I am very truly your friend,
TELEGRAM TO GENERAL BURNSIDE.
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D. C., July 3, 1863
MAJOR-GENERAL BURNSIDE, Cincinnati, Ohio:
Private Downey, of the Twentieth or Twenty-sixth Kentucky Infantry,
is said to have been sentenced to be shot for desertion to-day. If
so, respite the execution until I can see the record.
REASSURING SON IN COLLEGE
TELEGRAM TO ROBERT T, LINCOLN.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, July 3,1863.
ROBERT T. LINCOLN, Esq., Cambridge, Mass.:
Don’t he uneasy. Your mother very slightly hurt by her fall.
Please send at once.
ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEWS FROM GETTYSBURG.
July 4, 10.30 A.M.
The President announces to the country that news from the Army of the
Potomac, up to 10 P.M. of the 3d, is such as to cover that army with
the highest honor, to promise a great success to the cause of the
Union, and to claim the condolence of all for the many gallant
fallen; and that for this he especially desires that on this day He
whose will, not ours, should ever be done be everywhere remembered
and reverenced with profoundest gratitude.
TELEGRAM TO GENERAL FRENCH.
[Cipher] WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D. C., July 5, 1863.
MAJOR-GENERAL FRENCH, Fredericktown, Md.:
I see your despatch about destruction of pontoons. Cannot the enemy
ford the river?
CONTINUED FAILURE TO PURSUE ENEMY
TELEGRAM TO GENERAL H. W. HALLECK.
SOLDIERS’ HOME, WASHINGTON, JULY 6 1863.7 P.M.,
I left the telegraph office a good deal dissatisfied. You know I did
not like the phrase–in Orders, No. 68, I believe–“Drive the
invaders from our soil.” Since that, I see a despatch from General
French, saying the enemy is crossing his wounded over the river in
flats, without saying why he does not stop it, or even intimating a
thought that it ought to be stopped. Still later, another despatch
from General Pleasonton, by direction of General Meade, to General
French, stating that the main army is halted because it is believed
the rebels are concentrating “on the road towards Hagerstown, beyond
Fairfield,” and is not to move until it is ascertained that the
rebels intend to evacuate Cumberland Valley.
These things appear to me to be connected with a purpose to cover
Baltimore and Washington and to get the enemy across the river again
without a further collision, and they do not appear connected with a
purpose to prevent his crossing and to destroy him. I do fear the
former purpose is acted upon and the latter rejected.
If you are satisfied the latter purpose is entertained, and is
judiciously pursued, I am content. If you are not so satisfied,
please look to it.
RESPONSE TO A SERENADE,
JULY 7, 1863.
FELLOW-CITIZENS:–I am very glad indeed to see you to-night, and yet
I will not say I thank you for this call; but I do most sincerely
thank Almighty God for the occasion on which you have called. How
long ago is it Eighty-odd years since, on the Fourth of July, for the
first time in the history of the world, a nation, by its
representatives, assembled and declared as a self-evident truth that
all men are created equal.” That was the birthday of the United
States of America. Since then the Fourth of July has had several
very peculiar recognitions. The two men most distinguished in the
framing and support of the Declaration were Thomas Jefferson and John
Adams, the one having penned it, and the other sustained it the most
forcibly in debate–the only two of the fifty-five who signed it and
were elected Presidents of the United States. Precisely fifty years
after they put their hands to the paper, it pleased Almighty God to
take both from this stage of action. This was indeed an
extraordinary and remarkable event in our history. Another
President, five years after, was called from this stage of existence
on the same day and month of the year; and now on this last Fourth of
July just passed, when we have a gigantic rebellion, at the bottom of
which is an effort to overthrow the principle that all men were
created equal, we have the surrender of a most powerful position and
army on that very day. And not only so, but in the succession of
battles in Pennsylvania, near to us, through three days, so rapidly
fought that they might be called one great battle, on the first,
second, and third of the month of July; and on the fourth the cohorts
of those who opposed the Declaration that all men are created equal,
“turned tail” and run.
Gentlemen, this is a glorious theme, and the occasion for a speech,
but I am not prepared to make one worthy of the occasion. I would
like to speak in terms of praise due to the many brave officers and
soldiers who have fought in the cause of the Union and liberties of
their country from the beginning of the war. These are trying
occasions, not only in success, but for the want of success. I
dislike to mention the name of one single officer, lest I might do
wrong to those I might forget. Recent events bring up glorious
names, and particularly prominent ones; but these I will not mention.
