The Writings of Abraham Lincoln Vol. 1-7


iSpeech

A. LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL SCHOFIELD.

Private and confidential

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, October 28, 1863.

GENERAL JOHN M. SCHOFIELD:

There have recently reached the War Department, and thence been laid
before me, from Missouri, three communications, all similar in import
and identical in object. One of them, addressed to nobody, and
without place or date, but having the signature of (apparently) the
writer, is a letter of eight closely written foolscap pages. The
other two are written by a different person, at St. Joseph, Mo., and
of the dates, respectively, October 12 and 13, 1863, and each
inclosing a large number of affidavits. The general statements of
the whole are that the Federal and State authorities are arming the
disloyal and disarming the loyal, and that the latter will all be
killed or driven out of the State unless there shall be a change. In
particular, no loyal man who has been disarmed is named, but the
affidavits show by name forty-two persons as disloyal who have been
armed. They are as follows: [The names are omitted.]

A majority of these are shown to have been in the rebel service. I
believe it could be shown that the government here has deliberately
armed more than ten times as many captured at Gettysburg, to say
nothing of similar operations in East Tennessee. These papers
contain altogether thirty--one manuscript pages, and one newspaper in
extenso, and yet I do not find it anywhere charged in them that any
loyal man has been harmed by reason of being disarmed, or that any
disloyal one has harmed anybody by reason of being armed by the
Federal or State Government. Of course, I have not had time to
carefully examine all; but I have had most of them examined and
briefed by others, and the result is as stated. The remarkable fact
that the actual evil is yet only anticipated--inferred--induces me to
suppose I understand the case; but I do not state my impression,
because I might be mistaken, and because your duty and mine is plain
in any event. The locality of nearly all this seems to be St.
Joseph and Buchanan County. I wish you to give special attention to
this region, particularly on election day. Prevent violence from
whatever quarter, and see that the soldiers themselves do no wrong.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GOVERNOR JOHNSON.
[Cipher.] EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D. C., October 28, 1863.

HON. ANDREW JOHNSON, Nashville, Tenn.:
If not too inconvenient, please come at once and have a personal
conversation with me.

A. LINCOLN.

TO VICE-PRESIDENT HAMLIN.

AN ACT TO REGULATE THE DUTIES OF THE CLERK OF THE HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES IN PREPARING FOR THE ORGANIZATION OF THE HOUSE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, that, before the
first meeting of the next Congress, and of every subsequent Congress,
the clerk of the next preceding House of Representatives shall make a
roll of the Representatives elect, and place thereon the names of all
persons, and of such persons only, whose credentials show that they
were regularly elected in accordance with the laws of their States
respectively, or the laws of the United States.

Approved March 3, 1863.

TO J. W. GRIMES.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 29, 1863.

HON. JAMES W. GRIMES.

MY DEAR SIR :--The above act of Congress was passed, as I suppose,
for the purpose of shutting out improper applicants for seats in the
House of Representatives; and I fear there is some danger that it
will be used to shut out proper ones. Iowa, having an entire Union
delegation, will be one of the States the attempt will be made, if
upon any. The Governor doubtless has made out the certificates, and
they are already in the hands of the members. I suggest that they
come on with them; but that, for greater caution, you, and perhaps
Mr. Harlan with you, consult with the Governor, and have an
additional set made out according to the form on the other half of
this sheet; and still another set, if you can, by studying the law,
think of a form that in your judgment, promises additional security,
and quietly bring the whole on with you, to be used in case of
necessity. Let what you do be kept still.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO P. F. LOWE.
[Cipher.] EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D. C., October 30, 1863.

HON. F. F. LOWE, San Francisco, Cal.:

Below is an act of Congress, passed last session, intended to exclude
applicants not entitled to seats, but which, there is reason to fear,
will be used to exclude some who are entitled. Please get with the
Governor and one or two other discreet friends, study the act
carefully, and make certificates m two or three forms, according to
your best judgement, and have them sent to me, so as to multiply the
chances of the delegation getting their seats. Let it be done
without publicity. Below is a form which may answer for one. If you
could procure the same to be done for the Oregon member it might be
well.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL MEADE.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D. C., October 30, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL MEADE, Army of Potomac:

Much obliged for the information about deserters contained in your
dispatch of yesterday, while I have to beg your pardon for troubling
you in regard to some of them, when, as it appears by yours, I had
the means of answering my own questions.

