The Writings of Abraham Lincoln Vol. 1-7


iSpeech

About transferring General Schenck's commands, the purchase of
supplies, and the promotion and appointment of officers, mentioned in
your letter, I will consult with the Secretary of War to-morrow.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL J. C. FREMONT.

WASHINGTON, June 16, 1862

MAJOR-GENERAL FREMONT, Mount Jackson, Virginia:

Your despatch of yesterday, reminding me of a supposed understanding
that I would furnish you a corps of 35,000 men, and asking of me the
"fulfilment of this understanding," is received. I am ready to come
to a fair settlement of accounts with you on the fulfilment of
understandings.

Early in March last, when I assigned you to the command of the
Mountain Department, I did tell you I would give you all the force I
could, and that I hoped to make it reach 35,000. You at the same
time told me that within a reasonable time you would seize the
railroad at or east of Knoxville, Tenn., if you could. There was
then in the department a force supposed to be 25,000, the exact
number as well known to you as to me. After looking about two or
three days, you called and distinctly told me that if I would add the
Blenker division to the force already in the department, you would
undertake the job. The Blenker division contained 10,000, and at the
expense of great dissatisfaction to General McClellan I took it from
his army and gave it to you. My promise was literally fulfilled. I
have given you all I could, and I have given you very nearly, if not
quite, 35,000.

Now for yours. On the 23d of May, largely over two months afterward,
you were at Franklin, Va., not within 300 miles of Knoxville, nor
within 80 miles of any part of the railroad east of it, and not
moving forward, but telegraphing here that you could not move for
lack of everything. Now, do not misunderstand me. I do not say you
have not done all you could. I presume you met unexpected
difficulties; and I beg you to believe that as surely as you have
done your best, so have I. I have not the power now to fill up your
Corps to 35,000. I am not demanding of you to do the work of 35,000.
I am only asking of you to stand cautiously on the defensive, get
your force in order, and give such protection as you can to the
valley of the Shenandoah and to western Virginia.

Have you received the orders, and will you act upon them?

A. LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL C. SCHURZ.

WASHINGTON, June 16, 1862

BRIGADIER-GENERAL SCHURZ, Mount Jackson, Virginia:

Your long letter is received. The information you give is valuable.
You say it is fortunate that Fremont did not intercept Jackson; that
Jackson had the superior force, and would have overwhelmed him. If
this is so, how happened it that Fremont fairly fought and routed him
on the 8th? Or is the account that he did fight and rout him false
and fabricated? Both General Fremont and you speak of Jackson having
beaten Shields. By our accounts he did not beat Shields. He had no
engagement with Shields. He did meet and drive back with disaster
about 2000 of Shields's advance till they were met by an additional
brigade of Shields's, when Jackson himself turned and retreated.
Shields himself and more than half his force were not nearer than
twenty miles to any of it.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL H. W. HALLECK.

WASHINGTON, June 18, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL HALLECK, Corinth, Mississippi:

It would be of both interest and value to us here to know how the
expedition toward East Tennessee is progressing, if in your judgment
you can give us the information with safety.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL G. B. McCLELLAN.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D. C., June 18, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL McCLELLAN:

Yours of to-day, making it probable that Jackson has been reinforced
by about 10,000 from Richmond, is corroborated by a despatch from
General King at Fredericksburg, saying a Frenchman, just arrived from
Richmond by way of Gordonsville, met 10,000 to 15,000 passing through
the latter place to join Jackson.

If this is true, it is as good as a reinforcement to you of an equal
force. I could better dispose of things if I could know about what
day you can attack Richmond, and would be glad to be informed, if you
think you can inform me with safety.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL G. B. McCLELLAN.

WASHINGTON, JUNE 19, 1862

MAJOR-GENERAL McCLELLAN:

Yours of last night just received, and for which I thank you.

If large reinforcements are going from Richmond to Jackson, it proves
one of two things: either they are very strong at Richmond, or do not
mean to defend the place desperately.

On reflection, I do not see how reinforcements from Richmond to
Jackson could be in Gordonsville, as reported by the Frenchman and
your deserters. Have not all been sent to deceive?

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL G. B. McCLELLAN.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, June 20, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL McCLELLAN:

In regard to the contemplated execution of Captains Spriggs and
Triplett the government has no information whatever, but will inquire
and advise you.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL G. B. McCLELLAN.

WASHINGTON CITY, June 20, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL McCLELLAN:

We have this morning sent you a despatch of General Sigel
corroborative of the proposition that Jackson is being reinforced
from Richmond. This may be reality, and yet may only be contrivance
for deception, and to determine which is perplexing. If we knew it
was not true, we could send you some more force; but as the case
stands we do not think we safely can. Still, we will watch the signs
and do so if possible.

In regard to a contemplated execution of Captains Spriggs and
Triplett the government has no information whatever, but will inquire
and advise you.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL G. B. McCLELLAN.

WASHINGTON, June 21 1862 6 PM.

MAJOR-GENERAL GEORGE B. McCLELLAN:

Your despatch of yesterday (2 P. M.) was received this morning. If
it would not divert too much of your time and attention from the army
under your immediate command, I would be glad to have your views as
to the present state of military affairs throughout the whole
country, as you say you would be glad to give them. I would rather
it should be by letter than by telegraph, because of the better
chance of secrecy. As to the numbers and positions of the troops not
under your command in Virginia and elsewhere, even if I could do it
with accuracy, which I cannot, I would rather not transmit either by
telegraph or by letter, because of the chances of its reaching the
enemy. I would be very glad to talk with you, but you cannot leave
your camp, and I cannot well leave here.

A. LINCOLN, President

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL N. P. BANKS.

WAR DEPARTMENT, June 22, 1862

MAJOR-GENERAL BANKS, Middletown:

I am very glad you are looking well to the west for a movement of the
enemy in that direction. You know my anxiety on that point.

All was quiet at General McClellan's headquarters at two o'clock
to-day.

A. LINCOLN.

TREATY WITH MEXICO

MESSAGE TO THE SENATE.

WASHINGTON, June 23, 1862.

TO THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES:

On the 7th day of December, 1861, I submitted to the Senate the
project of a treaty between the United States and Mexico which had
been proposed to me by Mr. Corwin, our minister to Mexico, and
respectfully requested the advice of the Senate thereupon.

On the 25th day of February last a resolution was adopted by the
Senate to the effect

"that it is not advisable to negotiate a treaty that will require the
United States to assume any portion of the principal or interest of
the debt of Mexico, or that will require the concurrence of European
powers."

This resolution having been duly communicated to me, notice thereof
was immediately given by the Secretary of State to Mr. Corwin, and he
was informed that he was to consider his instructions upon the
subject referred to modified by this resolution and would govern his
course accordingly. That despatch failed to reach Mr. Corwin, by
reason of the disturbed condition of Mexico, until a very recent
date, Mr. Corwin being without instructions, or thus practically left
without instructions, to negotiate further with Mexico.

In view of the very important events Occurring there, he has thought
that the interests of the United States would be promoted by the
conclusion of two treaties which should provide for a loan to that
republic. He has therefore signed such treaties, and they having
been duly ratified by the Government of Mexico, he has transmitted
them to me for my consideration. The action of the Senate is of
course conclusive against an acceptance of the treaties On my part.
I have, nevertheless, thought it just to our excellent minister in
Mexico and respectful to the Government of that republic to lay the
treaties before the Senate, together with the correspondence which
has occurred in relation to them. In performing this duty I have
only to add that the importance of the subject thus submitted to the
Senate, can not be over estimated, and I shall cheerfully receive and
consider with the highest respect any further advice the Senate may
think proper to give upon the subject.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

VETO OF A CURRENCY BILL

MESSAGE TO THE SENATE, JUNE 23, 1862.

TO THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES:

The bill which has passed the House of Representatives and the
Senate, entitled "An act to repeal that part of an act of Congress
which prohibits the circulation of bank-notes of a less denomination
than five dollars in the District of Columbia," has received my
attentive consideration, and I now return it to the Senate, in which
it originated, with the following objections:

1. The bill proposes to repeal the existing legislation prohibiting
the circulation of bank-notes of a less denomination than five
dollars within the District of Columbia, without permitting the
issuing of such bills by banks not now legally authorized to issue
them. In my judgment, it will be found impracticable, in the
present condition of the currency, to make such a discrimination.
The banks have generally suspended specie payments, and a legal
sanction given to the circulation of the irredeemable notes of one
class of them will almost certainly be so extended, in practical
operation, as to include those of all classes, whether authorized or
unauthorized. If this view be correct, the currency of the District,
should this act become a law, will certainly and greatly deteriorate,
to the serious injury of honest trade and honest labor.

2. This bill seems to contemplate no end which cannot be otherwise
more certainly and beneficially attained. During the existing war it
is peculiarly the duty of the National Government to secure to the
people a sound circulating medium. This duty has been, under
existing circumstances, satisfactorily performed, in part at least,
by authorizing the issue of United States notes, receivable for all
government dues except customs, and made a legal tender for all
debts, public and private, except interest on public debt. The
object of the bill submitted to me--namely, that of providing a small
note currency during the present suspension--can be fully
accomplished by authorizing the issue, as part of any new emission of
United States notes made necessary by the circumstances of the
country, of notes of a similar character, but of less denomination
than five dollars. Such an issue would answer all the beneficial
purposes of the bill, would save a considerable amount to the
treasury in interest, would greatly facilitate payments to soldiers
and other creditors of small sums, and would furnish; to the people a
currency as safe as their own government.

Entertaining these objections to the bill, I feel myself constrained
to withhold from it my approval and return it for the further
consideration and action of Congress.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN

SPEECH AT JERSEY CITY, JUNE 24, 1862.

When birds and animals are looked at through a fog, they are seen to
disadvantage, and so it might be with you if I were to attempt to
tell you why I went to see General Scott. I can only say that my
visit to West Point did not have the importance which has been
attached to it; but it concerned matters that you understand quite as
well as if I were to tell you all about them. Now, I can only remark
that it had nothing whatever to do with making or unmaking any
general in the country. The Secretary of War, you know, holds a
pretty tight rein on the press, so that they shall not tell more than
they ought to; and I 'm afraid that if I blab too much, he might draw
a tight rein on me.

TO GENERAL G. B. McCLELLAN.

WASHINGTON, June 26, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL McCLELLAN:

Your three despatches of yesterday in relation to the affair, ending
with the statement that you completely succeeded in making your
point, are very gratifying.

The later one of 6.15 P.M., suggesting the probability of your being
overwhelmed by two hundred thousand, and talking of where the
responsibility will belong, pains me very much. I give you all I
can, and act on the presumption that you will do the best you can
with what you have, while you continue, ungenerously I think, to
assume that I could give you more if I would. I have omitted, and
shall omit, no opportunity to send you reinforcements whenever I
possibly can.

A. LINCOLN.

P. S. General Pope thinks if you fall back it would be much better
towards York River than towards the James. As Pope now has charge of
the capital, please confer with him through the telegraph.

ORDER CONSTITUTING THE ARMY OF VIRGINIA.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D. C.,
June 26, 1862.

Ordered:
1st. The forces under Major-Generals Fremont, Banks, and McDowell,
including the troops now under Brigadier-General Sturgis at
Washington, shall be consolidated and form one army, to be called the
Army of Virginia.

2d. The command of the Army of Virginia is specially assigned to
Major-General John Pope, as commanding general. The troops of the
Mountain Department, heretofore under command of General Fremont,
shall constitute the First Army Corps, under the command of General
Fremont; the troops of the Shenandoah Department, now under General
Banks, shall constitute the Second Army Corps, and be commanded by
him; the troops under the command of General McDowell, except those
within the fortifications and city of Washington, shall form the
Third Army Corps, and be under his command.

3d. The Army of Virginia shall operate in such manner as, while
protecting western Virginia and the national capital from danger or
insult, it shall in the speediest manner attack and overcome the
rebel forces under Jackson and Ewell, threaten the enemy in the
direction of Charlottesville, and render the most effective aid to
relieve General McClellan and capture Richmond.

4th. When the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Virginia shall be
in position to communicate and directly co-operate at or before
Richmond, the chief command, while so operating together, shall be
governed, as in like cases, by the Rules and Articles of War.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM FROM SECRETARY STANTON
TO GENERAL H. W. HALLECK.

WAR DEPARTMENT, June 28, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL HALLECK:

The enemy have concentrated in such force at Richmond as to render it
absolutely necessary, in the opinion of the President, for you
immediately to detach 25,000 of your force and forward it by the
nearest and quickest route by way of Baltimore and Washington to
Richmond. It is believed that the quickest route would be by way of
Columbus, Ky., and up the Ohio River. But in detaching your force
the President directs that it be done in such a way as to enable you
to hold your ground and not interfere with the movement against
Chattanooga and East Tennessee. This condition being observed, the
forces to be detached and the routes they are to be sent are left to
your own judgment.

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