The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 5 by Abraham Lincoln
To Secretary Cameron.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, AUGUST 7, 1861
HON. SECRETARY OF WAR
MY DEAR SIR:--The within paper, as you see, is by HON. John S. Phelps and HON. Frank P. Blair, Jr., both members of the present Congress from Missouri. The object is to get up an efficient force of Missourians in the southwestern part of the State. It ought to be done, and Mr. Phelps ought to have general superintendence of it. I see by a private report to me from the department that eighteen regiments are already accepted from Missouri. Can it not be arranged that part of them (not yet organized, as I understand) may be taken from the locality mentioned and put under the control of Mr. Phelps, and let him have discretion to accept them for a shorter term than three years--or the war--understanding, however, that he will get them for the full term if he can? I hope this can be done, because Mr. Phelps is too zealous and efficient and understands his ground too well for us to lose his service. Of course provision for arming, equipping, etc., must be made. Mr. Phelps is here, and wishes to carry home with him authority for this matter.
Yours truly, A. LINCOLN