Carmi White County Illinois July 1st 1861
Hon Jesse K. Dubois
I address you as an old personal, as well as in former years, a political friend of my father's (James McDowell Mount Carmel Ills) asking you if in your power to procure for me a position in the Cavalry Regiment just being formed in this state for service during the present war. I enlisted in the Cavalry Company, from this county with the expectation and promise of being 2nd [Beret?] Lieutenant, but there being so such officer, I was going as a private, but to this my friends were so much opposed that I reluctantly abandoned it, only the day before it recieved marching orders. However if I can go in some official capacity, they will have no objection to my going, and I will achieve the object I most ardently desire, that of taking part and parcel in this fight.
As regards my moral character qualifications &c I refer to the enclosed letter of Mr Whiting (a warm personal and political friend of yours) with whom I have been reading Law for about a year and a half. If time permitted I could also procure
testimonials of a similar character from citizens of Wabash County who have known me from infancy up, and with whom you are personally aquainted.
If I can suceed in getting the aid of your attention and influence (without trespassing too much on your time) in procuring for me a commission as a Lieutenant in one of the companies, or a position of any kind in the Regiment or in any of the infantry Regiments, I care not what it is, so I can get to go to the war, I will ever remain gratefully and truly
Charles E. McDowell