The Writings of Abraham Lincoln Vol. 1-7


iSpeech

Yours truly,
A. LINCOLN.
[Copy sent to Governor Gamble.]

TO CALEB RUSSELL AND SALLIE A. FENTON.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
January 5, 1863.

MY GOOD FRIENDS:
The Honorable Senator Harlan has just placed in my hands your letter
of the 27th of December, which I have read with pleasure and
gratitude.

It is most cheering and encouraging for me to know that in the
efforts which I have made and am making for the restoration of a
righteous peace to our country, I am upheld and sustained by the good
wishes and prayers of God's people. No one is more deeply than
myself aware that without His favor our highest wisdom is but as
foolishness and that our most strenuous efforts would avail nothing
in the shadow of His displeasure.

I am conscious of no desire for my country's welfare that is not in
consonance with His will, and of no plan upon which we may not ask
His blessing. It seems to me that if there be one subject upon which
all good men may unitedly agree, it is imploring the gracious favor
of the God of Nations upon the struggles our people are making for
the preservation of their precious birthright of civil and religious
liberty.

Very truly your friend;

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL ROSECRANS.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, January 5. 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL W. S. ROSECRANS, Murfreesborough, Tenn.:
Your despatch announcing retreat of enemy has just reached here. God
bless you and all with you! Please tender to all, and accept for
yourself, the nation's gratitude for your and their skill, endurance,
and dauntless courage.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL DIX.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D.C., January 7, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL DIX, Fort Monroe, Va.:

Do Richmond papers of 6th say nothing about Vicksburg, or if
anything, what?

A. LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL H. W. HALLECK.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON
January 7, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL HALLECK.

MY DEAR SIR:--What think you of forming a reserve cavalry corps of,
say, 6000 for the Army of the Potomac? Might not such a corps be
constituted from the cavalry of Sigel's and Slocum's corps, with
scraps we could pick up here and there?

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO B. G. BROWN.

WASHINGTON, D. C., January 7, 1863. 5.30 P.M.

HON. B. GRATZ BROWN, Jefferson City, Mo.:

Yours of to-day just received. The administration takes no part
between its friends in Missouri, of whom I, at least, consider you
one; and I have never before had an intimation that appointees there
were interfering, or were inclined to interfere.

A. LINCOLN.

CORRESPONDENCE WITH GENERAL A. E. BURNSIDE,
JANUARY 8, 1863.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC
January 5, 1863.

HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:
Since my return to the army I have become more than ever convinced
that the general officers of this command are almost unanimously
opposed to another crossing of the river; but I am still of the
opinion that the, crossing should be attempted, and I have
accordingly issued orders to the engineers and artillery to prepare
for it. There is much hazard in it, as there always is in the
majority of military movements, and I cannot begin the movement
without ,giving you notice of it, particularly as I know so little of
the effect that it may have upon other movements of distant armies.

The influence of your telegram the other day is still upon me, and
has impressed me with the idea that there are many parts of the
problem which influence you that are not known to me.

In order to relieve you from all embarrassment in my case, I inclose
with this my resignation of my commission as major-general of
volunteers, which you can have accepted if my movement is not in
accordance with the views of yourself and your military advisers.

I have taken the liberty to write to you personally upon this
subject, because it was necessary, as I learned from General Halleck,
for you to approve of my general plan, written at Warrenton, before I
could commence the movement; and I think it quite as necessary that
you should know of the important movement I am about to make,
particularly as it will have to be made in opposition to the views of
nearly all my general officers, and after the receipt of a despatch
from you informing me of the opinion of some of them who had visited
you.

In conversation with you on New Year's morning I was led to express
some opinions which I afterward felt it my duty to place on paper,
and to express them verbally to the gentleman of whom we were
speaking, which I did in your presence, after handing you the letter.
You were not disposed then, as I saw, to retain the letter, and I
took it back, but I now return it to you for record. if you wish it.

I beg leave to say that my resignation is not sent in in any spirit
of insubordination, but, as I before said, simply to relieve you from
any embarrassment in changing commanders where lack of confidence may
have rendered it necessary.

