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43. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis to Lincoln requesting interview for St. Louis Unionists


43. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis to Lincoln requesting interview for St. Louis Unionists


Letter from General Samuel R. Curtis to Abraham Lincoln introducing its couriers, ardent Union supporters, James E. Yeatman and G. F. Filley, and requesting they be given an audience to provide perspective on the controversy over the pro-southern actions of St. Louis minister Samuel B. McPheeters. December 30, 1862. Copy.




Becki Plunkett and Stephen Vincent


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State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines

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Special Collections: Samuel R. Curtis Papers

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H'd Q'rs [Headquarters], Dept[.] of the Mo [Missouri][,] St[.] Louis[,] Dec[.] 30th 1862 Lincoln, His Exc[ellen]cy Pres[iden]t A. It is hardly necessary for me to introduce James E[.] Yeatman Esq[.] and G[.]F[.] Filley[,] Esq[.] as I have already said to your Exc[Ellen]cy these are some of our most worthy and devoted friends. They wish a private interview and I hope you will grant it. They are true to their country and true to you, They are two of the most prominent citizens of St[.] Louis. They belong to no clique or party and you may implicitly rely on their integrity and honor. While this Dept[.] has been eminently favored during the three months of my administration, I think it is mainly owing to a steady appreciation of military power. I take this occasion also to say, that I would prefer to send prisoners south rather than north, but have not felt myself authorized to do so, and in many respects, it has been my opinion, a commander of a large and remote Dept[.] should have more rather than less discretion, especially as to the disposal of persons disloyal and dangerous to the public peace. The wives of rebel officers and avowed secessionists have occasionally been ordered east and north, whereas I think these persons better go where they devote their affections. Mr[.] Yeatman who goes with this to Washington deserves special notice. Raised in the South, his inclinations are pro slavery, but he has cast aside all the ease and comforts of society, and devoted his whole time to suffering humanity and the cause of his unhappy country. Neither of these men belong to the congregation of the Rev[.] [Samuel B.] McPheeters and they can speak to you without prejudice on that subject. I enclose you a letter of Hon[.] Judges Bates, which shows further reason to distrust some of our own officers of the Enrolled Militia. I have the honor to be your Exc[Ellen]cy's ob[edien]t serv[an]t[,] S[.] R[.] Curtis[,] Maj[.] Gen'l