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84th New York Infantry - Chaplain - NEW

Item MED-10538
John N. McLeod


84th New York Infantry
John N. McLeod
Backmark: New York, NY

Best Wishes for President Lincoln

On June 10, 1864, Rev. John Neil McLeod penned a letter to President Abraham Lincoln. In his role as clerk of North America’s Reformed Presbyterian ministers, it fell to McLeod to pass along top level church business. The letter’s timing, with Union forces stalled before Richmond and Atlanta and Lincoln’s reelection bid in doubt, may have influenced McLeod’s closing.

“Mr. President we wish you bodily health, mental tranquility, Divine support in the very responsible and arduous position to which you have been called, and the high pleasure of seeing our beloved country restored to peace on the basis of truth, righteousness and universal freedom, in due season. We only add, that we wish you personal salvation, that greatest of all blessings through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

McLeod, a 56-year-old first generation Scottish-American and the son of a minister, was also at something of a crossroads—militarily speaking. As chaplain of the 84th New York State Militia, he and his regiment had been activated for 30 days of federal service to counter Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Confederate invasion that culminated at Gettysburg, Pa. The 84th spent its time in the defenses of Baltimore.

A month after writing Lincoln, McLeod and the 84th were called up for a second and final time during the war—a 100-day stint to blunt rebel advances in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. The regiment spent its time in Washington, D.C., and Winchester, Va.

McLeod returned to his clerical duties and died at age 67 in 1874 as pastor of the Twelfth Street Reformed Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn. He is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery.

[Pictures of this soldier can be found in the source article.]
Source: Military Images, September 2, 2015