The Writings of Abraham Lincoln Vol. 1-7


iSpeech

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

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

TELEGRAM TO L. SWETT.
[Cipher.] WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON CITY, July 15, 1863.

HON. L SWETT, San Francisco, Cal.:

Many persons are telegraphing me from California, begging me for the
peace of the State to suspend the military enforcement of the writ of
possession in the Almaden case, while you are the single one who
urges the contrary. You know I would like to oblige you, but it
seems to me my duty in this case is the other way.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SIMON CAMERON.
[Cipher.)
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON CITY, JULY 15, 1863.

HON. SIMON CAMERON, Harrisburg, Pa.:

Your despatch of yesterday received. Lee was already across the
river when you sent it. I would give much to be relieved of the
impression that Meade, Couch, Smith, and all since the battle at
Gettysburg, have striven only to get Lee over the river without
another fight. Please tell me, if you know, who was the one corps
commander who was for fighting in the council of war on Sunday night.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO J. O. BROADHEAD.

WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 15, 1863.

J. O. BROADHEAD, St. Louis, Mo.:

The effect on political position of McKee's arrest will not be
relieved any by its not having been made with that purpose.

A. LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL LANE.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
July 17 1863.

HON. S. H. LANE.

MY DEAR SIR:--Governor Carney has not asked to [have] General Blunt
removed, or interfered with, in his military operations. He has
asked that he, the Governor, be allowed to commission officers for
troops raised in Kansas, as other governors of loyal States do; and I
think he is right in this.

He has asked that General Blunt shall not take persons charged with
civil crimes out of the hands of the courts and turn them over to
mobs to be hung; and I think he is right in this also. He has asked
that General Ewing's department be extended to include all Kansas;
and I have not determined whether this is right or not.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GOVERNOR MORTON.

WASHINGTON, D. C., July 18, 1863.

GOVERNOR O. P. MORTON, Indianapolis:

What do you remember about the case of John O. Brown, convicted of
mutinous conduct and sentenced to death? What do you desire about
it?

A. LINCOLN.

TO GOVERNOR PARKER

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON

July 20, 1863.

HIS EXCELLENCY JOEL PARKER, Governor of New Jersey.

DEAR SIR:--Yours of the 15th has been received, and considered by the
Secretary of War and myself. I was pained to be informed this
morning by the Provost-Marshal-General that New Jersey is now behind
twelve thousand, irrespective of the draft. I did not have time to
ascertain by what rules this was made out; and I shall be very glad
if it shall, by any means, prove to be incorrect. He also tells me
that eight thousand will be about the quota of New Jersey on the
first draft; and the Secretary of War says the first draft in that
State would not be made for some time in any event. As every man
obtained otherwise lessens the draft so much, and this may supersede
it altogether, I hope you will push forward your volunteer regiments
as fast as possible.

It is a very delicate matter to postpone the draft in one State,
because of the argument it furnishes others to have postponement
also. If we could have a reason in one case which would be good if
presented in all cases, we could act upon it.

I will thank you, therefore, to inform me, if you can, by what day,
at the earliest, you can promise to have ready to be mustered into
the United States service the eight thousand men.

If you can make a reliable promise (I mean one which you can rely on
yourself) of this sort, it will be of great value, if the day is not
too remote.

I beg you to be assured I wish to avoid the difficulties you dread as
much as yourself.

Your obedient servant,

A. LINCOLN

TO GENERAL SCHOFIELD.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON D.C.
JULY 20, 1863

MAJOR GENERAL JOHN M. SCHOFIELD.

MY DEAR GENERAL:--I have received and read your letter of the 14th of
July.

I think the suggestion you make, of discontinuing proceedings against
Mr. McKee, a very proper one. While I admit that there is an
apparent impropriety in the publication of the letter mentioned,
without my consent or yours, it is still a case where no evil could
result, and which I am entirely willing to overlook.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL J. M. SCHOFIELD

WASHINGTON, D.C. JULY 22, 1863

MAJOR GENERAL SCHOFIELD, St. Louis, Mo.:

The following despatch has been placed in my hands. Please look to
the subject of it.

LEXINGTON, Mo., JULY 21, 1863
HON. S C. POMEROY:
Under Orders No.63 the sheriff is arresting slaves of rebels inside
our lines, and returning them in great numbers. Can he do it?
Answer. GOULD.

