General Blair was, by temporary assignment of General Sherman, in
command of a corps through the battles in front of Chattanooga, and
in the march to the relief of Knoxville, which occurred in the latter
days of November and early days of December last, and of course was
not present at the assembling of Congress. When he subsequently
arrived here, he sought, and was allowed by the Secretary of War and
the Executive, the same conditions and promise as allowed and made to
General Schenck has not applied to withdraw his resignation; but when
General Grant was made Lieutenant-General, producing some change of
commanders, General Blair sought to be assigned to the command of a
corps. This was made known to Generals Grant and Sherman, and
assented to by them, and the particular corps for him designated.
This was all arranged and understood, as now remembered, so much as a
month ago; but the formal withdrawal of General Blair’s resignation,
and making the order assigning him to the command of the corps, were
not consummated at the War Department until last week, perhaps on the
23d of April instant. As a summary of the whole, it may be stated
that General Blair holds no military commission or appointment other
than as herein stated, and that it is believed he is now acting as
major-General upon the assumed validity of the commission herein
stated, in connection with the facts herein stated, and not
otherwise. There are some letters, notes, telegrams, orders,
entries, and perhaps other documents in connection with this subject,
which it is believed would throw no additional light upon it, but
which will be cheerfully furnished if desired.
TO GENERAL U. S. GRANT.
WASHINGTON, April 30, 1864.
Not expecting to see you before the spring campaign opens, I wish to
express in this way my entire satisfaction with what you have done up
to this time, so far as I understand it.
The particulars of your plans I neither know nor seek to know. You
are vigilant and self-reliant; and, pleased with this, I wish not to
obtrude any restraints or constraints upon you. While I am very
anxious that any great disaster or capture of our men in great number
shall be avoided, I know that these points are less likely to escape
your attention than they would be mine. If there be anything wanting
which is within my power to give, do not fail to let me know it.
And now, with a brave army and a just cause, may God sustain you.
Yours very truly,
MESSAGE TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
MAY 2, 1864.
TO THE HONORABLE THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
In compliance with the request contained in your resolution of the
29th ultimo, a copy of which resolution is herewith returned, I have
the honor to transmit the following:
[Correspondence and orders relating to the resignation and
reinstatement of Major-General Frank P. Blair, Jr., of Missouri.]
The foregoing constitutes all sought by the resolution so far as is
remembered or has been found upon diligent search.
TELEGRAM TO GENERAL W. T. SHERMAN.
WASHINGTON, D. C., May 4, 1864.
MAJOR-GENERAL SHERMAN, Chattanooga, Tenn.:
I have an imploring appeal in behalf of the citizens who say your
Order No.8 will compel them to go north of Nashville. This is in no
sense an order, nor is it even a request that you will do anything
which in the least shall be a drawback upon your military operations,
but anything you can do consistently with those operations for those
suffering people I shall be glad of.
TELEGRAM TO GENERAL ROSECRANS.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, May 5, 1864.
MAJOR-GENERAL ROSECRANS, Commanding, Saint Louis, Mo.:
The President directs me to inquire whether a day has yet been fixed
for the execution of citizen Robert Louden, and if so what day?
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
TO MRS. S. B. McCONKEY.
WASHINGTON, May 9, 1864.
MRS. SARAH B. McCONKEY, West Chester, Pa.:
MADAM:–Our mutual friend, Judge Lewis, tells me you do me the honor
to inquire for my personal welfare. I have been very anxious for
some days in regard to our armies in the field, but am considerably
cheered, just now, by favorable news from them.
I am sure you will join me in the hope for their further success;
while yourself, and other good mothers, wives, sisters, and
daughters, do all you and they can, to relieve and comfort the
gallant soldiers who compose them.
RECOMMENDATION OF THANKSGIVING.
WASHINGTON, May 9, 1864
TO THE FRIENDS OF UNION AND LIBERTY:
Enough is known of army operations, within the last five days, to
claim our special gratitude to God. While what remains undone
demands our most sincere prayers to and reliance upon Him (without
whom all effort is vain), I recommend that all patriots at their
homes, in their places of public worship, and wherever they may be,
unite in common thanksgiving and prayer to Almighty God.
RESPONSE TO A SERENADE,
MAY 9, 1864.
