is rejected, should not afterwards be drafted and forced to serve. This lady alleges that such is the case of her husband. Please have the case investigated and reported on.

To Edward R. S. Canby

Executive Mansion,            Washington,
Major General Canby:        Dec 12, 1864.

I think it is probable that you are laboring under some misapprehension as to the purpose, or rather the motive of the government on two points—Cotton, and the new Louisiana State Government. It is conceded that the military operations are the first in importance; and as to what is indispensable to these operations, the Department Commander must be judge and master. But the other matters mentioned, I suppose to be of public importance also; and what I have attempted in regard to them, is not merely a concession to private interest and pecuniary greed.

As to cotton. By the external blockade, the price is made certainly six times as great as it was. And yet the enemy gets through at least one sixth part as much in a given period, say a year, as if there were no blockade, and receives as much for it, as he would for a full crop in time of peace. The effect in substance is, that we give him six ordinary crops, without the trouble of producing any but the first; and at the same time leave his fields and his laborers free to produce provisions. You know how this keeps up his armies at home, and procures supplies from abroad. For other reasons we cannot give up the blockade, and hence it becomes immensely important to us to get the cotton away from him. Better give him guns for it, than let him, as now, get both guns and ammunition for it. But even this only presents part of the public interest to get out cotton. Our finances are greatly involved in the matter. The way cotton goes now carries so much gold out of the country as to leave us paper currency only, and that so far depreciated, as that for every hard dollar’s worth of supplies we obtain, we contract to pay two and a half hard dollars hereafter. This is much to be regretted; and while I believe we can live through it at all events, it demands an earnest effort on the part of all to correct it. And if pecuniary greed can be made to aid us in such effort, let us be thankful that so much good can be got out of pecuniary greed.

As to the new State Government of Louisiana. Most certainly there is no worthy object in getting up a piece of machinery merely to pay salaries, and give political consideration to certain men. But it is a worthy object to again get Louisiana into proper practical relations with the nation; and we can never finish this, if we never begin it. Much good work is already done, and surely nothing can be gained by throwing it away.

I do not wish either cotton or the new State Government to take precedence of the military, while the necessity for the military remains; but there is a strong public reason for treating each with so much favor as may not be substantially detrimental to the military.

Allow me a word of explanation in regard to the telegram which you kindly forwarded to Admiral Faragut for me. That telegram was prompted by a piece of secret information inducing me to suspect that the use of a forged paper might be attempted on the Admiral, in order to base a claim that we had raised our own blockade.

I am happy in the hope that you are almost well of your late and severe wound Yours very truly,