Letter from Abraham Lincoln to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton on October 1, 1861 written from the Executive Mansion in Washington, D.C.
Writing on behalf of the Postmaster General Montgomery Blair and himself, Lincoln requests the appointment of Benjamin F. Watson to the position of Pay Master in the Regular Army. As he explains, Watson originally received an appointment as Assistant Paymaster or Paymaster of Volunteers, but Watson preferred a post in the Army.
Lincoln’s efforts to accommodate Watson’s request were tied to Watson’s role as a Major of the Sixth Massachusetts Infantry, known as the Minutemen of ’61, a 90-day regiment organized in January 1861 in preparation for the impending Civil War. Once the regiment mustered out of service in July, Major Watson was left without employment, a fact that prompted the President to advocate on his behalf. Watson ultimately served as Paymaster of Volunteers in Boston, Albany, New York City, and Fortress Monroe in Norfolk, Virginia until his resignation in September 1864.