FELLOW-CITIZENS:–I am very much obliged to you for the compliment of
this call, though I apprehend it is owing more to the good news
received to-day from the Army, than to a desire to see me. I am
indeed very grateful to the brave men who have been struggling with
the enemy in the field, to their noble commanders who have directed
them, and especially to our Maker. Our commanders are following up
their victories resolutely and successfully. I think, without
knowing the particulars of the plans of General Grant, that what has
been accomplished is of more importance than at first appears. I
believe, I know (and am especially grateful to know) that General
Grant has not been jostled in his purposes, that he has made all his
points, and to-day he is on his line as he purposed before he moved
his armies. I will volunteer to say that I am very glad at what has
happened, but there is a great deal still to be done. While we are
grateful to all the brave men and officers for the events of the past
few days, we should, above all, be very grateful to Almighty God, who
gives us victory.
There is enough yet before us requiring all loyal men and patriots to
perform their share of the labor and follow the example of the modest
General at the head of our armies, and sink all personal
consideration for the sake of the country. I commend you to keep
yourselves in the same tranquil mood that is characteristic of that
brave and loyal man. I have said more than I expected when I came
before you. Repeating my thanks for this call, I bid you good-bye.
TELEGRAM TO GENERAL LEW WALLACE.
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D. C., May 10, 1864.
MAJOR-GENERAL WALLACE, Baltimore:
Please tell me what is the trouble with Dr. Hawks. Also please ask
Bishop Whittington to give me his view of the case.
TELEGRAM TO GENERAL W. S. ROSECRANS,
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, May 11, 1864.
MAJOR-GENERAL ROSECRANS, St. Louis, Missouri:
Complaints are coming to me of disturbances in Canoll, Platte, and
Buchanan counties. Please ascertain the truth, correct what is
found wrong, and telegraph me.
TO P. B. LOOMIS.
WASHINGTON, May 12, 1864
F. B. LOOMIS, ESQ.
MY DEAR SIR:–I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your
communication of the 28th April, in which you offer to replace the
present garrison at Port Trumbull with volunteers, which you propose
to raise at your own expense. While it seems inexpedient at this
time to accept this proposition on account of the special duties now
devolving upon the garrison mentioned, I cannot
pass unnoticed such a meritorious instance of individual patriotism.
Permit me, for the Government, to express my cordial thanks to you
for this generous and public-spirited offer, which is worthy of note
among the many called forth in these times of national trial.
I am very truly, your obedient servant,
RESPONSE TO A METHODIST DELEGATION, MAY 14, 1864.
GENTLEMEN:-In response to your address, allow me to attest the
accuracy of its historical statements, indorse the sentiments it
expresses, and thank you in the nation’s name for the sure promise it
gives. Nobly sustained, as the Government has been, by all the
churches, I would utter nothing which might in the least appear
invidious against any. Yet without this, it may fairly be said, that
the Methodist Episcopal Church, not less devoted than the best, is by
its greatest numbers the most important of all. It is no fault in
others that the Methodist Church sends more soldiers to the field,
more nurses to the hospitals, and more prayers to Heaven than–any
other. God bless the Methodist Church Bless all the churches; and
blessed be God, who in this our great trial giveth us the churches.
TELEGRAM TO GOVERNOR YATES.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, May 18, 1864.
His EXCELLENCY RICHARD YATES, Springfield, Ill.:
If any such proclamation has appeared, it is a forgery.
ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT OF IRRESPONSIBLE NEWSPAPER
REPORTERS AND EDITORS
ORDER TO GENERAL J. A. DIX.
WASHINGTON, May 18, 1864.
MAJOR-GENERAL JOHN A. DIX,
Commanding at New York:
Whereas there has been wickedly and traitorously printed and
published this morning in the New York World and New York Journal of
Commerce, newspapers printed and published in the city of New York, a
false and spurious proclamation purporting to be signed by the
President and to be countersigned by the Secretary of State, which
publication is of a treasonable nature, designed to give aid and
comfort to the enemies of the United States and to the rebels now at
war against the Government and their aiders and abettors, you are
therefore hereby commanded forthwith to arrest and imprison in any
fort or military prison in your command, the editors, proprietors,
and publishers of the aforesaid newspapers, and all such persons as,
after public notice has been given of the falsehood of said
publication, print and publish the same with intent to give aid and
comfort to the enemy; and you will hold the persons so arrested in
close custody until they can be brought to trial before a military
commission for their offense. You will also take possession by
military force of the printing establishments of the New York World
and Journal of Commerce, and hold the same until further orders, and
prohibit any further publication therefrom.
A. LINCOLN.[On the morning of May 18, 3864, a forged proclamation was published
in the World, and Journal of Commerce, of New York. The proclamation
named a day for fasting and prayer, called for 400,000 fresh troops,
and purposed to raise by an “immediate and peremptory draft,”
whatever quotas were not furnished on the day specified. D.W.]
TELEGRAM TO GENERAL B. P. BUTLER.
WASHINGTON, D. C., May 18, 1864.
