The President replied: “As you may suppose, I have considered that;
and the proposition now submitted does not encounter any
constitutional difficulty. It proposes simply to co-operate with any
State by giving such State pecuniary aid”; and he thought that the
resolution, as proposed by him, would be considered rather as the
expression of a sentiment than as involving any constitutional
Mr. Hall, of Missouri, thought that if this proposition was adopted
at all it should be by the votes of the free States, and come as a
proposition from them to the slave States, affording them an
inducement to put aside this subject of discord; that it ought not to
be expected that members representing slaveholding constituencies
should declare at once, and in advance of any proposition to them,
for the emancipation of slavery.
The President said he saw and felt the force of the objection; it was
a fearful responsibility, and every gentleman must do as he thought
best; that he did not know how this scheme was received by the
members from the free States; some of them had spoken to him and
received it kindly; but for the most part they were as reserved and
chary as we had been, and he could not tell how they would vote. And
in reply to some expression of Mr. Hall as to his own opinion
regarding slavery, he said he did not pretend to disguise his anti-
slavery feeling; that he thought it was wrong, and should continue to
think so; but that was not the question we had to deal with now.
Slavery existed, and that, too, as well by the act of the North as of
the South; and in any scheme to get rid of it the North as well as
the South was morally bound to do its full and equal share. He
thought the institution wrong and ought never to have existed; but
yet he recognized the rights of property which had grown out of it,
and would respect those rights as fully as similar rights in any
other property; that property can exist and does legally exist. He
thought such a law wrong, but the rights of property resulting must
be respected; he would get rid of the odious law, not by violating
the rights, but by encouraging the proposition and offering
inducements to give it up.
Here the interview, so far as this subject is concerned, terminated
by Mr. Crittenden’s assuring the President that, whatever might be
our final action, we all thought him solely moved by a high
patriotism and sincere devotion to the happiness and glory of his
country; and with that conviction we should consider respectfully the
important suggestions he had made.
After some conversation on the current war news, we retired, and I
immediately proceeded to my room and wrote out this paper.
J. W. CRISFIELD.
We were present at the interview described in the foregoing paper of
Mr. Crisfield, and we certify that the substance of what passed on
the occasion is in this paper faithfully and fully given.
J. W. MENZIES,
J. J. CRITTENDEN,
March 10, 1862.
PRESIDENT’S SPECIAL WAR ORDER NO.3.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, March 11, 1862.
Major-General McClellan having personally taken the field at the head
of the Army of the Potomac, until otherwise ordered he is relieved
from the command of the other military departments, he retaining
command of the Department of the Potomac.
Ordered further, That the departments now under the respective
commands of Generals Halleck and Hunter, together with so much of
that under General Buell as lies west of a north and south line
indefinitely drawn through Knoxville, Tenn., be consolidated and
designated the Department of the Mississippi, and that until
otherwise ordered Major General Halleck have command of said
Ordered also, That the country west of the Department of the Potomac
and east of the Department of the Mississippi be a military
department, to be called the Mountain Department, and that the same
be commanded by Major-General Fremont.
That all the commanders of departments, after the receipt of this
order by them, respectively report severally and directly to the
Secretary of War, and that prompt, full, and frequent reports will be
expected of all and each of them.
FROM SECRETARY STANTON TO GENERAL MCCLELLAN.
WAR DEPARTMENT, March 13, 1862.
MAJOR-GENERAL GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN:
The President, having considered the plan of operations agreed upon
by yourself and the commanders of army corps, makes no objection to
the same but gives the following directions as to its execution:
1. Leave such force at Manassas Junction as shall make it entirely
certain that the enemy shall no repossess himself of that position
and line of communication.
2. Leave Washington entirely secure.
3. Move the remainder of the force down the Potomac, choosing a new
base at Fortress Monroe or anywhere between here and there, or, at
all events, move such remainder of the army at once in pursuit of the
enemy by some route.
