Three Days Before He is Assassinated, Abraham Lincoln Orders the Discharge of a Sickly Boy from the Army
March 6, 1865.
My Dear Friend.
Your & my old friend, William H. Temple and his wife, wish to invoke your kind offices very much. It is to get their son, Parke. E. Temple, discharged from the army. He enlisted, over a year ago. He was only then 17 years of age, and enlisted without the consent, and in fact against the remonstrances of his parents. He is a private in 3rd Illinois Cavalry - Company D. The regt. is as I understand it with Thomas' army. The boy’s health is very poor - and he had not the strength, necessary for a soldier. His mother is in great distress, whenever she gets a letter from him, and he complains of his health. He is too young to draft - and his mother is afraid, for his morals on account of his youth. The truth is his age was such that he ought never to have been taken into the army
Now, My Dear Friend, if you can, in any way get his discharge, you will lay his father & mother under lasting obligations. They are among my oldest friends. & I should feel very happy, if you could oblige them. I would have been very glad to have seen you when you were West. My protracted sickness is drawing to a close, I trust. I hope to be able [to] recommence work again, in Chicago, on the 1st of April -
Will you give this matter, your earliest attention, & I have faith that you can bring it about.
PS - Mrs. Davis joins me in kindest regards to Mrs. Lamon & Miss Jennie if she is with you –
Mar 6, 1865
[in Lincoln's hand]
Let this man be dis-charged.
April 11, 1865.
Give the discharge as directed immediately
EDWIN M. STANTON