1863
Question of Raising Negro Troops.
 

TO GOVERNOR JOHNSON.
(Private.)
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON
March 26, 1863.

HON. ANDREW JOHNSON.

MY DEAR SIR:--I am told you have at least thought of raising a negro military force. In my opinion the country now needs no specific thing so much as some man of your ability and position to go to this work. When I speak of your position, I mean that of an eminent citizen of a slave State and himself a slaveholder. The colored population is the great available and yet unavailed of force for restoring the Union. The bare sight of fifty thousand armed and drilled black soldiers upon the banks of the Mississippi would end the rebellion at once; and who doubts that we can present that sight if we but take hold in earnest? If you have been thinking of it, please do not dismiss the thought.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.