Excerpt from pages 1 and 2 of a letter from Robert Neil McLaren (or MacLaren) to Ignatius Donnelly requesting an appointment as Major in 3rd Minnesota Regiment. McLaren did not receive this appointment, but would later join the military and rise to the rank of Brevet Brigadier General.
“Confidential Red Wing Oct 23rd 1861
Sir: Feeling sure you will have very much to do with the selection of the field officers of the two Regiments now at the Ft. I am induced to address you by letter and place my case before you, that you may know my desires. I have applied for Maj of the 3rd. now should Col Miller be appointed and a Republican be named for Lieut Col my chance in the 3rd would be lessened, for a Democrat might be chosen, should things take that turn. Why my plan would be to try for the 4th, although I should wish to go into active service this fall, and I fear the 4th will be kept in the state till spring.
Seeing Gov Ramsey is not to return for a number of days, I did not know but you might appoint for the 3rd. Hoping your influence in my behalf, I am your friend, R N McLaren”
Citation: October 23, 1861 Letter from Robert Neil McLaren to Ignatius Donnelly, Correspondence Sept-Oct. 1861. Ignatius Donnelly and family papers, 1812-1973. Minnesota Historical Society.