The bearer of this will bring me any answer, or I should be glad to
hear from you by telegraph in cipher.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, .

A. E. BURNSIDE,
Major-General, Commanding Army of the Potomac.

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, WASHINGTON,
January 7, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL BURNSIDE, Commanding, etc., Falmouth:

GENERAL:--Your communication of the 5th was delivered to me by your
aide-de-camp at 12 M. to-day.

In all my communications and interviews with you since you took
command of the Army of the Potomac I have advised a forward movement
across the Rappahannock. At our interview at Warrenton I urged that
you should cross by the fords above Fredericksburg rather than to
fall down to that place; and when I left you at Warrenton it was
understood that at least a considerable part of your army would cross
by the fords, and I so represented to the President. It was this
modification of the plan proposed by you that I telegraphed you had
received his approval. When the attempt at Fredericksburg was
abandoned, I advised you to renew the attempt at some other point,
either in whole or in part, to turn the enemy's works, or to threaten
their wings or communications; in other words, to keep the enemy
occupied till a favorable opportunity offered to strike a decisive
blow. I particularly advised you to use your cavalry and light
artillery upon his communications, and attempt to cut off his
supplies and engage him at an advantage.

In all our interviews I have urged that our first object was, not
Richmond, but the defeat or scattering of Lee's army, which
threatened Washington and the line of the upper Potomac. I now recur
to these things simply to remind you of the general views which I
have expressed, and which I still hold.

The circumstances of the case, however, have somewhat changed since
the early part of November. The chances of an extended line of
operations are now, on account of the advanced season, much less than
then. But the chances are still in our favor to meet and defeat the
enemy on the Rappahannock, if we can effect a crossing in a position
where we can meet the enemy on favorable or even equal terms.
I therefore still advise a movement against him. The character of
that movement, however, must depend upon circumstances which may
change any day and almost any hour. If the enemy should concentrate
his forces at the place you have selected for a crossing, make it a
feint and try another place. Again, the circumstances at the time
may be such as to render an attempt to cross the entire army not
advisable. In that case, theory suggests that, while the enemy
concentrates at that point, advantages can be gained by crossing
smaller forces at other points to cut off his lines, destroy his
communication, and capture his rear-guards, outposts, etc. The great
object is to occupy the enemy to prevent his making large detachments
or distant raids, and to injure him all you can with the least injury
to yourself. If this can be best accomplished by feints of a general
crossing and detached real crossings, take that course; if by an
actual general crossing, with feints on other points, adopt that
course. There seem to me to be many reasons why a crossing at some
point should be attempted. It will not do to keep your large army
inactive. As you yourself admit, it devolves on you to decide upon
the time, place, and character of the crossing which you may attempt.
I can only advise that an attempt be made, and as early as possible.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief.

[Indorsement.]

January 8, 1863.

GENERAL BURNSIDE:

I understand General Halleck has sent you a letter of which this is a
copy. I approve this letter. I deplore the want of concurrence with
you in opinion by your general officers, but I do not see the remedy.
Be cautious, and do not understand that the government or country is
driving you. I do not yet see how I could profit by changing the
command of the Army of the Potomac; and if I did, I should not wish
to do it by accepting the resignation of your commission.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GOVERNOR JOHNSON.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
January 8, 1863.

GOVERNOR JOHNSON, Nashville Tenn.:

A dispatch of yesterday from Nashville says the body of Captain Todd,
of the Sixth Kentucky, was brought in to-day.

Please tell me what was his Christian name, and whether he was in our
service or that of the enemy. I shall also be glad to have your
impression as to the effect the late operations about Murfreesborough
will have on the prospects of Tennessee.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL S. R. CURTIS.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
January 10, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL CURTIS, St. Louis, MO.:

I understand there is considerable trouble with the slaves in
Missouri. Please do your best to keep peace on the question for two
or three weeks, by which time we hope to do something here toward
settling the question in Missouri.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GOVERNOR JOHNSON.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
January 10, 1863

GOVERNOR JOHNSON, Nashville, Tenn.:

Yours received. I presume the remains of Captain Todd are in the
hands of his family and friends, and I wish to give no order on the
subject; but I do wish your opinion of the effects of the late
battles about Murfreesborough upon the prospects of Tennessee.

