The Writings of Abraham Lincoln Vol. 1-7


iSpeech

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL U. S. GRANT.
WASHINGTON, February 1, 1865

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, City Point:

Let nothing which is transpiring change, hinder, or delay your
military movements or plans.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO MAJOR ECKERT.
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 1, 1865.

MAJOR T. T. ECKERT,
Care of General Grant, City Point, Va.:

Call at Fortress Monroe, and put yourself under direction of Mr.
Seward, whom you will find there.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL U. S. GRANT.
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 2, 1865

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, City Point, Va.:

Say to the gentlemen I will meet them personally at Fortress Monroe
as soon as I can get there.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SECRETARY SEWARD,
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 2, 1865.

HON. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Fortress Monroe, Va.

Induced by a despatch of General Grant, I join you at Fort Monroe, as
soon as I can come.

A. LINCOLN.

ORDER TO MAKE CORRECTIONS IN THE DRAFT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON CITY, February 6, 1865

Whereas complaints are made in some localities respecting the
assignments of quotas and credits allowed for the pending call of
troops to fill up the armies: Now, in order to determine all
controversies in respect thereto, and to avoid any delay in filling
up the armies, it is ordered, That the Attorney-General, Brigadier-
General Richard Delafield, and Colonel C. W. Foster, be, and they are
hereby constituted, a board to examine into the proper quotas and
credits of. the respective States and districts under the call of
December 19, 1864, with directions, if any errors be found therein,
to make such corrections as the law and facts may require, and report
their determination to the Provost-Marshal-General. The
determination of said board to be final and conclusive, and the draft
to be made in conformity therewith.

2. The Provost-Marshal-General is ordered to make the draft in the
respective districts as speedily as the same can be done after the
fifteenth of this month.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TO PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, February 6, 1865.

PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL:

These gentlemen distinctly say to me this morning that what they want
is the means from your office of showing their people that the quota
assigned to them is right. They think it will take but little time-
two hours, they say. Please give there double the time and every
facility you can.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

February 6, 1865.

The Provost-Marshal brings this letter back to me and says he cannot
give the facility required without detriment to the service, and
thereupon he is excused from doing it.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO LIEUTENANT-COLONEL GLENN.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, February 7, 1865.

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL GLENN,
Commanding Post at Henderson, Ky.:

Complaint is made to me that you are forcing negroes into the
military service, and even torturing them--riding them on rails and
the like to extort their consent. I hope this may be a mistake. The
like must not be done by you, or any one under you. You must not
force negroes any more than white men. Answer me on this.

A. LINCOLN.

TO GOVERNOR SMITH.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, February 8, 1865.

HIS EXCELLENCY GOVERNOR SMITH, of Vermont:

Complaint is made to me, by Vermont, that the assignment of her quota
for the draft on the pending call is intrinsically unjust, and also
in bad faith of the Government's promise to fairly allow credits for
men previously furnished. To illustrate, a supposed case is stated
as follows:

Vermont and New Hampshire must between them furnish six thousand men
on the pending call; and being equal, each must furnish as many as
the other in the long run. But the Government finds that on former
calls Vermont furnished a surplus of five hundred, and New Hampshire
a surplus, of fifteen hundred. These two surpluses making two
thousand and added to the six thousand, making eight thousand to be
furnished by the two States, or four thousand each less, by fair
credits. Then subtract Vermont's surplus of five hundred from her
four thousand, leaves three thousand five hundred as her quota on the
pending call; and likewise subtract New Hampshire's surplus of
fifteen hundred from her four thousand, leaves two thousand five
hundred as her quota on the pending call. These three thousand five
hundred and two thousand five hundred make precisely six thousand,
which the supposed case requires from the two States, and it is just
equal for Vermont to furnish one thousand more now than New
Hampshire, because New Hampshire has heretofore furnished one
thousand more than Vermont, which equalizes the burdens of the two in
the long run. And this result, so far from being bad faith to
Vermont, is indispensable to keeping good faith with New Hampshire.
By no other result can the six thousand men be obtained from the two
States, and, at the same time deal justly and keep faith with both,
and we do but confuse ourselves in questioning the process by which
the right result is reached. The supposed case is perfect as an
illustration.

The pending call is not for three hundred thousand men subject to
fair credits, but is for three hundred thousand remaining after all
fair credits have been deducted, and it is impossible to concede what
Vermont asks without coming out short of three hundred thousand men,
or making other localities pay for the partiality shown her.

This upon the case stated. If there be different reasons for making
an allowance to Vermont, let them be presented and considered.

Yours truly,

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

MESSAGE TO CONGRESS.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
February 8, 1865.

TO THE HONORABLE THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES:

The joint resolution entitled "Joint resolution declaring certain
States not entitled to representation in the electoral college" has
been signed by the Executive in deference to the view of Congress
implied in its passage and presentation to him. In his own view,
however, the two Houses of Congress, convened under the twelfth
article of the Constitution, have complete power to exclude from
counting all electoral votes deemed by them to be illegal, and it is
not competent for the Executive to defeat or obstruct that power by a
veto, as would be the case if his action were at all essential in the
matter. He disclaims all right of the Executive to interfere in any
way in the matter of canvassing or counting electoral votes, and he
also disclaims that by signing said resolution he has expressed any
opinion on the recitals of the preamble or any judgment of his own
upon the subject of the resolution.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL U. S. GRANT.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, February 8, 1865

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, City Point. Va.:

I am called on by the House of Representatives to give an account of
my interview with Messrs. Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell, and it is
very desirable to me to put your despatch of February 1, to the
Secretary of War, in which, among other things, you say: "I fear now
their going back without any expression from any one in authority
will have a bad influence." I think the despatch does you credit,
while I do not see that it can embarrass you. May I use it?

A. LINCOLN.

REPLY TO A COMMITTEE OF CONGRESS, REPORTING
THE RESULT OF THE ELECTORAL COUNT,

FEBRUARY 9, 1865.

With deep gratitude to my countrymen for this mark of their
confidence; with a distrust of my own ability to perform the duty
required under the most favorable circumstances, and now rendered
doubly difficult by existing national perils; yet with a firm
reliance on the strength of our free government, and the eventual
loyalty of the people to the just principles upon which it is
founded, and above all with an unshaken faith in the Supreme Ruler of
nations, I accept this trust. Be pleased to signify this to the
respective Houses of Congress.

CHRONOLOGIC REVIEW OF PEACE PROPOSALS

MESSAGE TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
February 10, 1865

TO THE HONORABLE THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

In response to your resolution of the eighth instant, requesting
information in relation to a conference recently held in Hampton
Roads, I have the honor to state that on the day of the date I gave
Francis P. Blair, Sr., a card, written on as follows, to wit:

December 28, 1864.

Allow the bearer, F. P. Blair, Sr., to pass our lines, go South, and
return.

A. LINCOLN.

That at the time I was informed that Mr. Blair sought the card as a
means of getting to Richmond, Va., but he was given no authority to
speak or act for the Government, nor was I informed of anything he
would say or do on his own account or otherwise. Afterwards Mr.
Blair told me that he had been to Richmond and had seen Mr. Jefferson
Davis; and he (Mr. B.) at the same time left with me a manuscript
letter, as follows, to wit:

RICHMOND, VA., January 12, 1865.
F. P. BLAIR, ESQ.
SIR: I have deemed it proper, and probably desirable to you, to give
you in this for in the substance of remarks made by me, to be
repeated by you to President Lincoln, etc., etc.
I have no disposition to find obstacles in forms, and am willing, now
as heretofore, to enter into negotiations for the restoration of
peace, and am ready to send a commission whenever I have reason to
suppose it will be received, or to receive a commission if the United
States Government shall choose to send one. That notwithstanding the
rejection of our former offers, I would, if you could promise that a
commissioner, minister, or other agent would be received, appoint one
immediately, and renew the effort to enter into conference with a
view to secure peace to the two countries.
Yours, etc.,
JEFFERSON DAVIS.

Afterwards, and with the view that it should be shown to Mr. Davis, I
wrote and delivered to Mr. Blair a letter, as follows, to wit:

WASHINGTON, January 18, 1865.

P. P. BLAIR, ESQ.

SIR:--Your having shown me Mr. Davis's letter to you of the twelfth
instant, you may say to him that I have constantly been, am now, and
shall continue ready to receive any agent whom he or any other
influential person now resisting the national authority may
informally send to me with the view of securing peace to the people
of our one common country.

Yours, etc.,

A. LINCOLN.

Afterwards Mr. Blair dictated for and authorized me to make an entry
on the back of my retained copy of the letter last above recited,
which entry is as follows:

January 28, 1865

To-day Mr. Blair tells me that on the twenty-first instant he
delivered to Mr. Davis the original of which the within is a copy,
and left it with him; that at the time of delivering it Mr. Davis
read it over twice in Mr. Blair's presence, at the close of which he
(Mr. Blair) remarked that the part about our one common country"
related to the part of Mr. Davis' letter about "the two countries,"
to which Mr. Davis replied that he so understood it.

