The Writings of Abraham Lincoln Vol. 1-7


iSpeech

A. LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL U.S. GRANT.
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 8, 1865.

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, City Point, Va:

Your two despatches to the Secretary of War, one relating to supplies
for the enemy going by the Blackwater, and the other to General
Singleton and Judge Hughes, have been laid before me by him. As to
Singleton and Hughes, I think they are not in Richmond by any
authority, unless it be from you. I remember nothing from me which
could aid them in getting there, except a letter to you, as follows,
to wit:

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON CITY, February 7, 1865.
LIEUTENANT-GENERAL GRANT, City Point, Va.:
General Singleton, who bears you this, claims that he already has
arrangements made, if you consent, to bring a large amount of
Southern produce through your lines. For its bearing on our
finances, I would be glad for this to be done, if it can be, without
injuriously disturbing your military operations, or supplying the
enemy. I wish you to be judge and master on these points. Please
see and hear him fully, and decide whether anything, and, if
anything, what, can be done in the premises.
Yours truly,
A. LINCOLN.

I believe I gave Hughes a card putting him with Singleton on the same
letter. However this may be, I now authorize you to get Singleton
and Hughes away from Richmond, if you choose, and can. I also
authorize you, by an order, or in what form you choose, to suspend
all operations on the Treasury trade permits, in all places
southeastward of the Alleghenies. If you make such order, notify me
of it, giving a copy, so that I can give corresponding direction to
the Navy.

A. LINCOLN.

PROCLAMATION OFFERING PARDON TO DESERTERS,

MARCH 11, 1865

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
OF AMERICA

A Proclamation

Whereas, the twenty-first section of the act of Congress, approved on
the 3d instant, entitled "An Act to amend the several acts heretofore
passed to provide for the enrolling and calling out the national
forces and for other purposes," requires that in addition to the
other lawful penalties of the crime of desertion from the military or
naval service, all persons who have deserted the military or naval
service of the United States who shall not return to said service or
report themselves to a provost-marshal within sixty days after the
proclamation hereinafter mentioned, shall be deemed and taken to have
voluntarily relinquished and forfeited their citizenship and their
right to become citizens, and such deserters shall be forever
incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under the United
States, or of exercising any rights of citizens thereof; and all
persons who shall hereafter desert the military or naval service, and
all persons who, being duly enrolled, shall depart the jurisdiction
of the district in which they are enrolled, or go beyond the limits
of the United States with intent to avoid any draft into the military
or naval service duly ordered, shall be liable to the penalties of
this section; and the President is hereby authorized and required
forthwith, on the passage of this act, to issue his proclamation
setting forth the provisions of this section, in which proclamation
the President is requested to notify all deserters returning within
sixty days as aforesaid that they shall be pardoned on condition of
returning to their regiments and companies, or to such other
organizations as they may be assigned to, until they shall have
served for a period of time equal to their original term of
enlistment:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the
United States, do issue this my proclamation as required by said act,
ordering and requiring all deserters to return to their proper posts;
and I do hereby notify them that all deserters who shall within sixty
days from the date of this proclamation, viz., on or before the 10th
day of May, 1865, return to service or report themselves to a
provost-marshal, shall be pardoned on condition that they return to
their regiments or companies or to such other organization as they
may be assigned to, and serve the remainder of their original terms
of enlistment, and in addition thereto a period equal to the time
lost by desertion.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal
of the United States to be affixed...............

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

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

TELEGRAM TO H. T. BLOW.

WASHINGTON, March 13, 1865.

HON. HENRY T. BLOW, Saint Louis, Mo.:

A Miss E. Snodgrass, who was banished from Saint Louis in May,1863,
wishes to take the oath and return home. What say you?

A. LINCOLN.

LETTER TO THURLOW WEED,

MARCH 15, 1865.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D. C.

DEAR Mr. WEED:

Every one likes a compliment. Thank you for yours on my little
notification speech and on the recent inaugural address. I expect
the latter to wear as well as perhaps better than--anything I have
produced; but I believe it is not immediately popular. Men are not
flattered by being shown that there has been a difference of purpose
between the Almighty and them. To deny it, however, in this case, is
to deny that there is a God governing the world. It is a truth which
I thought needed to be told, and, as whatever of humiliation there is
in it falls most directly on myself, I thought others might afford
for me to tell it.

