November 15, 1864 (3)

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Telegram Sent on: November 15, 1864_(3).
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Office U.S. Military Telegraph

War Department

Washington, D.C., Nov. 15, 1864

W. H. Purnell

Baltimore, Mar.

I shall be happy to re

ceive the committee(?) on Thursday morning (17th)

as you propose.

A. Lincoln

15 collect

recd. 2.30pm

sent 2.50pm

by K

Historical analysis

This analysis makes use of a heuristic for historical thinking know as SCIM-C developed by David Hicks, Peter Doolittle and Tom Ewing. For more about this historical thinking heuristic please see

Summary of the telegram

This is a telegram from President Lincoln to W. H. Purnell who was the postmaster of Baltimore during the time. This was a telegram by Lincoln who was acknowledging that he would see a committee on in two days.

The Context for this telegram

With Purnell being the postmaster of Baltimore and the election of 1864 taking place a week prior Lincoln could have wanted to see election results coming from this committee that he was receiving. In future telegrams the same day Lincoln sends out an inquest to governors in all the northern states to understand the election results within their particular state. This committee meeting could have been about this subject or it could have been about a military subject but with election results getting closer in telegrams around the election Lincoln became more concerned about votes than military strategy.

Inferences about the telegram

The way Lincoln handles this matter seems to imply that this is a business as usual move and he does not have any strong feelings about this committee he is about to meet. This is likely a meeting about the results or how to get the results of the 1864 election as future telegrams present but there is no way of telling without knowing what the committee is called and why they are being called.