EDWARD M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
SPEECH TO A PARTY OF MASSACHUSETTS GENTLEMAN
WASHINGTON, MARCH 13, 1862
I thank you, Mr. Train, for your kindness in presenting me with this
truly elegant and highly creditable specimen of the handiwork of the
mechanics of your State of Massachusetts, and I beg of you to express
my hearty thanks to the donors. It displays a perfection of
workmanship which I really wish I had time to acknowledge in more
fitting words, and I might then follow your idea that it is
suggestive, for it is evidently expected that a good deal of whipping
is to be done. But as we meet here socially let us not think only of
whipping rebels, or of those who seem to think only of whipping
negroes, but of those pleasant days, which it is to be hoped are in
store for us, when seated behind a good pair of horses we can crack
our whips and drive through a peaceful, happy, and prosperous land.
With this idea, gentlemen, I must leave you for my business duties.
[It was likely a Buggy-Whip D.W.]
MESSAGE TO CONGRESS.
WASHINGTON CITY, March 20, 1862.
TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The third section of the “Act further to promote the efficiency of
the Navy, ” approved December21, 1861, provides:
“That the President of the United States, by and with the advice and
consent of the Senate, shall have the authority to detail from the
retired list of the navy for the command of squadrons and single
ships such officers as he may believe the good of the service
requires to be thus placed in command; and such officers may, if upon
the recommendation of the President of the United States they shall
receive a vote of thanks cf Congress for their services and gallantry
in action against an enemy, be restored to the active list, and not
In conformity with this law, Captain Samuel F. Du Pont, of the navy,
was nominated to the Senate for continuance as the flag-officer in
command of the squadron which recently rendered such important
service to the Union in the expedition to the coasts of South
Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
Believing that no occasion could arise which would more fully
correspond with the intention of the law or be more pregnant with
happy influence as an example, I cordially recommend that Captain
Samuel F. Du Pont receive a vote of thanks of Congress for his
service and gallantry displayed in the capture since the 21st
December, 1861, of various ports on the coasts of Georgia and
Florida, particularly Brunswick, Cumberland Island and Sound, Amelia
Island, the towns of St. Mary’s, St. Augustine, and Jacksonville and
TO GENERAL G. B. McCLELLAN.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, MARCH 31, 1862
MY DEAR SIR:-This morning I felt constrained to order Blenker’s
division to Fremont, and I write this to assure you I did so with
great pain, understanding that you would wish it otherwise. If you
could know the full pressure of the case, I am confident that you
would justify it, even beyond a mere acknowledgment that the
commander-in-chief may order what he pleases.
Yours very truly,
GIFT OF SOME RABBITS
TO MICHAEL CROCK.
360 N. Fourth St., Philadelphia.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
April 2, 1862.
MY DEAR SIR:-Allow me to thank you in behalf of my little son for
your present of white rabbits. He is very much pleased with them.
INSTRUCTION TO SECRETARY STANTON.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, April 3, 1862.
The Secretary of War will order that one or the other of the corps of
General McDowell and General Sumner remain in front of Washington
until further orders from the department, to operate at or in the
direction of Manassas Junction, or otherwise, as occasion may
require; that the other Corps not so ordered to remain go forward to
General McClellan as speedily as possible; that General McClellan
commence his forward movements from his new base at once, and that
such incidental modifications as the foregoing may render proper be
TELEGRAM TO GENERAL McCLELLAN.
WASHINGTON, April 6, 1862.
GENERAL G. B. McCLELLAN:
Yours of 11 A. M. today received. Secretary of War informs me that
the forwarding of transportation, ammunition, and Woodbury’s brigade,
under your orders, is not, and will not be, interfered with. You now
have over one hundred thousand troops with you, independent of
General Wool’s command. I think you better break the enemy’s line
from Yorktown to Warwick River at once. This will probably use time
as advantageously as you can.
A. LINCOLN, President
TO GENERAL G. B. McCLELLAN.
WASHINGTON, April 9, 1862
MY DEAR SIR+–Your despatches, complaining that you are not properly
sustained, while they do not offend me, do pain me very much.
Blenker’s division was withdrawn from you before you left here, and
you knew the pressure under which I did it, and, as I thought,
acquiesced in it certainly not without reluctance.