Truly yours,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO COLONEL ROUGH AND OTHERS.

WAR DEPARTMENT,
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 17, 1865.

COL. R. M. ROUGH AND OTHERS, Chicago, Ill.:

Yours received. The best I can do with it is, to refer it to the War
Department. The Rock Island case referred to, was my individual
enterprise; and it caused so much difficulty in so many ways that I
promised to never undertake another.

A. LINCOLN.

ADDRESS TO AN INDIANA REGIMENT,

MARCH 17, 1865.

FELLOW-CITIZENS:--It will be but a very few words that I shall
undertake to say. I was born in Kentucky, raised in Indiana, and
lived in Illinois; and now I am here, where it is my business to care
equally for the good people of all the States. I am glad to see an
Indiana regiment on this day able to present the captured flag to the
Governor of Indiana. I am not disposed, in saying this, to make a
distinction between the States, for all have done equally well.

There are but few views or aspects of this great war upon which I
have not said or written something whereby my own opinions might be
known. But there is one--the recent attempt of our erring brethren,
as they are sometimes called, to employ the negro to fight for them.
I have neither written nor made a speech on that subject, because
that was their business, not mine, and if I had a wish on the
subject, I had not the power to introduce it, or make it effective.
The great question with them was whether the negro, being put into
the army, will fight for them. I do not know, and therefore cannot
decide. They ought to know better than me. I have in my lifetime
heard many arguments why the negroes ought to be slaves; but if they
fight for those who would keep them in slavery, it will be a better
argument than any I have yet heard. He who will fight for that,
ought to be a slave. They have concluded, at last, to take one out
of four of the slaves and put them in the army, and that one out of
the four who will fight to keep the others in slavery, ought to be a
slave himself, unless he is killed in a fight. While I have often
said that all men ought to be free, yet would I allow those colored
persons to be slaves who want to be, and next to them those white
people who argue in favor of making other people slaves. I am in
favor of giving an appointment to such white men to try it on for
these slaves. I will say one thing in regard to the negroes being
employed to fight for them. I do know he cannot fight and stay at
home and make bread too. And as one is about as important as the
other to them, I don't care which they do. I am rather in favor of
having them try them as soldiers. They lack one vote of doing that,
and I wish I could send my vote over the river so that I might cast
it in favor of allowing the negro to fight. But they cannot fight
and work both. We must now see the bottom of the enemy's resources.
They will stand out as long as they can, and if the negro will fight
for them they must allow him to fight. They have drawn upon their
last branch of resources, and we can now see the bottom. I am glad
to see the end so near at hand. I have said now more than I
intended, and will therefore bid you good-by.

PROCLAMATION CONCERNING INDIANS,

MARCH 17, 1865.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

A Proclamation.

Whereas reliable information has been received that hostile Indians,
within the limits of the United States, have been furnished with arms
and munitions of war by persons dwelling in conterminous foreign
territory, and are thereby enabled to prosecute their savage warfare
upon the exposed and sparse settlements of the frontier;

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the
United States of America, do hereby proclaim and direct that all
persons detected in that nefarious traffic shall be arrested and
tried by court-martial at the nearest military post, and if
convicted, shall receive the punishment due to their deserts.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, arid caused the seal
of the United States to be affixed...................

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

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

ORDER ANNULLING THE SENTENCE AGAINST
BENJAMIN G. SMITH AND FRANKLIN W. SMITH,

MARCH 18, 1865.

I am unwilling for the sentence to stand, and be executed, to any
extent in this case. In the absence of a more adequate motive than
the evidence discloses, I am wholly unable to believe in the
existence of criminal or fraudulent intent on the part of men of such
well established good character. If the evidence went as far to
establish a guilty profit of one or two hundred thousand dollars, as
it does of one or two hundred dollars, the case would, on the
question of guilt, bear a far different aspect. That on this
contract, involving some twelve hundred thousand dollars, the
contractors would plan, and attempt to execute a fraud which, at the
most, could profit them only one or two hundred, or even one thousand
dollars, is to my mind beyond the power of rational belief. That
they did not, in such a case, make far greater gains, proves that
they did not, with guilty or fraudulent intent, make at all. The
judgment and sentence are disapproved, and declared null, and the
defendants are fully discharged.