A. LINCOLN.

MEMORANDUM.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, October 31, 1863.

The Provost-Marshal-General has issued no proclamation at all. He
has in no form announced anything recently in regard to troops in New
York, except in his letter to Governor Seymour of October 21, which
has been published in the newspapers of that State. It has not been
announced or decided in any form by the Provost-Marshal-General, or
any one else in authority of the Government, that every citizen who
has paid his three hundred dollars commutation is liable to be
immediately drafted again, or that towns that have just raised the
money to pay their quotas will have again to be subject to similar
taxation or suffer the operations of the new conscription, nor it is
probable that the like of them ever will be announced or decided.

TELEGRAM TO W. H. SEWARD.
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D. C., November 1, 1863.

HON. W. H. SEWARD, Auburn, N.Y.:

No important news. Details of Hooker's night fight do great credit
to his command, and particularly to the Eleventh Corps and Geary's
part of the Twelfth. No discredit on any.

A. LINCOLN.

TO POSTMASTER-GENERAL BLAIR.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, November 2, 1863.

HON. MONTGOMERY BLAIR.

MY DEAR SIR:--Some days ago I understood you to say that your
brother, General Frank Blair, desires to be guided by my wishes as to
whether he will occupy his seat in Congress or remain in the field.
My wish, then, is compounded of what I believe will be best for the
country; and it is that he will come here, put his military
commission in my hands, take his seat, go into caucus with our
friends, abide the nominations, help elect the nominees, and thus aid
to organize a House of Representatives which will really support the
Government in the war. If the result shall be the election of
himself as Speaker, let him serve in that position. If not, let him
retake his commission and return to the army for the benefit of the
country.

This will heal a dangerous schism for him. It will relieve him from
a dangerous position or a misunderstanding, as I think he is in
danger of being permanently separated from those with whom only he
can ever have a real sympathy--the sincere opponents of slavery.

It will be a mistake if he shall allow the provocations offered him
by insincere time-servers to drive him from the house of his own
building. He is young yet. He has abundant talents--quite enough to
occupy all his time without devoting any to temper.

He is rising in military skill and usefulness. His recent
appointment to the command of a corps, by one so competent to judge
as General Sherman, proves this. In that line he can serve both the
country and himself more profitably than he could as a member of
Congress upon the floor.

The foregoing is what I would say if Frank Blair was my brother
instead of yours.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TO GOVERNOR BRADFORD.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, November 2, 1863.

His EXCELLENCY A. W. BRADFORD, Governor of Maryland.

SIR:--Yours of the 31st ult. was received yesterday about noon, and
since then I have been giving most earnest attention to the subject-
matter of it. At my call General Schenck has attended, and he
assures me it is almost certain that violence will be used at some of
the voting places on election day unless prevented by his provost-
guards. He says that at some of those places Union voters will not
attend at all, or run a ticket, unless they have some assurance of
protection. This makes the Missouri case, of my action in regard to
which you express your approval.

The remaining point of your letter is a protest against any person
offering to vote being put to any test not found in the laws of
Maryland. This brings us to a difference between Missouri and
Maryland. With the same reason in both States, Missouri has, by law,
provided a test for the voter with reference to the present
rebellion, while Maryland has not. For example, General Trimble,
captured fighting us at Gettysburg, is, without recanting his
treason, a legal voter by the laws of Maryland. Even General
Schenck's order admits him to vote, if he recants upon oath. I think
that is cheap enough. My order in Missouri, which you approve, and
General Scherick's order here, reach precisely the same end. Bach
assures the right of voting to all loyal men, and whether a man is
loyal, each allows that man to fix by his own oath. Your suggestion
that nearly all the candidates are loyal, I do not think quite meets
the case. In this struggle for the nation's life, I cannot so
confidently rely on those whose elections may have depended upon
disloyal votes. Such men, when elected, may prove true; but such
votes are given them in the expectation that they will prove false.

Nor do I think that to keep the peace at the polls, and to prevent
the persistently disloyal from voting, constitutes just cause of
offense to Maryland. I think she has her own example for it. If I
mistake not, it is precisely what General Dix did when your
Excellency was elected Governor.

