Private William Jackman
-- A Private and His Furlough --
Rockville Republican, Sept 28, 1887
Wheaton Letter in Chicago Inter Ocean:
Hon. Luther L. Hiatt, of this place, has for many years preserved an exact copy of an interesting and unique document which came under his notice while connected with the office of the Adjutant-general at Washington in 1863-4. Mr. Hiatt, who took some pains to inquire into the facts and circumstances, relates the story of an obscure Hoosier soldier who had unsuccessfully applied for leave to go home and visit his sick wife. Private Jackman had been a brave fighter and a good soldier in all respects, and after his repeated applications for a furlough through the usual channels had failed to produce any response he concluded to appeal directly to Pres. Lincoln, at Washington, relying on the President's warm heart and tender humanity, "broad enough to contain all the world," said Emerson, "but not room enough in it for one spark of hatred," to give some attention to the petition. Accordingly, Private Jackman, who was not very handy with the pen laboriously solved the following and sent it on its way to Washington.
Jan the 10, 1865 -- Head Quarters of the 85th Regt. Indiana Volunteers in Camp near Fosterville, Tenn
Mr. Abraham Lincoln,
President of these United States:
I, William M. Jackman, a private of co. "g" 85 Indiana Volunteer - now, father abraham, i want you to send me a furlough if you please, I have Bin a good soldier, and I think i deserve a furlough, as I have never had one. I have had relatives in every war from the Revolution and I have a skore or more in this sin-cursed Rebeliion and i have never none one of them to desert or to git a furlough. Now, Mr. abraham, i don't want to be the first to desert, but i do want to be the first to git a furlough. Now, if you ever did do a private hart good, do send me a furlough to Catline Station, Parke Co, Indiana to see my wife, that is now sick and wants me to come home to see her. I don't see Why i can't git a leave of absence home. Now, Mr. Aberham, i want you to send me a furlough for as long a time as you can and git it here the shertest way possible. Over, Yours truly, Aberiham Lincoln William M. Jackman
direct to the 85th Regt indiana volunteers fosterville, tn.
Capt. Davis, Commanding Col. John J. Barid, Commanding Regiment. yours in hast, Aberiham lincoln, William M. Jackman
The next heard of the matter is in the Adjutant -general's office. It nowhere appears upon the face of the documents that Pres. Lincoln wrote any order or indorsement, but it is obvious that he must have given some clear indication of his wishes, for in 13 days form the day Pvt. Jackman wrote the letter it has traveled all the way to Washington, reached the President's own hand, thence found its way to the Adjutant-gen. of the army and in defiance of red tape and circumlocation has obtained the following indorsement:Adjutant-Gen. Office, Wash DC Jan 23, 1864. Respectfully referred to maj. Gen. George H. THomas, commanding dept. of the Cumberland, for his action. This paper to be returned with report of his action indorsed. By Order, Lou. Brick, Assistant Adjutant-general.
Quick action followed all along the line as will be seen by the remaining indorsements.
Headqrs Deptmt of Cumberland Chattanooga, Tn Feb 5, '64.
Respectfully referred to commanding officer of regiment for remarks. By command of Maj. Gen THomas
Henry M. Cist, Lt & AAAG
Headqurts 2d B, 1st Div 11 AC Murfreesboro Tn Feb 14, '64. Respectfully forwarded with the hope that this prayer may reach "father" when it is a good day for granting furloughs. John Coburn, Col. Commanding Brigade
"I can only say that Jackman is a good man and soldier. I have no recollection of his ever applying for a furlough throughout the regular channels but if he nor his ancestor ever had a furlough, I think "Uncle Abraham" out to give him a pass. JP Baird. Co. Commanding 85th Ind VI
Private Jackman got the furlough and went home to his sick wife. Beyond this the records do not go!
You might jot Randy Wright a thank you for this one.