MAJOR-GENERAL BUTLER, Bermuda Hundred, Va.:
Until receiving your dispatch of yesterday, the idea of commissions
in the volunteers expiring at the end of three years had not occurred
to me. I think no trouble will come of it; and, at all events, I
shall take care of it so far as in me lies. As to the major-
generalships in the regular army, I think I shall not dispose of
another, at least until the combined operations now in progress,
under direction of General Grant, and within which yourself and
command are included, shall be terminated.
Meanwhile, on behalf of yourself, officers, and men, please accept my
hearty thanks for what you and they have so far done.
ORDER CONCERNING THE EXEMPTION OF
AMERICAN CONSULS FROM MILITARY SERVICE,
MAY 19, 1864.
It is officially announced by the State Department that citizens of
the United States holding commissions and recognized as Consuls of
foreign powers, are not by law exempt from military service if
Therefore the mere enrolment of a citizen holding a foreign consulate
will not be held to vacate his commission, but if he shall be drafted
his exequatur will be revoked unless he shall have previously
resigned in order that another Consul may be received.
An exequatur bearing date the 3d day of May, 1858, having been issued
to Charles Hunt, a citizen of the United States, recognizing him as a
Consul of Belgium for St. Louis, Missouri, and declaring him free to
exercise and enjoy such functions, powers, and privileges as are
allowed to the Consuls of the most favored nations in the United
States, and the said Hunt having sought to screen himself from his
military duty to his country, in consequence of thus being invested
with the consular functions of a foreign power in the United States,
it is deemed advisable that the said Charles Hunt should no longer be
permitted to continue in the exercise of said functions, powers, and
These are therefore to declare that I no longer recognize the said
Hunt as Consul of Belgium, for St. Louis, Missouri, and will not
permit him to exercise or enjoy any of the functions, powers or
privileges allowed to consuls of that nation, and that I do hereby
wholly revoke and annul the said exequatur heretofore given, and do
declare the same to be absolutely null and void from this day
In testimony whereof, I have caused these letters to be made patent,
and the seal of the United States of America to be hereunto
By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
TELEGRAM TO GOVERNOR MORTON AND OTHERS.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, May 21, 1864
GOVERNOR O. P. MORTON:
The getting forward of hundred-day troops to sustain General
Sherman’s lengthening lines promises much good. Please put your best
efforts into the work.
Same to Governor Yates, Springfield, Illinois; Governor Stone,
Davenport, Iowa; Governor Lewis, Madison, Wisconsin.
TELEGRAM TO CHRISTIANA A. SACK.
WAR DEPARTMENT WASHINGTON, D. C., May 21, 1864
CHRISTIANA A. SACK, Baltimore, Md.:
I cannot postpone the execution of a convicted spy on a mere
telegraphic despatch signed with a name I never heard before.
General Wallace may give you a pass to see him if he chooses.
TELEGRAM TO GOVERNOR BROUGH.
WASHINGTON CITY, May 24, 1864.
GOVERNOR BROUGH, Columbus, Ohio:
Yours to Secretary of War [received] asking for something cheering.
We have nothing bad from anywhere. I have just seen a despatch of
Grant, of 11 P.M., May 23, on the North Anna and partly across it,
which ends as follows: “Everything looks exceedingly favorable for
us.” We have nothing later from him.
TELEGRAM TO GENERAL MEADE.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, May 25,1864.
MAJOR-GENERAL MEADE, Army of Potomac:
Mr. J. C. Swift wishes a pass from me to follow your army to pick up
rags and cast-off clothing. I will give it to him if you say so,
A. LINCOLN.[“No job to big or too small” for this president–not even a request
from a Rag Picker. D.W.]
MEMORANDUM CONCERNING THE TRANSPORTATION OF
THE NEW YORK NAVAL BRIGADE.
WASHINGTON, May 26, 1864.
WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
I am again pressed with the claim of Mr. Marshall O. Roberts, for
transportation of what was called the Naval Brigade from New York to
Fortress Monroe. This force was a special organization got up by one
Bartlett, in pretended pursuance of written authority from me, but in
fact, pursuing the authority in scarcely anything whatever. The
credit given him by Mr. Roberts, was given in the teeth of the
express declaration that the Government would not be responsible for
the class of expenses to which it belonged. After all some part of
the transportation became useful to the Government, and equitably
should be paid for; but I have neither time nor means to ascertain
this equitable amount, or any appropriation to pay it with if
ascertained. If the Quartermaster at New York can ascertain what
would compensate for so much of the transportation as did result
usefully to the Government, it might be a step towards reaching
justice. I write this from memory, but I believe it is substantially
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