The Writings of Abraham Lincoln Vol. 1-7


iSpeech

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL MARCY.

WASHINGTON, May 29, 1862. 10 A.M.

GENERAL R. B. MARCY, McClellan's Headquarters:

Yours just received. I think it cannot be certainly known whether
the force which fought General Porter is the same which recently
confronted McDowell. Another item of evidence bearing on it is that
General Branch commanded against Porter, while it was General
Anderson who was in front of McDowell. He and McDowell were in
correspondence about prisoners.
A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL G. B. McCLELLAN.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON CITY, D. C.,
May 29, 1862. 10.30 A.M.

MAJOR-GENERAL McCLELLAN:

I think we shall be able within three days to tell you certainly
whether any considerable force of the enemy--Jackson or any one else
--is moving on to Harper's Ferry or vicinity. Take this expected
development into your calculations.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL N. P. BANKS.

WASHINGTON, May 29, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL BANKS, Williamsport, Maryland:

General McDowell's advance should, and probably will, be at or near
Front Royal at twelve (noon) tomorrow. General Fremont will be at or
near Strasburg as soon. Please watch the enemy closely, and follow
and harass and detain him if he attempts to retire. I mean this for
General Saxton's force as well as that immediately with you.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL FREMONT

WASHINGTON, May 29, 1862. 12 M.

MAJOR-GENERAL FREMONT, Moorefield, Virginia:

General McDowell's advance, if not checked by the enemy, should, and
probably will, be at Front Royal by twelve (noon) to-morrow. His
force, when up, will be about 20,000. Please have your force at
Strasburg, or, if the route you are moving on does not lead to that
point, as near Strasburg as the enemy may be by the same time. Your
despatch No.30 received and satisfactory.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL I. McDOWELL.

WASHINGTON, May 29, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL McDOWELL, Manassas Junction:

General Fremont's force should, and probably will, be at or near
Strasburg by twelve (noon) tomorrow. Try to have your force, or the
advance of it, at Front Royal as soon.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL MARCY.

WASHINGTON, May 29, 1862. 1.20 P.M.

GENERAL R. B. MARCY:

Your despatch as to the South Anna and Ashland being seized by our
forces this morning is received. Understanding these points to be on
the Richmond and Fredericksburg railroad, I heartily congratulate the
country, and thank General McClellan and his army for their seizure.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL I. McDOWELL.

WASHINGTON, May 30, 1862. 10 A.M.

MAJOR-GENERAL McDOWELL, Manassas Junction:

I somewhat apprehend that Fremont's force, in its present condition,
may not be quite strong enough in case it comes in collision with the
enemy. For this additional reason I wish you to push forward your
column as rapidly as possible. Tell me what number your force
reaching Front Royal will amount to.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL N. P. BANKS.

WASHINGTON, May 30, 1862. 10.15 A.M.

MAJOR-GENERAL BANKS,
Williamsport, Maryland, via Harper's Ferry:

If the enemy in force is in or about Martinsburg, Charlestown, and
Winchester, Or any or all of them, he may come in collision with
Fremont, in which case I am anxious that your force, with you and at
Harper's Ferry, should so operate as to assist Fremont if possible;
the same if the enemy should engage McDowell. This was the meaning
of my despatch yesterday.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL I. McDOWELL.

WASHINGTON, May 30, 1862. 12.40.

MAJOR-GENERAL McDOWELL, Rectortown:

Your despatch of to-day received and is satisfactory. Fremont has
nominally 22,000, really about 17,000. Blenker's division is part
of it. I have a despatch from Fremont this morning, not telling me
where he is; but he says:
"Scouts and men from Winchester represent Jackson's force variously
at 30,000 to 60,000. With him Generals Ewell and Longstreet."

The high figures erroneous, of course. Do you know where Longstreet
is? Corinth is evacuated and occupied by us.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL FREMONT.

WASHINGT0N, May 30, 1862. 2.30 P.M.

MAJOR-GENERAL FREMONT, Moorefield, Virginia:

Yours, saying you will reach Strasburg or vicinity at 5 P.M.
Saturday, has been received and sent to General McDowell, and he
directed to act in view of it. You must be up to the time you
promised, if possible.

Corinth was evacuated last night, and is occupied by our troops to-
day; the enemy gone south to Okolotia, on the railroad to Mobile.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL I. McDOWELL.

WAR DEPARTMENT WASHINGTON CITY, May 30, 1862.9.30 P.M.

MAJOR-GENERAL McDOWELL, Rectortown, Va.:

I send you a despatch just received from Saxton at Harper's Ferry:
"The rebels are in line of battle in front of our lines. They have
nine pieces of artillery, and in position, and cavalry. I shelled
the woods in which they were, and they in return threw a large number
of shells into the lines and tents from which I moved last night to
take up a stronger position. I expect a great deal from the battery
on the mountain, having three 9 inch Dahlgren bearing directly on the
enemy's approaches. The enemy appeared this morning and then
retired, with the intention of drawing us on. I shall act on the
defensive, as my position is a strong one. In a skirmish which took
place this afternoon I lost one horse, The enemy lost two men killed
and seven wounded.
"R. SAXTON, Brigadier General."