A. LINCOLN.

INSTRUCTION TO THE JUDGE-ADVOCATE-GENERAL.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON CITY,
January 12, 1863.

The Judge-Advocate-General is instructed to revise the proceedings of
the court-martial in the case of Major-General Fitz-John Porter, and
to report fully upon any legal questions that may have arisen in
them, and upon the bearing of the testimony in reference to the
charges and specifications exhibited against the accused, and upon
which he was tried.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

MESSAGE TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
JANUARY 14, I863.

TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The Secretary of State has submitted to me a resolution of the House
of Representatives of the 5th instant, which has been delivered to
him, and which is in the following words:

"Resolved, That the Secretary of State be requested to communicate to
this House, if not, in his judgment, incompatible with the public
interest, why our Minister in New Granada has not presented his
credentials to the actual government of that country; also the
reasons for which Senor Murillo is not recognized by the United
States as the diplomatic representative of the Mosquera government of
that country; also, what negotiations have been had, if any, with
General Herran as the representative of Ospina's government in New
Granada since it went into existence."

On the 12th day of December, 1846, a treaty of amity, peace, and
concord was concluded between the United States of America and the
Republic of New Granada, which is still in force. On the 7th day of
December, 1847, General Pedro Alcantara Herran, who had been duly
accredited, was received here as the envoy extraordinary and minister
plenipotentiary of that, republic. On the 30th day of August, 1849,
Senor Don Rafael Rivas was received by this government as charge
d'affaires of the same republic. On the 5th day of December, 1851, a
consular convention was concluded between that republic and the
United States, which treaty was signed on behalf of the Republic of
Granada by the same Senor Rivas. This treaty is still in force. On
the 27th of April, 1852, Senor Don Victoriano de Diego Paredes was
received as charge d'affaires of the Republic of New Granada. On the
20th of June, 1855, General Pedro Alcantara Herran was again received
as envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, duly accredited
by the Republic of New Granada, and he has ever since remained, under
the same credentials, as the representative of that republic near the
Government of the United States. On the 10th of September, 1857, a
claims convention was concluded between the United States and the
Republic of Granada. This convention is still in force, and has in
part been executed. In May, 1858, the constitution of the republic
was remodelled; and the nation assumed the political title of "The
Granadian Confederacy." This fact was formally announced to this
Government, but without any change in their representative here.
Previously to the 4th day of March, 1861, a revolutionary war against
the Republic of New Granada, which had thus been recognized and
treated with by the United States, broke out in New Granada, assuming
to set up a new government under the name of "United States of
Colombia." This war has had various vicissitudes, sometimes
favorable, sometimes adverse, to the revolutionary movements. The
revolutionary organization has hitherto been simply a military
provisionary power, and no definitive constitution of government has
yet been established in New Granada in place of that organized by the
constitution of 1858. The minister of the United States to the
Granadian Confederacy, who was appointed on the 29th day of May,
1861, was directed, in view of the occupation of the capital by the
revolutionary party and of the uncertainty of the civil war, not to
present his credentials to either the government of the Granadian
Confederacy or to the provisional military government, but to conduct
his affairs informally, as is customary in such cases, and to report
the progress of events and await the instructions of this Government.
The advices which have been received from him have not hitherto, been
sufficiently conclusive to determine me to recognize the
revolutionary government. General Herran being here, with full
authority from the Government of New Canada, which has been so long
recognized by the United States, I have not received any
representative from the revolutionary government, which has not yet
been recognized, because such a proceeding would be in itself an act
of recognition.

Official communications have been had on various incidental and
occasional questions with General Herran as the minister
plenipotentiary and envoy extraordinary of the Granadian Confederacy,
but in no other character. No definitive measure or proceeding has
resulted from these communications, and a communication of them at
present would not, in my judgment, be compatible with the public
interest.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TO SECRETARY OF WAR.

WASHINGTON, January 15, 1863.

SECRETARY OF WAR:

Please see Mr. Stafford, who wants to assist in raising colored
troops in Missouri.

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