Letter to Lincoln
Wimmer Wednesday. In the German States, conscription is a regular thing every year, and no able-bodied young man is exempt from the draft unless he buys a substitute. However, with regard to students of law, medicine, and particularly of Divinity, exemptions are admitted in this way: These students are enrolled and drafted like other men of their age, but in order not [to] interrupt their studies, they are indeed kept on the list, but obtain furlough for an indefinite time. Thus the law is complied with and these young men are not [taken away] from their scientific employments. If there is no other loyal way to grant exemption for the members of the Benedictine order, I think this one would not be [objectionable].
But your kind sentiments and your experience in law and life will easily find means and ways in justice or in equity to put us out of trouble and conflict with our conscience. May God bless you for it.
—Boniface Wimmer, Letters of An American Abbot, letter to Abraham Lincoln, June 10, 1863.