A. LINCOLN
March 18, 1865.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL J. POPE.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, March 19, 1865.

MAJOR-GENERAL POPE, St. Louis, Missouri:

Understanding that the plan of action for Missouri contained in your
letter to the Governor of that State, and your other letter to me, is
concurred in by the Governor, it is approved by me, and you will be
sustained in proceeding upon it.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL ORD.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
WASHINGTON, May [March] 20, 1865.

MAJOR-GENERAL ORD, Army of the James

Is it true that George W. Lane is detained at Norfolk without any
charge against him? And if so why is it done?

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO JUDGE SCATES.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

WASHINGTON, March 21, 1865.

HON. WALTER B. SCATES, Centralia, Illinois:

If you choose to go to New Mexico and reside, I will appoint you
chief justice there. What say you? Please answer.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL W. S. HANCOCK.

WASHINGTON, D. C., March 22, 1865.
MAJOR-GENERAL HANCOCK, Winchester, Va.:

Seeing your despatch about General Crook, and fearing that through
misapprehension something unpleasant may occur, I send you below two
despatches of General Grant, which I suppose will fully explain
General Crook's movements.

A. LINCOLN.

ANOTHER FEMALE SPY

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL DODGE.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, March 23, 1865.

GENERAL DODGE,
Commanding, &c, Saint Louis, Mo.:

Allow Mrs. R. S. Ewell the benefit of my amnesty proclamation on her
taking the oath.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SECRETARY STANTON.
CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, March 25, 1865. 8.30 A.M.

HON. SECRETARY OF WAR, Washington, D. C.:

Arrived here all safe about 9 P.M. yesterday. No war news. General
Grant does not seem to know very much about Yeatman, but thinks very
well of him so far as he does know.

I like Mr. Whiting very much, and hence would wish him to remain or
resign as best suits himself. Hearing this much from me, do as you
think best in the matter. General Lee has sent the Russell letter
back, concluding, as I understand from Grant, that their dignity does
not admit of their receiving the document from us. Robert just now
tells me there was a little rumpus up the line this morning, ending
about where it began.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SECRETARY STANTON.
(Cipher.)
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
March 25, 1865. (Received 5 P.M.)

HON. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I am here within five miles of the scene of this morning's action. I
have nothing to add to what General Meade reports except that I have
seen the prisoners myself and they look like there might be the
number he states--1600.

A. LINCOLN

TELEGRAM TO SECRETARY STANTON.
CITY POINT, VA., March 26, 1865. (Received 11.30 A.M.)

HON. SECRETARY OF WAR:

I approve your Fort Sumter programme. Grant don't seem to know
Yeatman very well, but thinks very well of him so far as he knows.
Thinks it probable that Y. is here now, for the place. I told you
this yesterday as well as that you should do as you think best about
Mr. Whiting's resignation, but I suppose you did not receive the
dispatch. I am on the boat and have no later war news than went to
you last night.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SECRETARY STANTON.
CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, March 27, 1865.3.35 P.M.

HON. SECRETARY OF WAR, Washington, D.C.:

Yours inclosing Fort Sumter order received. I think of but one
suggestion. I feel quite confident that Sumter fell on the 13th, and
not on the 14th of April, as you have it. It fell on Saturday, the
13th; the first call for troops on our part was got up on Sunday, the
14th, and given date and issued on Monday, the 15th. Look up the old
almanac and other data, and see if I am not right.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SECRETARY STANTON.
CITY POINT, VIRGINIA, March 28, 1865. 12 M.

HON. SECRETARY OF WAR, Washington, D.C.:
After your explanation, I think it is little or no difference whether
the Fort Sumter ceremony takes place on the 13th or 14th.

General Sherman tells me he is well acquainted with James Yeatman,
and that he thinks him almost the best man in the country for
anything he will undertake.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SECRETARY STANTON.
CITY POINT, VA., March 30, 1865. 7.30 P.M.
(Received 8.30 P.M.)

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