A. LINCOLN

TO POSTMASTER-GENERAL BLAIR

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
JULY 24, 1863.

HON. POSTMASTER-GENERAL

SIR:-Yesterday little indorsements of mine went to you in two cases
of postmasterships sought for widows whose husbands have fallen in
the battles of this war. These cases occurring on the same day
brought me to reflect more attentively than I had before done, as to
what is fairly due from us herein the dispensing of patronage toward
the men who, by fighting our battles, bear the chief burden of
serving our country. My conclusion is that, other claims and
qualifications being equal, they have the better right and this is
especially applicable to the disabled and the soldier, deceased
soldier's family.

Your obedient servant,

A. LINCOLN

TO SECRETARY OF THE NAVY.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
July 25, 1863.

HON. SECRETARY OF THE NAVY.

SIR:--Certain matters have come to my notice, and considered by me,
which induce me to believe that it will conduce to the public
interest for you to add to the general instructions given to our
naval commanders in relation to contraband trade propositions
substantially as follows, to wit:

First. You will avoid the reality, and as far as possible the
appearance, of using any neutral port to watch neutral vessels and
then to dart out and seize them on their departure.

NOTE.--Complaint is made that this has been practiced at the port of
St Thomas, which practice, if it exists, is disapproved and must
cease.

Second. You will not in any case detain the crew of a captured
neutral vessel or any other subject of a neutral power on board such
vessel, as prisoners of war or otherwise, except the small number
necessary as witnesses in the prize court.

NOTE.-The practice here forbidden is also charged to exist, which, if
true, is disapproved and must cease.

My dear sir, it is not intended to be insinuated that you have been
remiss in the performance of the arduous and responsible duties of
your department, which, I take pleasure in affirming, has in your
hands been conducted with admirable success. Yet, while your
subordinates are almost of necessity brought into angry collision
with the subjects of foreign states, the representatives of those
states and yourself do not come into immediate contact for the
purpose of keeping the peace, in spite of such collisions. At that
point there is an ultimate and heavy responsibility upon me.

What I propose is in strict accordance with international law, and is
therefore unobjectionable; whilst, if it does no other good, it will
contribute to sustain a considerable portion of the present British
ministry in their places, who, if displaced, are sure to be replaced
by others more unfavorable to us.

Your obedient servant,

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

LETTER TO GOVERNOR PARKER.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,

July 25, 1863.

HIS EXCELLENCY GOVERNOR JOEL PARKER.

SIR:--Yours of the 21st is received, and I have taken time and
considered and discussed the subject with the Secretary of War and
Provost-Marshal General, in order, if possible, to make you a more
favorable answer than I finally find myself able to do.

It is a vital point with us to not have a special stipulation with
the governor of any one State, because it would breed trouble in
many, if not all, other States; and my idea was when I wrote you, as
it still is, to get a point of time to which we could wait, on the
reason that we were not ready ourselves to proceed, and which might
enable you to raise the quota of your State, in whole, or in large
part, without the draft. The points of time you fix are much farther
off than I had hoped. We might have got along in the way I have
indicated for twenty, or possibly thirty, days. As it stands, the
best I can say is that every volunteer you will present us within
thirty days from this date, fit and ready to be mustered into the
United States service, on the usual terms, shall be pro tanto an
abatement of your quota of the draft. That quota I can now state at
eight thousand seven hundred and eighty-three (8783). No draft from
New Jersey, other than for the above quota, will be made before an
additional draft, common to [all] the States, shall be required; and
I may add that if we get well through with this draft, I entertain a
strong hope that any further one may never be needed. This
expression of hope, however, must not be construed into a promise.

As to conducting the draft by townships, I find it would require such
a waste of labor already done, and such an additional amount of it,
and such a loss of time, as to make it, I fear, inadmissible.

Your obedient servant,

A. LINCOLN.

P. S.--Since writing the above, getting additional information, I am
enabled to say that the draft may be made in subdistricts, as the
enrolment has been made, or is in process of making. This will
amount practically to drafting by townships, as the enrollment
subdistricts are generally about the extent of townships.
A.L.

To GENERAL G. G. MEADE.
(Private.)

