John E. Collins to Abraham Lincoln, 25 February 18491
Hon Sir
Being desirous to annex myself to the U.S. Army. I would beg that you honor me with your nomination as Cadet at West Point, if you have no prior Engagement. Or if the Vacancy of this District is not filled. Your attention to this will recieve the warmest thanks of
Yours with high RespectJohn. E. CollinsHon. A LincolnM. C.[Member of Congress]2
1Collins wrote this letter in its entirety.
2On February 24, Collins penned a similar letter to Secretary of War William C. Marcy requesting an appointment. Lincoln’s response to Collins, if he penned one, has not be found. There is no evidence that Collins either attended or graduated from West Point.
George Washington Cullum, Biographical Register of Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy from 1802 to 1867 (Bedford, MA: Appleton Books, 2009), 651.

Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC),