The Writings of Abraham Lincoln Vol. 1-7


iSpeech

A. LINCOLN.

ADDRESS TO THE 164TH OHIO REGIMENT,

AUGUST 18, 1864.

SOLDIERS:--You are about to return to your homes and your friends,
after having, as I learn, performed in camp a comparatively short
term of duty in this great contest. I am greatly obliged to you, and
to all who have come forward at the call of their country. I wish it
might be more generally and universally understood what the country
is now engaged in. We have, as all will agree, a free government,
where every man has a right to be equal with every other man. In
this great struggle, this form of government and every form of human
right is endangered if our enemies succeed. There is more involved
in this contest than is realized by every one. There is involved in
this struggle, the question whether your children and my children
shall enjoy the privileges we have enjoyed. I say this, in order to
impress upon you, if you are not already so impressed, that no small
matter should divert us from our great purpose.

There may be some inequalities in the practical application of our
system. It is fair that each man shall pay taxes in exact proportion
to the value of his property; but if we should wait, before
collecting a tax, to adjust the taxes upon each man in exact
proportion with every other man, we should never collect any tax at
all. There may be mistakes made sometimes; and things may be done
wrong, while the officers of the Government do all they can to
prevent mistakes. But I beg of you, as citizens of this great
Republic, not to let your minds be carried off from the great work we
have before us. This struggle is too large for you to be diverted
from it by any small matter. When you return to your homes, rise up
to the height of a generation of men worthy of a free government, and
we will carry out the great work we have commenced. I return to you
my sincere thanks, soldiers, for the honor you have done me this
afternoon.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL BUTLER.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D. C., August 20, 1864.

MAJOR-GENERAL BUTLER, Bermuda Hundred, Va.:

Please allow Judge Snead to go to his family on Eastern Shore, or
give me some good reason why not.

A. LINCOLN.

ADDRESS TO THE 166TH OHIO REGIMENT,

AUGUST 22, 1864.

SOLDIERS--I suppose you are going home to see your families and
friends. For the services you have done in this great struggle in
which we are engaged, I present you sincere thanks for myself and the
country.

I almost always feel inclined, when I say anything to soldiers, to
impress upon them, in a few brief remarks, the importance of success
in this contest. It is not merely for the day, but for all time to
come, that we should perpetuate for our children's children that
great and free government which we have enjoyed all our lives. I beg
you to remember this, not merely for my sake, but for yours. I
happen, temporarily, to occupy this big White House. I am a living
witness that any one of your children may look to come here as my
father's child has. It is in order that each one of you may have,
through this free government which we have enjoyed, an open field,
and a fair chance for your industry, enterprise, and intelligence;
that you may all have equal privileges in the race of life with all
its desirable human aspirations--it is for this that the struggle
should be maintained, that we may not lose our birthrights--not only
for one, but for two or three years, if necessary. The nation is
worth fighting for, to secure such an inestimable jewel.

MEMORANDUM.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
August 23, 1864.

This morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probable
that this administration will not be re-elected. Then it will be my
duty to so co-operate with the President-elect as to save the Union
between the election and the inauguration; as he will have secured
his election on such ground that he cannot possibly save it
afterward.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GOVERNOR JOHNSON.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, August 26, 1864.

GOVERNOR JOHNSON, Nashville, Tenn.:

Thanks to General Gillam for making the news and also to you for
sending it. Does Joe Heiskell's "walking to meet us" mean any more
than that "Joe" was scared and wanted to save his skin?

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO B. H. BREWSTER.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D. C., August 30,1864.

HON. B. H. BREWSTER, Astor House, New York:

Your letter of yesterday received. Thank you for it. Please have no
fears.

A. LINCOLN.

ORDER CONCERNING COTTON.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, August 31, 1864.

Any person or persons engaged in bringing out cotton, in strict
conformity with authority given by W. P. Fessenden, Secretary of the
United States Treasury, must not be hindered by the War, Navy, or any
other Department of the Government, or any person engaged under any
of said Departments.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TO COLONEL HUIDEKOPER.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
SEPTEMBER 1, 1864

COLONEL H. C. HUIDEKOPER, Meadville, Penn.

SIR: It is represented to me that there are at Rock Island,
Illinois, as rebel prisoners of war, many persons of Northern and
foreign birth who are unwilling to be exchanged and sent South, but
who wish to take the oath of allegiance and enter the military
service of the Union. Colonel Huidekoper, on behalf of the people of
some parts of Pennsylvania, wishes to pay the bounties the Government
would have to pay to proper persons of this class, have them enter
the service of the United States, and be credited to the localities
furnishing the bounty money. He will therefore proceed to Rock
Island, ascertain the names of such persons (not including any who
have attractions Southward), and telegraph them to the Provost-
Marshal-General here, whereupon direction will be given to discharge
the persons named upon their taking the oath of allegiance; and then
upon the official evidence being furnished that they shall have been
duly received and mustered into the service of the United States,
their number will be credited as may be directed by Colonel
Huidekoper.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

PROCLAMATION OF THANKSGIVING,

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON CITY,
September 3, 1864.

The signal success that Divine Providence has recently vouchsafed to
the operations of the United States fleet and army in the harbor of
Mobile, and the reduction of Fort Powell, Fort Gaines, and Fort
Morgan, and the glorious achievements of the army under Major-General
Sherman, in the State of Georgia, resulting in the capture of the
city of Atlanta, call for devout acknowledgment to the Supreme Being
in whose hands are the destinies of nations. It is therefore
requested that on next Sunday, in all places of worship in the United
States, thanksgivings be offered to Him for His mercy in preserve our
national existence against the insurgent rebels who have been waging
a cruel war against the Government of the United States for its
overthrow, and also that prayer be made for Divine protection to our
brave soldiers and their leaders in the field who have so often and
so gallantly periled their lives in battling with the enemy, and for
blessings and comfort from the Father of mercies to the sick,
wounded, and prisoners, and to the orphans and widows of those who
have fallen in the service of their country, and that He will
continue to uphold the Government of the United States against all
the efforts of public enemies and secret foes.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

ORDERS OF GRATITUDE AND REJOICING.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
September 3, 1864.

The national thanks are tendered by the President to Admiral Farragut
and Major-General Canby, for the skill and harmony with which the
recent operations in Mobile Harbor and against Fort Powell, Fort
Gaines, and Fort Morgan were planned and carried into execution.
Also to Admiral Farragut and Major-General Granger, under whose
immediate command they were conducted, and to the gallant commanders
on sea and land, and to the sailors and soldiers engaged in the
operations, for their energy and courage, which, under the blessing
of Providence, have been crowned with brilliant success, and have won
for them the applause and thanks of the nation.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
September 3, 1864.

The national thanks are tendered by the President to Major-General
William T. Sherman and the gallant officers and soldiers of his
command before Atlanta, for the distinguished ability, courage, and
perseverance displayed in the campaign in Georgia, which under Divine
power resulted in the capture of the city of Atlanta. The marches,
battles, sieges, and other military operations that have signalized
this campaign must render it famous in the annals of war, and have
entitled those who have participated therein to the applause and
thanks of the nation.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
September 3, 1864.

Ordered: First, That on Monday, the fifth day of September,
commencing at the hour of twelve o'clock noon, there shall be given a
salute of one hundred guns at the arsenal and navy-yard, at
Washington, and on Tuesday, the 6th of September, or on the day after
the receipt of this order, at each arsenal and navy-yard in the
United States, for the recent brilliant achievements of the fleet and
land forces of the United States in the harbor of Mobile, and in the
reduction of Fort Powell, Fort Gaines, and Fort Morgan. The
Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy will issue the
necessary directions in their respective departments for the
execution of this order.

Second, That on Wednesday, the 7th of September, commencing at the
hour of twelve o'clock noon, there shall be fired a salute of one
hundred guns at the arsenal at Washington, and at New York, Boston,
Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburg, Newport (Ky.), and St. Louis,
and New Orleans, Mobile, and Pensacola, Hilton Head, and Newbern, the
day after the receipt of this order, for the brilliant achievements
of the army under command of Major-General Sherman, in the State of
Georgia, and for the capture of Atlanta. The Secretary of War will
issue directions for the execution of this order.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN,
President Of the United States.

TO MRS. GURNEY.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, SEPTEMBER 4, 1864.

ELIZA P. GURNEY.

MY ESTEEMED FRIEND:--I have not forgotten probably never shall forget
the very impressive occasion when yourself and friends visited me on
a Sabbath forenoon two years ago--nor has your kind letter, written
nearly a year later, even been for gotten. In all, it has been your
purpose to strengthen my reliance on God. I am much indebted to the
good Christian people of the country for their constant prayer and
consolations; and to no one of them, more than to yourself. The
purposes of the Almighty are perfect, and must prevail, though we
erring mortals may fail to accurately perceive them in advance. We
hoped for a happy termination of this terrible war long before this;
but God knows best, and has ruled otherwise. We shall yet
acknowledge His wisdom, and our own error therein. Mean while we
must work earnestly in the best light He gives us, trusting that so
working still conduces to the great ends He ordains. Surely He
intends some great good to follow this mighty convulsion, which no
mortal could make, and no mortal could stay.

Your people--the Friends--have had, and are having, a very great
trial. On principle, and faith, opposed to both war and oppression,
they can only practically oppose oppression by war. For those
appealing to me on conscientious grounds, I have done, and shall do,
the best I could and can, in my own conscience, under my oath to the
law. That you believe this I doubt not, and believing it, I shall
still receive, for our country and myself your earnest prayers to our
Father in Heaven.

Your sincere friend,

A. LINCOLN.

REPLY TO A COMMITTEE OF COLORED PEOPLE FROM BALTIMORE WHO PRESENTED
HIM WITH A BIBLE,

SEPTEMBER 7, 1864.

I can only say now, as I have often said before, it has always been a
sentiment with me, that all mankind should be free. So far as I have
been able, so far as came within my sphere, I have always acted as I
believed was just and right, and done all I could for the good of
mankind. I have, in letters sent forth from this office, expressed
myself better than I can now.

In regard to the great Book, I have only to say it is the best gift
which God has ever given to man. All the good from the Saviour of
the world is communicated to us through this book. But for that
Book, we could not know right from wrong. All those things desirable
to man are contained in it. I return you sincere thanks for this
very elegant copy of this great Book of God which you present.

TELEGRAM TO GOVERNOR PICKERING.

WAR DEPARTMENT,
WASHINGTON, D. C., September 8, 1864:

GOVERNOR PICKERING, Olympia, W. T.:

Your patriotic despatch of yesterday received and will be published.

A. LINCOLN.

ORDER OF THANKS TO HUNDRED-DAY TROOPS FROM OHIO.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON CITY, September 10, 1864.

The term of one hundred days for which the National Guard of Ohio
volunteered having expired, the President directs an official
acknowledgment to be made of their patriotic and valuable services
during the recent campaigns. The term of service of their enlistment
was short, but distinguished by memorable events. In the Valley of
the Shenandoah, on the Peninsula, in the operations on the James
River, around Petersburg and Richmond, in the battle of Monocacy, and
in the intrenchments of Washington, and in other important service,
the National Guard of Ohio performed with alacrity the duty of
patriotic volunteers, for which they are entitled to and are hereby
tendered, through the Governor of their State, the national thanks.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL U.S. GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
September 12, 1864.

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT:

Sheridan and Early are facing each other at a dead-lock. Could we
not pick up a regiment here and there, to the number of say ten
thousand men, and quietly but suddenly concentrate them at Sheridan's
camp and enable him to make a strike?

This is but a suggestion.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO JAMES G. BLAINE.
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D. C., September 13, 1864.

HON. J. G. BLAINE, Augusta, Me.:
On behalf of the Union, thanks to Maine. Thanks to you personally
for sending the news.

A. LINCOLN.

P. S.--Send same to L. B. Smith and M. A. Blanchard, Portland, Me.
A. L.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL ROSECRANS.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, September 13, 1864

MAJOR-GENERAL ROSECRANS, Saint Louis:

Postpone the execution of S. H. Anderson for two weeks. Hear what
his friends can say in mitigation and report to me.

A. LINCOLN.

MAJOR ECKERT:
Please send the above telegram.

JNO. G. NICOLAY, Private Secretary.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL SLOUGH.

WAR DEPARTMENT,
WASHINGTON, D. C., September 16, 1864.

GENERAL SLOUGH, Alexandria, Va.:

On the 14th I commuted the sentence of Conley, but fearing you may
not have received notice I send this. Do not execute him.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL W. T. SHERMAN.
WASHINGTON, D. C., September 17,1864.

MAJOR-GENERAL SHERMAN, Atlanta, Georgia:

I feel great interest in the subjects of your despatch mentioning
corn and sorghum, and the contemplated visit to you.

A. LINCOLN, President of the United States.

TO GENERAL W. T. SHERMAN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, September 19, 1864.

MAJOR-GENERAL SHERMAN:

The State election of Indiana occurs on the 11th of October, and the
loss of it to the friends of the Government would go far towards
losing the whole Union cause. The bad effect upon the November
election, and especially the giving the State government to those who
will oppose the war in every possible way, are too much to risk if it
can be avoided. The draft proceeds, notwithstanding its strong
tendency to lose us the State. Indiana is the only important State
voting in October whose soldiers cannot vote in the field. Anything
you can safely do to let her soldiers or any part of them go home and
vote at the State election will be greatly in point. They need not
remain for the Presidential election, but may return to you at once.
This is in no sense an order, but is merely intended to impress you
with the importance to the Army itself of your doing all you safely
can, yourself being the judge of what you can safely do.

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