The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 6 by Abraham Lincoln
Telegram to J. C. Conkling. August 31, 1863.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
HON. JAMES C. CONKLING, Springfield, Ill.:
In my letter of the 26th insert between the sentence ending "since the issue of the Emancipation Proclamation as before" and the next, commencing "You say you will not fight, etc.," what follows below my signature hereto.
"I know as fully as one can know the opinions of others that some of the commanders of our armies in the field, who have given us our most important successes, believe the emancipation policy and the use of colored troops constitute the heaviest blow yet dealt to the rebellion, and that at least one of those important successes could not have been achieved when it was, but for the aid of black soldiers. Among the commanders holding these views are some who have never had any affinity with what is called abolitionism, or with Republican party politics, but who hold them purely as military opinions. I submit these opinions as being entitled to some weight against the objections, often urged, that emancipation and arming the blacks are unwise as military measures and were not adopted as such in good faith."