After you left I ascertained that less than 20,000 unorganized men,
without a single field battery, were all you designed to be left for
the defense of Washington and Manassas Junction, and part of this
even to go to General Hooker’s old position; General Banks’s corps,
once designed for Manassas Junction, was divided and tied up on the
line of Winchester and Strasburg, and could not leave it without
again exposing the upper Potomac and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
This presented (or would present when McDowell and Sumner should be
gone) a great temptation to the enemy to turn back from the
Rappahannock and sack Washington. My explicit order that Washington
should, by the judgment of all the Commanders of corps, be left
entirely secure, had been neglected. It was precisely this that
drove me to detain McDowell.
I do not forget that I was satisfied with your arrangement to leave
Banks at Manassas Junction; but when that arrangement was broken up
and nothing substituted for it, of course I was not satisfied. I was
constrained to substitute something for it myself.
And now allow me to ask, do you really think I should permit the line
from Richmond via Manaasas Junction to this city to be entirely open,
except what resistance could be presented by less than 20,000
unorganized troops? This is a question which the country will not
allow me to evade.
There is a curious mystery about the number of the troops now with
you. When I telegraphed you on the 6th, saying you had over 100,000
with you, I had just obtained from the Secretary of War a statement,
taken as he said from your own returns, making 108,000 then with you
and en route to you. You now say you will have but 85,000 when all
enroute to you shall have reached you. How can this discrepancy of
23,000 be accounted for?
As to General Wool’s command, I understand it is doing for you
precisely what a like number of your own would have to do if that
command was away. I suppose the whole force which has gone forward
to you is with you by this time; and if so, I think it is the precise
time for you to strike a blow. By delay the enemy will relatively
gain upon you–that is, he will gain faster by fortifications and
reinforcements than you can by reinforcements alone.
And once more let me tell you it is indispensable to you that you
strike a blow. I am powerless to help this. You will do me the
justice to remember I always insisted that going down the bay in
search of a field, instead of fighting at or near Manassas, was only
shifting and not surmounting a difficulty; that we would find the
same enemy and the same or equal entrenchments at either place. The
country will not fail to note–is noting now–that the present
hesitation to move upon an entrenched enemy is but the story of
I beg to assure you that I have never written you or spoken to you in
greater kindness of feeling than now, nor with a fuller purpose to
sustain you, so far as in my most anxious judgment I consistently
can; but you must act.
Yours very truly,
TO GENERAL H. W. HALLECK.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
April 9, 1862.
MAJOR-GENERAL HALLECK, Saint Louis, Mo.:
If the rigor of the confinement of Magoffin (Governor of Kentucky) at
Alton is endangering his life, or materially impairing his health, I
wish it mitigated as far as it can be consistently with his safe
Please send above, by order of the President.
PROCLAMATION RECOMMENDING THANKSGIVING FOR VICTORIES,
APRIL 10, 1862.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
It has pleased Almighty God to vouchsafe signal victories to the land
and naval forces engaged in suppressing, an internal rebellion, and
at the same time to avert from our country the dangers of foreign
intervention and invasion.
It is therefore recommended to the people of the United States that
at their next weekly assemblages in their accustomed places of public
worship which shall occur after notice of this proclamation shall
have been received, they especially acknowledge and render thanks to
our Heavenly Father for these inestimable blessings, that they then
and there implore spiritual consolation in behalf of all who have
been brought into affliction by the casualties and calamities of
sedition and civil war, and that they reverently invoke the divine
guidance for our national counsels, to the end that they may speedily
result in the restoration of peace, harmony, and unity throughout our
borders and hasten the establishment of fraternal relations among all
the countries of the earth.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of
the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this tenth day of April, A.D. 1862,
and of the independence of the United States the eighty-sixth.
By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
ABOLISHING SLAVERY IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
MESSAGE TO CONGRESS.
April 16, 1862.
FELLOW-CITIZENS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The act entitled “An act for the relief of certain persons held to
service or labor in the District of Columbia” has this day been
approved and signed.
I have never doubted the constitutional authority of Congress to
abolish slavery in this District, and I have ever desired to see the
national capital freed from the institution in some satisfactory way.
Hence there has never been in my mind any question on the subject
except the one of expediency, arising in view of all the
circumstances. If there be matters within and about this act which
might have taken a course or shape more satisfactory to my judgment,
I do not attempt to specify them. I am gratified that the two
principles of compensation and colonization are both recognized and
practically applied in the act.
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