A. LINCOLN.

Afterwards the Secretary of War placed in my hands the following
telegram, indorsed by him, as appears:

OFFICE UNITED STATES MILITARY TELEGRAPH WAR DEPARTMENT.
The following telegram received at Washington January 29, 1865, from
headquarters Army of James,

6.30P.M., January 29, 1865:
"HON. EDWIN M. STANTON, "Secretary of War:
"The following despatch just received from Major-General Parke, who
refers it to me for my action. I refer it to you in Lieutenant-
General Grant's absence:

"E. O. C. ORD, Major-General, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF POTOMAC,
January 29, 1863. 4P.M.
'MAJOR-GENERAL E. O. C. ORD,
'Headquarters Army of James:
'The following despatch is forwarded to you for your action. Since I
have no knowledge of General Grant's having had any understanding of
this kind, I refer the matter to you as the ranking officer present
in the two armies.
'JNO. G. PARKE, Major-General, Commanding.'

'FROM HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY Cos, 29th.
'MAJOR-GENERAL JNO. G. PARKE, 'Headquarters Army of Potomac:
'Alexander H. Stephens, R. M. T. Hunter, and J. A. Campbell desire to
cross my lines, in accordance with an understanding claimed to exist
with Lieutenant-General Grant, on their way to Washington as peace
commissioners. Shall they be admitted? They desire an early answer,
to come through immediately. Would like to reach City Point tonight
if they can. If they can not do this, they would like to come
through at 10 A.M. to-morrow morning.
'O. B. WILCOX,
'Major-General, Commanding Ninth Corps.'

"January 29, 8.30 P.M.
"Respectfully referred to the President for such instructions as he
may be pleased to give.
"EDWIN M. STANTON, "Secretary of War."

It appears that about the time of placing the foregoing telegram in
my hands the Secretary of War dispatched General Ord as follows, to
wit:

WAR DEPARTMENT,
WASHINGTON CITY, January 29, 1865. 10 P.M.
(Sent at 2 A.M., 30th.)
MAJOR-GENERAL ORD.

SIR:--This Department has no knowledge of any understanding by
General Grant to allow any person to come within his lines as
commissioner of any sort. You will therefore allow no one to come
into your lines under such character or profession until you receive
the President's instructions, to whom your telegraph will be
submitted for his directions.

EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

Afterwards, by my direction, the Secretary of War telegraphed General
Ord as follows, to wit:

WAR DEPARTMENT,
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 30. 10.30 A.M.

MAJOR-GENERAL E. O. C. ORD,
Headquarters Army of the James.

SIR:--By direction of the President, you are instructed to inform the
three gentlemen, Messrs. Stephens, Hunter and Campbell, that a
messenger will be dispatched to them at or near where they now are
without unnecessary delay.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

Afterwards I prepared and put into the hands of Major Thomas T.
Eckert the following instructions and message:

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

MAJOR T. T. ECKERT. WASHINGTON, January 30, 1865

SIR:--You will proceed with the documents placed in your hands, and
on reaching General Ord will deliver him the letter addressed to him
by the Secretary of War; then, by General Ord's assistance, procure
an interview with Messrs. Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell, or any of
them. Deliver to him or them the paper on which your own letter is
written. Note on the copy which you retain the time of delivery and
to whom delivered. Receive their answer in writing, waiting a
reasonable time for it, and which, if it contain their decision to
come through without further condition, will be your warrant to ask
General Ord to pass them through, as directed in the letter of the
Secretary of War to him. If by their answer they decline to come, or
propose other terms, do not have them pass through. And this being
your whole duty, return and report to me.

A. LINCOLN.

CITY POINT, VA.. February 1, 1865.

MESSRS. ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS, J. A. CAMPBELL AND
R. M. T. HUNTER.

GENTLEMEN :--I am instructed by the President of the United States to
place this paper in your hands, with the information that if you pass
through the United States military lines it will be understood that
you do so for the purpose of an informal conference on the basis of
the letter a copy of which is on the reverse side of this sheet, and
that if you choose to pass on such understanding, and so notify me in
writing, I will procure the commanding general to pass you through
the lines and to Fortress Monroe under such military precautions as
he may deem prudent, and at which place you will be met in due time
by some person or persons for the purpose of such informal
conference; and, further, that you shall have protection, safe
conduct, and safe return in all events.

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