It seems the game is before you. Have sent a copy to General
Fremont.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL G. B. McCLELLAN.

WASHINGTON, May 31, 1862. 10.20 PM.

MAJOR-GENERAL McCLELLAN:

A circle whose circumference shall pass through Harper's Ferry, Front
Royal, and Strasburg, and whose center shall be a little northeast of
Winchester, almost certainly has within it this morning the forces of
Jackson, Ewell, and Edward Johnson. Quite certainly they were within
it two days ago. Some part of their forces attacked Harper's Ferry
at dark last evening, and are still in sight this morning. Shields,
with McDowell's advance, retook Front Royal at 11 A.M. yesterday,
with a dozen of our own prisoners taken there a week ago, 150 of the
enemy, two locomotives, and eleven cars, some other property and
stores, and saved the bridge.

General Fremont, from the direction of Moorefield, promises to be at
or near Strasburg at 5 P.M. to-day. General Banks at Williamsport,
with his old force and his new force at Harper's Ferry, is directed
to co-operate. Shields at Front Royal reports a rumor of still an
additional force of the enemy, supposed to be Anderson's, having
entered the valley of Virginia. This last may or may not be true.
Corinth is certainly in the hands of General Halleck.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM FROM SECRETARY STANTON

TO GENERAL G. A. McCALL.,WASHINGTON, May 31, 1562.

GENERAL McCALL:

The President directs me to say to you that there can be nothing to
justify a panic at Fredericksburg. He expects you to maintain your
position there as becomes a soldier and a general.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL G. B. McCLELLAN.

WASHINGTON CITY, D.C., June 1, 1862. 9.30.

MAJOR-GENERAL McCLELLAN:

You are probably engaged with the enemy. I suppose he made the
attack. Stand well on your guard, hold all your ground, or yield any
only inch by inch and in good order. This morning we merge General
Wool's department into yours, giving you command of the whole, and
sending General Dix to Port Monroe and General Wool to Fort McHenry.
We also send General Sigel to report to you for duty.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL G. B. McCLELLAN.

WASHINGTON, June 3, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL McCLELLAN:

With these continuous rains I am very anxious about the Chickahominy
so close in your rear and crossing your line of communication.
Please look to it.

A. LINCOLN, President.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL I. McDOWELL.

WASHINGTON, June 3, 1862. 6.15 P.M.

MAJOR-GENERAL McDOWELL, Front Royal, Virginia:

Anxious to know whether Shields can head or flank Jackson. Please
tell about where Shields and Jackson, respectively, are at the time
this reaches you.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL H. W. HALLECK.

WASHINGTON, June 4, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL HALLECK, Corinth:

Your despatch of to-day to Secretary of War received. Thanks for the
good news it brings.

Have you anything from Memphis or other parts of the Mississippi
River? Please answer.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GOVERNOR JOHNSON.
[cipher.] WASHINGTON, June 4, 1862.

HON. ANDREW JOHNSON, Nashville, Tennessee:

Do you really wish to have control of the question of releasing rebel
prisoners so far as they may be Tennesseeans? If you do, please tell
us so. Your answer not to be made public.

A. LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL G. B. McCLELLAN.
[Cipher.] WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D.C., June 7, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL McCLELLAN:

Your despatch about Chattanooga and Dalton was duly received and sent
to General Halleck. I have just received the following answer from
him:

We have Fort Pillow, Randolph, and Memphis.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL H. W. HALLECK.

WASHINGTON, June 8, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL HALLECK, Corinth, Mississippi:

We are changing one of the departmental lines, so as to give you all
of Kentucky and Tennessee. In your movement upon Chattanooga I think
it probable that you include some combination of the force near
Cumberland Gap under General Morgan.

Do you?

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL N. P. BANKS.

WASHINGTON, June 9, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL BANKS, Winchester:

We are arranging a general plan for the valley of the Shenandoah, and
in accordance with this you will move your main force to the
Shenandoah at or opposite Front Royal as soon as possible.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL J. C. FREMONT.

WASHINGTON, June 9, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL FREMONT:

Halt at Harrisonburg, pursuing Jackson no farther. Get your force
well in hand and stand on the defensive, guarding against a movement
of the enemy either back toward Strasburg or toward Franklin, and
await further orders, which will soon be sent you.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GOVERNOR JOHNSON.
[Cipher.] WASHINGTON, June 9, 1862.

HON. ANDREW JOHNSON, Nashville, 'Tennessee:

Your despatch about seizing seventy rebels to exchange for a like
number of Union men was duly received. I certainly do not disapprove
the proposition.

A. LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL J. C. FREMONT.
WASHINGTON, June 12, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL FREMONT:

Accounts, which we do not credit, represent that Jackson is largely
reinforced and turning upon you. Get your forces well in hand and
keep us well and frequently advised; and if you find yourself really
pressed by a superior force of the enemy, fall back cautiously toward
or to Winchester, and we will have in due time Banks in position to
sustain you. Do not fall back upon Harrisonburg unless upon
tolerably clear necessity. We understand Jackson is on the other
side of the Shenandoah from you, and hence cannot in any event press
you into any necessity of a precipitate withdrawal.

A. LINCOLN.

P.S.--Yours, preferring Mount Jackson to Harrisonburg, is just
received. On this point use your discretion, remembering that our
object is to give such protection as you can to western Virginia.
Many thanks to yourself, officers, and men for the gallant battle of
last Sunday.
A. L.

MESSAGE TO CONGRESS.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,

June 13, 1862.

FELLOW-CITIZENS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES: I herewith transmit a memorial addressed and
presented to me in behalf of the State of New York in favor of
enlarging the locks of the Erie and Oswego Canal. While I have not
given nor have leisure to give the subject a careful examination, its
great importance is obvious and unquestionable. The large amount of
valuable statistical information which is collated and presented in
the memorial will greatly facilitate the mature consideration of the
subject, which I respectfully ask for it at your hands.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL J. C. FREMONT.

WASHINGTON; June 13. 1862

MAJOR-GENERAL FREMONT:

We cannot afford to keep your force and Banks's and McDowell's
engaged in keeping Jackson south of Strasburg and Front Royal. You
fought Jackson alone and worsted him. He can have no substantial
reinforcements so long as a battle is pending at Richmond. Surely
you and Banks in supporting distance are capable of keeping him from
returning to Winchester. But if Sigel be sent forward to you, and
McDowell (as he must) be put to other work, Jackson will break
through at Front Royal again. He is already on the right side of the
Shenandoah to do it, and on the wrong side of it to attack you. The
orders already sent you and Banks place you and him in the proper
positions for the work assigned you. Jackson cannot move his whole
force on either of you before the other can learn of it and go to his
assistance. He cannot divide his force, sending part against each of
you, because he will be too weak for either. Please do as I directed
in the order of the 8th and my despatch of yesterday, the 12th, and
neither you nor Banks will be overwhelmed by Jackson. By proper
scout lookouts, and beacons of smoke by day and fires by night you
can always have timely notice of the enemy's's approach. I know not
as to you, but by some this has been too much neglected.

A. LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL J. C. FREMONT

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON CITY, D. C., June 15, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL FREMONT:

MY DEAR SIR:--Your letter of the 12th by Colonel Zagonyi is just
received. In answer to the principal part of it, I repeat the
substance of an order of the 8th and one or two telegraphic
despatches sent you since.

We have no definite power of sending reinforcements; so that we are
compelled rather to consider the proper disposal of the forces we
have than of those we could wish to have. We may be able to send you
some dribs by degrees, but I do not believe we can do more. As you
alone beat Jackson last Sunday, I argue that you are stronger than he
is to-day, unless he has been reinforced; and that he cannot have
been materially reinforced, because such reinforcement could only
have come from Richmond, and he is much more likely to go to Richmond
than Richmond is to come to him. Neither is very likely. I think
Jackson's game--his assigned work--now is to magnify the accounts of
his numbers and reports of his movements, and thus by constant alarms
keep three or four times as many of our troops away from Richmond as
his own force amounts to. Thus he helps his friends at Richmond
three or four times as much as if he were there. Our game is not to
allow this. Accordingly, by the order of the 8th, I directed you to
halt at Harrisonburg, rest your force, and get it well in hand, the
objects being to guard against Jackson's returning by the same route
to the upper Potomac over which you have just driven him out, and at
the same time give some protection against a raid into West Virginia.

Already I have given you discretion to occupy Mount Jackson instead,
if, on full consideration, you think best. I do not believe Jackson
will attack you, but certainly he cannot attack you by surprise; and
if he comes upon you in superior force, you have but to notify us,
fall back cautiously, and Banks will join you in due time. But while
we know not whether Jackson will move at all, or by what route, we
cannot safely put you and Banks both on the Strasburg line, and leave
no force on the Front Royal line--the very line upon which he
prosecuted his late raid. The true policy is to place one of you on
one line and the other on the other in such positions that you can
unite once you actually find Jackson moving upon it. And this is
precisely what we are doing. This protects that part of our
frontier, so to speak, and liberates McDowell to go to the assistance
of McClellan. I have arranged this, and am very unwilling to have it
deranged. While you have only asked for Sigel, I have spoken only of
Banks, and this because Sigel's force is now the principal part of
Bank's force.

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