Head Quarters Indian Post
Camp Lincoln Nov 29 1862
His Excell’y Alex. Ramsey
Govr of Minnesota
[…] The act of Congress of July 22nd 1861, see sec. 9 page 521, Army Regulations; says that the commanding officer shall appoint the Chaplain over the vote of the field and Company officers present. My first and only choice was a gentleman of a different denomination, and of different political prejudices from Mr. Olds. But the law gives me no discretion in the premises, and my duties are merely executive.
Notwithstanding this, I went beyond the line of my duty and (as I should have done with any minister not intimately known to me) addressed several close and searching interrogatories to Mr. Olds, which he has answered in existing as loyally and satisfactorily as any man in the state could have done. I have his most solemn observance over his signature, that he “is earnestly in favor of the perpetuity of the Union, and the suppression of the rebellion; – and that he will in this extremity, administer to the men of my command, the sacraments, and all the comforts of our holy religion, simply show their giving evidence of sincere repentance for sin, and expressing a hope of mercy through the Redeemer, without requiring any other conditions whatever. […]
Very Respfy Your obt Servt
Stephen Miller Col 7 Min
Citation: November 29, 1862, Letter from Col. Stephen Miller at Camp Lincoln to Governor Ramsey, Appointments: Military—Infantry—7th Regt. Minnesota: Governor: Ramsey. Records. Minnesota Historical Society. State Archives. Minnesota Historical Society. [111.E.20.3B]
Letter from Nellie to her brother Ignatius Donnelly
534 Vine St. Nov 29th 1862
My Dear Ig,
[…] It is scarcely necessary for me to say how entirely or how warmly I rejoice in your success. I had not a doubt of it for a moment. I rested as severely on my inward conviction that your nomination would be confirmed as if it had been made the matter of a special revelation. Do not say that the U.S. Senatorship is the limit of your ambition. It is not like you. The limit I would set for you would stretch at least to that cosy arm chair in the White House wherein ye harassed Abraham sitteth at present and dictates unto a nation!
I have it all laid out for you – Let us see if our notions clash. A U.S. Senatorship – then a foreign ministry – then a return to the old soil with your “blushing (diplomatic) honors thick upon you:”* and then – then a supreme Secretaryship (of something), with a Presidential campaign looming in the probable distance. Hear the Sybil** speak! I feel that you can scarcely go to Washington and open your month in the House without making a sensation and a mark, as well as a speech. […]
Affectionately as ever Your sister
Eleanor C. Donnelly.
*Eleanor quotes a line spoken by Cardinal Wolsey in Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, Act 3, scene 2:
“So farewell to the little good you bear me.
Farewell! a long farewell, to all my greatness!
This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hopes; to-morrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honours thick upon him;”
**Sybil: prophetess or oracle
Citation: November 29, 1862 Letter from Nellie Donnelly to Lieutenant Governor Ignatius Donnelly, Correspondence November 1862. Ignatius Donnelly and family papers, 1812-1973. Minnesota Historical Society. [146.C.19.5B]