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[100] Secretary seems determined to make me deal with that question on my own responsibility. It is very natural, but hardly just to me.

I had issued an order respecting elections, in accordance with the President's instructions. A personal request was made to me for a modification of the order. The following letter was written in reply to that request:

Headqrs., Department of the Missouri, St. Louis, Oct. 24th, 1863.
Hon. C. Drake, St. Louis.
Sir: After full consideration of the subject of our conversation this morning, I am of the opinion that no further orders upon the subject of the election are necessary. The law which provides the manner in which soldiers shall vote, and directs how the judges of election shall be appointed, is as binding upon all persons to whom it relates as any order would be.

Genl. Order No. 120 also alludes to the subject of soldiers voting, I think, in sufficiently strong terms, although it is taken for granted in that order that officers will do their duty under the law in appointing judges of election and in giving their men an opportunity to vote. Moreover, any failure on their part to do their whole duty in this regard would be a clear violation of Genl. Order 101. I believe there is no ground for apprehension that officers will neglect their duty regarding the election. If anything is needed, it is that the troops be given full information through the daily papers, which they all read, of their duties and privileges under the laws.

From the short examination I have been able to give, I am of the opinion that the Act of the General Assembly changing the mode of voting does not apply to soldiers voting at the company polls; that the ordinance of the convention remains unrepealed.

This, however, is a question which I will not presume to decide or to refer to even in an order.

I return herewith the copy of Laws of Missouri which you were so kind as to lend me.

Very respectfully your obt. servt.,

J. M. Schofield, Major-Genl.

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