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
July 27, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL MEADE:

I have not thrown General Hooker away; and therefore I would like to
know whether it would be agreeable to you, all things considered, for
him to take a corps under you, if he himself is willing to do so.
Write me in perfect freedom, with the assurance that I will not
subject you to any embarrassment by making your letter or its
contents known to any one. I wish to know your wishes before I
decide whether to break the subject to him. Do not lean a hair's
breadth against your own feelings, or your judgment of the public
service, on the idea of gratifying me.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL A. B. BURNSIDE.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, July 27, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL BURNSIDE, Cincinnati, O.:

Let me explain. In General Grant's first despatch after the fall of
Vicksburg, he said, among other things, he would send the Ninth Corps
to you. Thinking it would be pleasant to you, I asked the Secretary
of War to telegraph you the news. For some reasons never mentioned
to us by General Grant, they have not been sent, though we have seen
outside intimations that they took part in the expedition against
Jackson. General Grant is a copious worker and fighter, but a very
meager writer or telegrapher. No doubt he changed his purpose in
regard to the Ninth Corps for some sufficient reason, but has
forgotten to notify us of it.

A. LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL H. W. HALLECK.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
July 29, 1863

MAJOR-GENERAL HALLECK:

Seeing General Meade's despatch of yesterday to yourself causes me to
fear that he supposes the Government here is demanding of him to
bring on a general engagement with Lee as soon as possible. I am
claiming no such thing of him. In fact, my judgment is against it;
which judgment, of course, I will yield if yours and his are the
contrary. If he could not safely engage Lee at Williamsport, it
seems absurd to suppose he can safely engage him now, when he has
scarcely more than two thirds of the force he had at Williamsport,
while it must be that Lee has been reinforced. True, I desired
General Meade to pursue Lee across the Potomac, hoping, as has proved
true, that he would thereby clear the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad,
and get some advantages by harassing him on his retreat. These being
past, I am unwilling he should now get into a general engagement on
the impression that we here are pressing him, and I shall be glad for
you to so inform him, unless your own judgment is against it.

Yours truly,
A. LINCOLN.

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

TO SECRETARY STANTON.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
July 29, 1863

HON. SECRETARY OF WAR.

SIR:--Can we not renew the effort to organize a force to go to
western Texas?

Please consult with the general-in-chief on the subject.

If the Governor of New Jersey shall furnish any new regiments, might
not they be put into such an expedition? Please think of it.

I believe no local object is now more desirable.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

ORDER OF RETALIATION.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
July 30, 1863.

It is the duty of every government to give protection to its
citizens, of whatever class, color, or condition, and especially to
those who are duly organized as soldiers in the public service. The
law of nations and the usages and customs of war, as carried on by
civilized powers, permit no distinction as to color in the treatment
of prisoners of war as public enemies. To sell or enslave any
captured person, on account of his color and for no offense against
the laws of war, is a relapse into barbarism, and a crime against the
civilization of the age.

The Government of the United States will give the same protection to
all its soldiers; and if the enemy shall sell or enslave any one
because of his color, the offense shall be punished by retaliation
upon the enemy's prisoners in our possession.

It is therefore ordered that for every soldier of the United States
killed in violation of the laws of war, a rebel soldier shall be
executed; and for every one enslaved by the enemy or sold into
slavery, a rebel soldier shall be placed at hard labor on the public
works, and continued at such labor until the other shall be released
and receive the treatment due to a prisoner of war.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL S. A. HURLBUT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
July 31, 1863.

MY DEAR GENERAL HURLBUT:

Your letter by Mr. Dana was duly received. I now learn that your
resignation has reached the War Department. I also learn that an
active command has been assigned you by General Grant. The Secretary
of War and General Halleck are very partial to you, as you know I
also am. We all wish you to reconsider the question of resigning;
not that we would wish to retain you greatly against your wish and
interest, but that your decision may be at least a very well-
considered one.

I understand that Senator [William K.] Sebastian, of Arkansas, thinks
of offering to resume his place in the Senate. Of course the Senate,
and not I, would decide whether to admit or reject him. Still I
should feel great interest in the question. It may be so presented
as to be one of the very greatest national importance; and it may be
otherwise so presented as to be of no more than temporary personal
consequence to him.

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