Abraham Lincoln to John J. Hardin, 29 May 18461Springfield, May 29th 1846Dear Hardin:
Dr F A. McNeil, is desirous of going the campaign to Mexico, as a surgeon, and he thinks that you, more probably than any one else, may have the power to give him the place– If it shall turn out that you hold the power, and can consistently with the claims of others, give him the appointment, it would very much gratify many of us here, and dissatisfy none– We regard him as a very sensible, and very clever man; and an excellent physician & surgeon–2
Genl Covell has just arrived here direct from Washington– I infer from some things he says, that some Loco foco rascality is in contemplation in relation ^to^ officering the army– He says that Shields, as well as Semple, is coming on, and doubless ^doubtless^ he came on himself with his eye upon a milatary office– He says, moreover, that a supplemental bill, to the army bill, had been introduced into one branch of congress, authorizing the President to appoint two Majors general, and four Brigadiers–3 This, in connection, with his expressions of doubt, as to whether Genl Scott, will proceed to the seat of war, induces me to think they ^even^ contemplate placing these new made heroes over the heads of Scott, Gaines, Taylor & others– Y0u will understand, while I do not, whether, by the organization of the army, this is possible– If it is possible, it is, in my opinion, decidedly probable– Let these conjectures of mine be confidential–Yours as everA. Lincoln
<Page 2>SPRINGFIELD Ill.[Illinois]
JUN[June] 1PAID5Genl[General] J. J. HardinJacksonvilleIllinois–
1Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed the letter. He also authored the address on the back page, which was folded to create an envelope for mailing.
2It does not appear that Francis A. McNeil enlisted for service in the Mexican War.
Illinois Mexican War Veterans Database, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL.
3When it passed, the supplemental bill Lincoln mentions authorized the president to appoint one major-general and two brigadier-generals.
“An Act Supplemental to An Act Entitled, ‘An Act Providing for the Prosecution of the Existing War between the United States and the Republic of Mexico,’ and for Other Purposes,” 18 June 1846, Statutes at Large of the United States 9 (1862):17.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL).