The Writings of Abraham Lincoln Vol. 1-7


iSpeech

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,

December 22, 1862.

TO THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC:

I have just read your general's report of the battle of
Fredericksburg. Although you were not successful, the attempt was
not an error, nor the failure other than accident. The courage with
which you, in an open field, maintained the contest against an
intrenched foe, and the consummate skill and success with which you
crossed and recrossed the river in the face of the enemy, show that
you possess all the qualities of a great army, which will yet give
victory to the cause of the country and of popular government
.
Condoling with the mourners for the dead, and sympathizing with the
severely wounded, I congratulate you that the number of both is
comparatively so small.

I tender to you, officers and soldiers, the thanks of the nation.

A. LINCOLN.

LETTER OF CONDOLENCE

TO MISS FANNY McCULLOUGH.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON ,
December, 23, 1862.

DEAR FANNY:--It is with deep regret that I learn of the death of your
kind and brave father, and especially that it is affecting your young
heart beyond what is common in such cases. In this sad world of ours
sorrow comes to all, and to the young it comes with bittered agony
because it takes them unawares.

The older have learned ever to expect it. I am anxious to afford
some alleviation of your present distress, perfect relief is not
possible, except with time. You cannot now realize that you will
ever feel better. Is not this so? And yet it is a mistake. You are
sure to be happy again. To know this, which is certainly true, will
make you some less miserable now. I have had experience enough to
know what I say, and you need only to believe it to feel better at
once. The memory of your dear father, instead of an agony, will yet
be a sad, sweet feeling in your heart, of a purer and holier sort
than you have known before.

Please present my kind regards to your afflicted mother.

Your sincere friend,

A. LINCOLN.

TO SECRETARY OF WAR.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
December 26, 1862

HONORABLE SECRETARY OF WAR.

Sir:--Two Ohio regiments and one Illinois regiment which were
captured at Hartsville have been paroled and are now at Columbus,
Ohio. This brings the Ohio regiments substantially to their homes.
I am strongly impressed with the belief that the Illinois regiment
better be sent to Illinois, where it will be recruited and put in
good condition by the time they are exchanged so as to re-enter the
service. They did not misbehave, as I am satisfied, so that they
should receive no treatment nor have anything withheld from them by
way of punishment.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL CURTIS.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, December 27, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL CURTIS, Saint Louis, Mo.:

Let the order in regard to Dr. McPheeters and family be suspended
until you hear from me.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GOVERNOR GAMBLE.

WAR DEPARTMENT, December 27, 1862.

HIS EXCELLENCY GOVERNOR GAMBLE:

I do not wish to leave the country north of the Missouri to the care
of the enrolled militia except upon the concurrent judgment of
yourself and General Curtis. His I have not yet obtained. Confer
with him, and I shall be glad to act when you and he agree.

A. LINCOLN

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL A. E. BURNSIDE.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON CITY, D.C.,
December 30, 1862. 3.30 PM.

MAJOR-GENERAL BURNSIDE:

I have good reason for saying you must not make a general movement of
the army without letting me know.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL DIX.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
December 31, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL Dix, Fort Monroe, Va.:

I hear not a word about the Congressional election of which you and I
corresponded. Time clearly up.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO H. J. RAYMOND.
(Private.)
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, December 31, 1862.

HON. H. J. RAYMOND:

The proclamation cannot be telegraphed to you until during the day
to-morrow.

JNO. G. NICOLAY.

[Same to Horace Greeley]

1863

EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION,

JANUARY 1, 1863.

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

A Proclamation.

Whereas on the 22d day of September, A.D. 1862, a proclamation was
issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other
things, the following, to wit:

"That on the 1st day of January, A.D., 1863, all persons held as
slaves within any State or designated part of a State the people
whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be
then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the executive government
of the United States, including the military and naval authority
thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons and
will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in
any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

"That the executive will on the 1st day of January aforesaid, by
proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in
which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion
against the United States; and the fact that any State or the people
thereof shall on that day be in good faith represented in the
Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections
wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such States shall have
participated shall, in the absence of strong countervailing
testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State and the
people thereof are not then in rebellion against the United States."

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States,
by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief of the Army
and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion
against the authority and government of the United States, and as a
fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on
this 1st day of January, A. D. 1863, and in accordance with my
purpose so to do, publicly proclaimed for the full period of one
hundred days from the first day above mentioned, order and designate
as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof,
respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States the
following, to wit:

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana (except the parishes of St. Bernard,
Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James,
Ascension, Assumption, Terre Bonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St.
Martin, and Orleans, including the city of New Orleans), Mississippi,
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and
Virginia (except the forty-eight counties designated as West
Virginia, and also the counties of Berkeley, Accomac, Northampton,
Elizabeth City, York, Princess Anne, and Norfolk, including the
cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth), and which excepted parts are for
the present left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

And by virtue of the power and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order
and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated
States and parts of States are, and henceforward shall be, free; and
that the Executive Government of the United States, including the
military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain
the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain
from all violence, unless in necessary self-defense; and I recommend
to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for
reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known that such persons of suitable
condition will be received into the armed service of the United
States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and
to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice,
warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke the
considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty
God.

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 first day of January, A.D. 1863,
and of the independence of the United States of America the
eighty-seventh.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

TO GENERAL H. W. HALLECK.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON
January 1, 1863

MAJOR-GENERAL HALLECK.

DEAR SIR:--General Burnside wishes to cross the Rappahannock with his
army, but his grand division commanders all oppose the movement. If
in such a difficulty as this you do not help, you fail me precisely
in the point for which I sought your assistance You know what General
Burnside's plan is, and it is my wish that you go with him to the
ground, examine it as far as practicable, confer with the officers,
getting their judgment, and ascertaining their temper--in a word,
gather all the elements for forming a judgment of your own, and then
tell General Burnside that you do approve or that you do not approve
his plan. Your military skill is useless to me if you will not do
this.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN

[Indorsement]

January 1, 1863
Withdrawn, because considered harsh by General Halleck.
A. LINCOLN

MESSAGE TO CONGRESS

WASHINGTON, January 2, 1863

TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

I submit to Congress the expediency of extending to other departments
of the government the authority conferred on the President by the
eighth section of the act of the 8th of May, 1792, to appoint a
person to temporarily discharge the duties of Secretary of State,
Secretary of the Treasury, and Secretary of War, in case of the
death, absence from the seat of government, or sickness of either of
those officers.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL S. R. CURTIS.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON
JANUARY 2, 1863

MAJOR-GENERAL CURTIS.

MY DEAR SIR:--Yours of December 29 by the hand of Mr. Strong is just
received. The day I telegraphed you suspending the order in relation
to Dr. McPheeters, he, with Mr. Bates, the Attorney-General, appeared
before me and left with me a copy of the order mentioned. The doctor
also showed me the Copy of an oath which he said he had taken, which
is indeed very strong and specific. He also verbally assured me that
he had constantly prayed in church for the President and government,
as he had always done before the present war. In looking over the
recitals in your order, I do not see that this matter of the prayer,
as he states it, is negatived, nor that any violation of his oath is
charged nor, in fact, that anything specific is alleged against him.
The charges are all general: that he has a rebel wife and rebel
relations, that he sympathies with rebels, and that he exercises
rebel influence. Now, after talking with him, I tell you frankly I
believe he does sympathize with the rebels, but the question remains
whether such a man, of unquestioned good moral character, who has
taken such an oath as he has, and cannot even be charged with
violating it, and who can be charged with no other specific act or
omission, can, with safety to the government, be exiled upon the
suspicion of his secret sympathies. But I agree that this must be
left to you, who are on the spot; and if, after all, you think the
public good requires his removal, my suspension of the order is
withdrawn, only with this qualification, that the time during the
suspension is not to be counted against him. I have promised him
this. But I must add that the United States Government must not, as
by this order, undertake to run the churches. When an individual in
a church or out of it becomes dangerous to the public interest, he
must be checked; but let the churches, as such, take care of
themselves. It will not do for the United States to appoint
trustees, supervisors, or other agents for the churches.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

P. S.--The committee composed of Messrs. Yeatman and Filley (Mr.
Broadhead not attending) has presented your letter and the memorial
of sundry citizens. On the whole subject embraced exercise your best
judgment, with a sole view to the public interest, and I will not
interfere without hearing you.
A. LINCOLN., January 3, 1863.

TO SECRETARY WELLES.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
January 4, 1863.

HON. GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of the Navy.

DEAR SIR:--As many persons who come well recommended for loyalty and
service to the Union cause, and who are refugees from rebel
oppression in the State of Virginia, make application to me for
authority and permission to remove their families and property to
protection within the Union lines, by means of our armed gunboats on
the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay, you are hereby requested to
hear and consider all such applications, and to grant such assistance
to this class of persons as in your judgment their merits may render
proper, and as may in each case be consistent with the perfect and
complete efficiency of the naval service and with military
expediency.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL S. L CURTIS.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
January 5, 1863

MAJOR-GENERAL CURTIS.

MY DEAR SIR:--I am having a good deal of trouble with Missouri
matters, and I now sit down to write you particularly about it. One
class of friends believe in greater severity and another in greater
leniency in regard to arrests, banishments, and assessments. As
usual in such cases, each questions the other's motives. On the one
hand, it is insisted that Governor Gamble's unionism, at most, is not
better than a secondary spring of action; that hunkerism and a wish
for political influence stand before Unionism with him. On the other
hand, it is urged that arrests, banishments, and assessments are made
more for private malice, revenge, and pecuniary interest than for the
public good. This morning I was told, by a gentleman who I have no
doubt believes what he says, that in one case of assessments for
$10,000 the different persons who paid compared receipts, and found
they had paid $30,000. If this be true, the inference is that the
collecting agents pocketed the odd $20,000. And true or not in the
instance, nothing but the sternest necessity can justify the making
and maintaining of a system so liable to such abuses. Doubtless the
necessity for the making of the system in Missouri did exist, and
whether it continues for the maintenance of it is now a practical and
very important question. Some days ago Governor Gamble telegraphed
me, asking that the assessments outside of St. Louis County might be
suspended, as they already have been within it, and this morning all
the members of Congress here from Missouri but one laid a paper
before me asking the same thing. Now, my belief is that Governor
Gamble is an honest and true man, not less so than yourself; that you
and he could confer together on this and other Missouri questions
with great advantage to the public; that each knows something which
the other does not; and that acting together you could about double
your stock of pertinent information. May I not hope that you and he
will attempt this? I could at once safely do (or you could safely do
without me) whatever you and he agree upon. There is absolutely no
reason why you should not agree.

Yours as ever,

A. LINCOLN.

P. S.--I forgot to say that Hon. James S. Rollins, member of Congress
from one of the Missouri districts, wishes that, upon his personal
responsibility, Rev. John M. Robinson, of Columbia, Missouri; James
L. Matthews, of Boone County, Missouri; and James L. Stephens, also
of Boone County, Missouri, may be allowed to return to their
respective homes. Major Rollins leaves with me very strong papers
from the neighbors of these men, whom he says he knows to be true
men. He also says he has many constituents who he thinks are rightly
exiled, but that he thinks these three should be allowed to return.
Please look into the case, and oblige Major Rollins if you
consistently can.

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