Margaret A. Rucker to Abraham Lincoln
August 25, 1864

In this letter to President Abraham Lincoln, Margaret A. Rucker describes her husband William P. Rucker's service as "secret agent and guide" for the Union army.

Marietta Ohio
August 25th 1864

His Excellency, President Lincoln
Washington City

Dear Sir,

I hope you will pardon me for troubling you with my husband’s personal affairs, but he is off on military duty and we find it impossible to obtain justice from the Secty of War without your interference.

Dr. Rucker entered the federal service as “secret agent and guide” and under Genl Fremont on the 11th day of May 1862 at 200$ per month. On the 25th of July he was captured, and on the 7th of Nov. 1863 [illegible] at Gauley having made his escape from a rebel dungeon. Genl Fremont at once sent him a certified account for his services, which my husband receipted and forwarded to the Secty of War for payment. But it was paid only in part. The Secty of War saying that as Dr. Rucker had been claimed by the Government as Asst Surgeon, he was only entitled to the pay of such. But the fact is Dr. Rucker was never employed or commissioned as Surgeon, but was employed and acted as “Secret agt and Guide”, and simple justice, in my humble opinion, requires that he should be paid the balance (nearly 1600$) that is due him as such.

While he acted in this capacity he conducted a force on the Central Railroad, which our army had tried in vain to reach without him. And since commissioned Maj. And assigned to duty on Genl. Crook’s staff he has conducted our army to New River Bridge which we had been trying to destroy since the commencement of the war.

But while he did this service, he only did his duty, and I respectfully request your Excellency to intercede and see that he has justice done him as to the money due him upon open and fair contract.

Hoping to hear from you very soon upon this subject, I have the honor to subscribe myself

Truly and respectfully
Mrs. Dr. Wm. P. Rucker


Margaret Ann Rucker to Abraham Lincoln, August 25, 1864, RG 107, Entry 29, National Archives and Records Administration