Having said this much, I will now take the music.
SURRENDER OF VICKSBURG TO GENERAL GRANT
TELEGRAM FROM GENERAL HALLECK
TO GENERAL G. C. MEADE.
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 7, 1863.
MAJOR-GENERAL MEADE, Army of the Potomac:
I have received from the President the following note, which I
“We have certain information that Vicksburg surrendered to General
Grant on the Fourth of July. Now if General Meade can complete his
work, so gloriously prosecuted this far, by the literal or
substantial destruction of Lee’s army, the rebellion will be over.
H. W. HALLECK.
TELEGRAM FROM GENERAL HALLECK
TO GENERAL G. C. MEADE.
WASHINGTON, D. C., July 8, 1863.
MAJOR-GENERAL MEADE, Frederick, Md.:
There is reliable information that the enemy is crossing at
Williamsport. The opportunity to attack his divided forces should
not be lost. The President is urgent and anxious that your army
should move against him by forced marches.
H. W. HALLECK,
TELEGRAM TO GENERAL THOMAS.
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, July 8, 1863.12.30 P.M.
GENERAL LORENZO THOMAS, Harrisburg, Pa.:
Your despatch of this morning to the Secretary of War is before me.
The forces you speak of will be of no imaginable service if they
cannot go forward with a little more expedition. Lee is now passing
the Potomac faster than the forces you mention are passing Carlisle.
Forces now beyond Carlisle to be joined by regiments still at
Harrisburg, and the united force again to join Pierce somewhere, and
the whole to move down the Cumberland Valley, will in my
unprofessional opinion be quite as likely to capture the “man in the
moon” as any part of Lee’s army.
NEWS OF GRANT’S CAPTURE OF VICKSBURG
TELEGRAM TO E. D. SMITH.
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D.C., July 8, 1863.
E. DELAFIELD SMITH, New York:
Your kind despatch in behalf of self and friends is gratefully
received. Capture of Vicksburg confirmed by despatch from General
TELEGRAM TO F. F. LOWE.
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D.C., July 8, 1863.
HON. F. F. LOWE, San Francisco, Cal.:
There is no doubt that General Meade, now commanding the Army of the
Potomac, beat Lee at Gettysburg, Pa., at the end of a three days’
battle, and that the latter is now crossing the Potomac at
Williamsport over the swollen stream and with poor means of
crossing, and closely pressed by Meade. We also have despatches
rendering it entirely certain that Vicksburg surrendered to General
Grant on the glorious old 4th.
TELEGRAM TO L. SWETT AND P. F. LOWE.
[Cipher.] WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON CITY, D.C.,July 9, 1863.
HON. LEONARD SWETT, HON. F. F. LOWE, San Francisco, Cal.:
Consult together and do not have a riot, or great difficulty about
TELEGRAM TO J. K. DUBOIS.
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 11,1863. 9 A.M.
HON. J. K. DUBOIS, Springfield, Ill.:
It is certain that, after three days’ fighting at Gettysburg, Lee
withdrew and made for the Potomac, that he found the river so swollen
as to prevent his crossing; that he is still this side, near
Hagerstown and Williamsport, preparing to defend himself; and that
Meade is close upon him, and preparing to attack him, heavy
skirmishing having occurred nearly all day yesterday.
I am more than satisfied with what has happened north of the Potomac
so far, and am anxious and hopeful for what is to come.
A. LINCOLN.[Nothing came! Lee was allowed to escape again and the war went on
for another two years. D.W.]
TELEGRAM TO GENERAL SCHENCK.
[Cipher.] WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON CITY, July 11, 1863.
MAJOR-GENERAL SCHENCK, Baltimore, Md.:
How many rebel prisoners captured within Maryland and Pennsylvania
have reached Baltimore within this month of July?
TO GENERAL GRANT.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
July 13, 1863.
MY DEAR GENERAL:–I do not remember that you and I ever met
personally. I write this now as a grateful acknowledgment of the
almost inestimable service you have done the Country. I write to say
a word further. When you first reached the vicinity of Vicksburg, I
thought you should do what you finally did–march the troops across
the neck, run the batteries with the transports, and thus go below;
and I never had any faith except a general hope that you knew better
than I, that the Yazoo Pass expedition and the like could succeed.
When you dropped below, and took Port Gibson, Grand Gulf, and
vicinity, I thought you should go down the river and join General
Banks; and when you turned northward, east of the Big Black, I feared
it was a mistake. I now wish to make the personal acknowledgment
that you were right and I was wrong.
