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Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865) [Lincoln note to Edwin M. Stanton on letter of George C. Burling to William A. Newell]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC04921 Author/Creator: Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Autograph endorsement signed Date: 30 October 1862 Pagination: 3 p. : docket ; 25.1 x 20.1 cm.

Lincoln endorsement on an autograph letter signed by Colonel George C. Burling to William A. Newell dated 25 October 1862 concerning an order of the War Department that would result in the disbanding of the New Jersey volunteers. Burling stresses the sacrifices made by the Second Brigade of New Jersey volunteers by saying, "Virginia's soil made sacred with the blood and body of a large number ... That is what we left home and its comforts for, to sacrifice health and even life to sustain our glorious flag, and country." Informs Newell that the War Department has issued General Orders No. 154, issued by General George B. McClellan, which allowed regular regiments to enlist soldiers from volunteer regiments and would result in the New Jersey brigade having to disband. Burling protests the disbandment and requests that since Newell has influence with the President, he send them to New Jersey instead to fill out the ranks there. Lincoln forwards this letter to Stanton and notes on page three, "Except an outside word now and then recently, I know nothing of this recruiting for the regulars, from the volunteer regiments. How is this? I have heard a good deal of dissatisfaction about it before seeing this letter."

Governor Curtain of Pennsylvania had already sent a telegram to Lincoln complaining of McClellan's policy. The President referred the matter to Secretary of War Stanton and General in Chief Halleck who supported McClellan's order. Newell was Governor of New Jersey 1856-1860.

Head Quarters 6th N.J. Vol,
Camp Van Lees - Oct 25th/62
Hon Wm A. Nenill [?]
Dear Sir
Excuse the liberty I take in addressing you this letter knowing you to be a Jersey man to the core. I want you to have a thorough knowledge of the 2nd Brigade. We left our camp last April numbering near 3600 men, for duty. To day we do not number more than 1200. Where is the rest, Virginia's soil made sacred with the blood and bodies of a large number of the deficientcy. The balance in Hospitals suffering from wounds or sickness. I have no fault to find with this that is what we left home and its comforts for, to sacrifice health and even life, to sustain our [2] glorious flag and Country, and the remainder though few in numbers are brave in spirit, and are ready and willing to stand to the last man, in defense of our Common Country. What I want to call your attention to is this. The War department has issued an order givin [sic] regular Officers the right to come in our Regt. and enlist our men. Col. Stan formerly of the 5th Regt. has been relieved of his command and ordered to rejoin his own Regt. He has commenced to recruit for it. The probility is he will take between 3. and 400 men from the Brigade. What is the consequence. Disband the 2nd brigade. Where is there a Jersey-man whose cheek will not burn with shame at the word disband. What wipe out of existence the 5th 6th 7. & 8th New Jersey Regt., a Brigade that has never Yet turned its back to the foe. A Brigade that has [3] been complemented on the field of Battle, by its Division and Corps Commanders, more than once. Knowing you have an influence with the President, I make a few suggestions, if you think proper to lay before him. Rather than disband us order us to New Jersey to fill up our thinned ranks under such regulations as the government sees proper. The consequences will be next spring, the government will have 4000. well drilled and disciplined soldiers, ready to take the field in [inserted: its] defense hopeing [sic] this may have have [sic] a favorable reply.
I Remain Very Repect.
Your Obedient servant
Geo. C. Burling
Col. 6th N.J. Vol

[Lincoln's endorsement:]
October 30, 1862
Except an outside word now and then recently, I know nothing of this recruiting for the regulars, from the volunteer regiments. How is this? I have heard a good deal of dissatisfaction about it before seeing this letter.
A. Lincoln
Oct. 30. 1862.

[Docket on page 3:]
Burling

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