The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 6 by Abraham Lincoln
To Governor Parker. July 20, 1863.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON
July 20, 1863.
HIS EXCELLENCY JOEL PARKER, Governor of New Jersey.
DEAR SIR:--Yours of the 15th has been received, and considered by the Secretary of War and myself. I was pained to be informed this morning by the Provost-Marshal-General that New Jersey is now behind twelve thousand, irrespective of the draft. I did not have time to ascertain by what rules this was made out; and I shall be very glad if it shall, by any means, prove to be incorrect. He also tells me that eight thousand will be about the quota of New Jersey on the first draft; and the Secretary of War says the first draft in that State would not be made for some time in any event. As every man obtained otherwise lessens the draft so much, and this may supersede it altogether, I hope you will push forward your volunteer regiments as fast as possible.
It is a very delicate matter to postpone the draft in one State, because of the argument it furnishes others to have postponement also. If we could have a reason in one case which would be good if presented in all cases, we could act upon it.
I will thank you, therefore, to inform me, if you can, by what day, at the earliest, you can promise to have ready to be mustered into the United States service the eight thousand men.
If you can make a reliable promise (I mean one which you can rely on yourself) of this sort, it will be of great value, if the day is not too remote.
I beg you to be assured I wish to avoid the difficulties you dread as much as yourself.
Your obedient servant,