Abraham Lincoln to Eli C. Blankenship, 10 August 18331New Salem, Aug. 10, 1833.E. C. Blankenship:Dear Sir:—
In regard to the time David Rankin served the enclosed discharge shows correctly—as well as I can recollect—having no writing to refer. The transfer of Rankin from my company2 occurred as follows—Rankin having lost his horse at Dixon's ferry and having acquaintance in one of the foot companies who were going down the river was desirous to go with them, and one Galishen being an acquaintance of mine and belonging to the company in which Rankin wished to go wished to leave it and join mine, this being the case it was agreed that they should exchange places and answer to each others names—as it was expected we all would be discharged in very few days. As to a blanket—I have no knowledge of Rankin ever getting any. The above embraces all the facts now in my recollection which are pertinent to the case.
I shall take pleasure in giving any further information in my power should you call on me.Your friend,A. Lincoln.
1This document is not extant and no image of the document has been located. This transcription is taken from the earliest published transcription of the document, in Ida Tarbell’s Life of Abraham Lincoln (New York: Doubleday & McClure, 1900), 2:265.
2At the outbreak of the Black Hawk War, Abraham Lincoln volunteered for the Illinois state militia. On April 21, 1832, Lincoln and other men from the New Salem area were mustered into a company in the 4th Regiment of Illinois Mounted Volunteers, and the members of the company elected Lincoln as their Captain. When his month of service ended, Lincoln re-enlisted twice, for twenty and thirty days respectively, serving as a Private both times. He was discharged finally on July 10, 1832.
Muster Roll of Abraham Lincoln’s Company of Mounted Volunteers; Muster Roll of Captain Elijah Iles’s Company of Mounted Volunteers; Muster Roll of Captain Jacob M. Early’s Company of Mounted Volunteers; Ellen M. Whitney, comp., The Black Hawk War, 1831-1832: Illinois Volunteers, vol. 35 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1970), 1:176-78, 227-30, 544-46.
Printed Transcription, 1 page(s), Ida M. Tarbell, The Life of Abraham Lincoln (New York: Doubleday & McClure, 1900), 2:265.