I revoke the first of the three propositions in General Schenek's
General Order No. 53; not that it is wrong in principle, but because
the military, being of necessity exclusive judges as to who shall be
arrested, the provision is too liable to abuse. For the revoked part
I substitute the following:

That, all provost-marshals and other military officers do prevent all
disturbance and violence at or about the polls, whether offered by
such persons as above described, or by any other person or persons
whomsoever.

The other two propositions of the order I allow to stand. General
Schenek is fully determined, and has my strict orders besides, that
all loyal men may vote, and vote for whom they please.

Your obedient servant,

A. LINCOLN.

TO J. H. HACKETT
[Private.] EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
November 2, 1863.

JAMES H. HACKETT.

MY DEAR SIR:--Yours of October 22d is received, as also was, in due
course, that of October 3d. I look forward with pleasure to the
fulfillment of the promise made in the former to visit Washington the
following winter and to "call."

Give yourself no uneasiness on the subject mentioned in that
of the 22d. My note to you I certainly did not expect to see in
print, yet I have not been much shocked by the newspaper comments
upon it.

Those comments constitute a fair specimen of what has occurred
to me through life. I have endured a great deal of ridicule, without
much malice; and have received a great deal of kindness not quite
free from ridicule. I am used to it.

TELEGRAM TO W. H. SEWARD.
WAR DEPARTMENT,
WASHINGTON CITY, November 3, 1863.

HON. W. H. SEWARD, Auburn, N. Y.:

Nothing new. Dispatches up to 12 last night from Chattanooga show
all quiet and doing well. How is your son?

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL MEADE
EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, November 3, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL MEADE, Army of Potomac:

Samuel Wellers, private in Company B, Forty-ninth Pennsylvania
Volunteers, writes that he is to be shot for desertion on the 6th
instant. His own story is rather a bad one, and yet he tells it so
frankly, that I am somewhat interested in him. Has he been a good
soldier except the desertion? About how old is he?

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL MEADE.
EXECUTIVE, MANSION
WASHINGTON, D. C., November 5, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL MEADE, Army of Potomac:

Please suspend the execution of Samuel Wellers, Forty-ninth
Pennsylvania Volunteers, until further
orders.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL A. E. BURNSIDE.
WAR DEPARTMENT,
WASHINGTON, November 9, 1863.4 P.M.

MAJOR-GENERAL BURNSIDE, Knoxville, Tenn.:

Have seen dispatch from General Grant about your loss at Rogersville.
Per contra, about the same time, Averell and Duffle got considerable
advantage of the enemy at and about Lewisburg, Virginia: and on
Saturday, the seventh, Meade drove the enemy from Rappahannock
Station and Kelly's Ford, capturing eight battle-flags, four guns,
and over 1800 prisoners, with very little loss to himself. Let me
hear from you.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL G. G. MEADE.
WASHINGTON, November 9, 1863 7.30 P.M.

MAJOR-GENERAL MEADE:

I have seen your dispatches about operations on the Rappahannock on
Saturday, and I wish to say, "Well done!" Do the 1500 prisoners
reported by General Sedgwick include the 400 taken by General French,
or do the Whole amount to 1900?

A. LINCOLN.

ORDER CONCERNING THE EXPORT OF TOBACCO PURCHASED BY FOREIGN NATIONS.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

WASHINGTON, November 10, 1863.

In consideration of the peculiar circumstances and pursuant to the
comity deemed to be due to friendly powers, any tobacco in the United
States belonging to the government either of France, Austria, or any
other state with which this country is at peace, and which tobacco
was purchased and paid for by such government prior to the 4th day of
March, 1861, may be exported from any port of the United States under
the supervision and upon the responsibility of naval officers of such
governments and in conformity to such regulations as may be presented
by the Secretary of State of the United States, and not otherwise.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL SCHOFIELD.
WAR DEPARTMENT,
WASHINGTON, D. C., November 10, 1863.

GENERAL SCHOFIELD, Saint Louis, Mo.:

I see a dispatch here from Saint Louis, which is a little difficult
for me to understand. It says "General Schofield has refused leave
of absence to members in military service to attend the legislature.
All such are radical and administration men. The election of two
Senators from this place on Thursday will probably turn upon this
thing." what does this mean? Of course members of the legislation
must be allowed to attend its sessions. But how is there a session
before the recent election returns are in? And how is it to be at
"this place"--and that is Saint Louis? Please inform me.

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