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245. Benjamin F. Irwin to William H. Herndon.

Pleasant Plain, Sept 22 1866

Wm H Herndon

I am told by one of Lincoln's Company Robt Plunkett that Lincoln was in no Battle in the war at the time of the Badax fight he was Stationed at Dixon Some 14 Miles Distant if you will examine Congressional globe 1st session 30th Congress 1848 you will see in a Congressional Speech Lincoln said he was in No Battle also you will see the same on page 46 of Barretts Life of Lincoln stated by him

In regard to Miss Rutledge this I learn to be true Lincoln Samuel Hill (Now Dead) and one McNamer was all paying their Respects to her at the same


time she did not seem to be very favorably Impressed with Lincoln at Least he so thought. Lincoln was then young poor and awkward the other two was up in the world she Married Neither of the Men in addition she was verry hansome so considered at the time Lincoln took his luck to heart as was thought to such a degree that he was thought to be partially crazy and did really seem strange at the time my Informants differ as to her death one who pretends to know says she died but Cogdal says she was livng in Iowa in 1860 as Lincoln told him and Lincoln did say in 1860 that he really did love the woman in 1834 and loved her still in 1860 and Could not help it as regards lincolns Company they was a whole souled hard set of men all fighting stock after the Pugalistic Stile. Lincoln often expressed a desire to get into an engagement to see how they would meet Powder & Lead but failed to do so Wm Miller who Belonged to another Company says that Lincolns Company was the hardest set of men he ever saw and no man but Lincoln Could do anything with them and that Lincoln was their Idol and there was not a Man but what was obedint to every word he spoke and would fight his death for Lincoln he was with them all the while in Jumping or foot Racing and Lincoln done the wrestling for the Company against every Bully Brought up he tells me that when any of his company got into a Muss or quarrel Lincoln could Stop it at a word he had such perfect control over them he was always Lively in a good humor and full of Anecdotes.

NB There is two of the Rutledges Still in or near Petersburg that is relation of the woman to Wit, Wm & McGrady Rutledge they can tell if she is living still or died as combs thinks in 1834 I do not know the men in Person but know they are there. McNamar I also learn still lives in Menard County But the facts are as I state as near as you will ever get it with the exception her Death

I will see you soon soon as the road dries up till I can get to Town

Ben F Irwin

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2676 — 77; Huntington Library: LN2408, 1:565 — 67



1. Barrett.

2. Irwin is apparently confused. See Cogdal's testimony, §§328 — 29.

3. Probably Jonas Combs, an early settler in the Rock Creek neighborhood, south of New Salem, who was still living there in 1865.