Yours very truly,
TELEGRAM TO GENERAL J. M. SCHOFIELD.
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, July 13, 1863.
GENERAL SCHOFIELD. St. Louis, Mo.:
I regret to learn of the arrest of the Democrat editor. I fear this
loses you the middle position I desired you to occupy. I have not
learned which of the two letters I wrote you it was that the Democrat
published, but I care very little for the publication of any letter I
have written. Please spare me the trouble this is likely to bring.
SON IN COLLEGE DOES NOT WRITE HIS PARENTS
TELEGRAM TO R. T. LINCOLN.
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON D.C., July 14, 1863.
ROBERT T. LINCOLN: New York, Fifth Avenue Hotel:
Why do I hear no more of you?
INTIMATION OF ARMISTICE PROPOSALS
FROM JAMES R. GILMORE
TO GOVERNOR VANCE OF NORTH CAROLINA,
WITH THE PRESIDENT’S INDORSEMENT.
PRESIDENT’S ROOM, WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON,
July [15?] 1864.
HIS EXCELLENCY ZEBULON B. VANCE.
MY DEAR SIR:–My former business partner, Mr. Frederic Kidder, of
Boston, has forwarded to me a letter he has recently received from
his brother, Edward Kidder, of Wilmington, in which (Edward Kidder)
says that he has had an interview with you in which you expressed an
anxiety for any peace compatible with honor; that you regard slavery
as already dead, and the establishment of the Confederacy as
hopeless; and that you should exert all your influence to bring about
any reunion that would admit the South on terms of perfect equality
with the North.
On receipt of this letter I lost no time in laying it before the
President of the United States) who expressed great gratification at
hearing such sentiments from you, one of the most influential and
honored of the Southern governors, and he desires me to say that he
fully shares your anxiety for the restoration of peace between the
States and for a reunion of all the States on the basis of the
abolition of slavery–the bone we are fighting over–and the full
reinstatement of every Confederate citizen in all the rights of
citizenship in our common country. These points conceded, the
President authorizes me to say that he will be glad to receive
overtures from any man, or body of men, who have authority to control
the armies of the Confederacy; and that he and the United States
Congress will be found very liberal on all collateral points that may
come up in the settlement.
His views on the collateral points that may naturally arise, the
President desires me to say he will communicate to you through me if
you should suggest the personal interview that Mr. Edward Kidder
recommends in his letter to his brother. In that case you will
please forward to me, through Mr. Kidder, your official permit, as
Governor of North Carolina, to enter and leave the State, and to
remain in it in safety during the pendency of these negotiations,
which, I suppose, should be conducted in entire secrecy until they
assume an official character. With high consideration, I am,
JAMES R. GILMORE.[Indorsement.] This letter has been written in my presence, has been read by me, and
has my entire approval.
PROCLAMATION FOR THANKSGIVING, JULY 15, 1863
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
It has pleased Almighty God to hearken to the supplications and
prayers of an afflicted people, and to vouchsafe to the army and navy
of the United States victories on land and on the sea so signal and
so effective as to furnish reasonable grounds for augmented
confidence that the Union of these States will be maintained, their
Constitution preserved, and their peace and prosperity permanently
restored. But these victories have been accorded not without
sacrifices of life, limb, health, and liberty, incurred by brave,
loyal, and patriotic citizens. Domestic affliction in every part of
the country follows in the train of these fearful bereavements. It
is meet and right to recognize and confess the presence of the
Almighty Father, and the power of His hand equally in these triumphs
and in these sorrows.
Now, therefore, be it known that I do set apart Thursday, the 6th day
of August next, to be observed as a day for national thanksgiving,
praise, and prayer, and I invite the people of the United States to
assemble on that occasion in their customary places of worship, and,
in the forms approved by their own consciences, render the homage due
to the Divine Majesty for the wonderful things He has done in the
nation’s behalf, and invoke the influence of His Holy Spirit to
subdue the anger which has produced and so long sustained a needless
and cruel rebellion, to change the hearts of the insurgents, to guide
the counsels of the Government with wisdom adequate to so great a
national emergency, and to visit with tender care and consolation
throughout the length and breadth of our land all those who, through
the vicissitudes of marches, voyages, battles, and sieges have been,
brought to suffer in mind, body, or estate, and finally to lead the
whole nation through the paths of repentance and submission to the
Divine Will back to the perfect enjoyment of union and fraternal
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 fifteenth day of July, in the
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of
the independence of the United States of America the eighty-eighth.
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