The Writings of Abraham Lincoln Vol. 1-7

Your obedient servant,


(General Orders No. 18.)

WASHINGTON, October 24, 1861

Major-General Fremont, of the United States Army, the present
commander of the Western Department of the same, will, on the receipt
of this order, call Major-General Hunter, of the United States
Volunteers, to relieve him temporarily in that command, when he
(Major-General Fremont) will report to general headquarters by letter
for further orders.

By command: E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

WASHINGTON, October 24, 1861


SIR:–The command of the Department of the West having devolved upon
you, I propose to offer you a few suggestions. Knowing how hazardous
it is to bind down a distant commander in the field to specific lines
and operations, as so much always depends on a knowledge of
localities and passing events, it is intended, therefore, to leave a
considerable margin for the exercise of your judgment and discretion.

The main rebel army (Price’s) west of the Mississippi is believed to
have passed Dade County in full retreat upon northwestern Arkansas,
leaving Missouri almost freed from the enemy, excepting in the
southeast of the State. Assuming this basis of fact, it seems
desirable, as you are not likely to overtake Price, and are in danger
of making too long a line from your own base of supplies and
reinforcements, that you should give up the pursuit, halt your main
army, divide it into two corps of observation, one occupying Sedalia
and the other Rolla, the present termini of railroads; then recruit
the condition of both corps by re-establishing and improving their
discipline and instructions, perfecting their clothing and
equipments, and providing less uncomfortable quarters. Of course,
both railroads must be guarded and kept open, judiciously employing
just so much force as is necessary for this. From these two points,
Sedalia and Rolla, and especially in judicious cooperation with Lane
on the Kansas border, it would be so easy to concentrate and repel
any army of the enemy returning on Missouri from the southwest, that
it is not probable any such attempt will be made before or during the
approaching cold weather. Before spring the people of Missouri will
probably be in no favorable mood to renew for next year the troubles
which have so much afflicted and impoverished them during this. If
you adopt this line of policy, and if, as I anticipate, you will see
no enemy in great force approaching, you will have a surplus of force
which you can withdraw from these points and direct to others as may
be needed, the railroads furnishing ready means of reinforcing these
main points if occasion requires. Doubtless local uprisings will for
a time continue to occur, but these can be met by detachments and
local forces of our own, and will ere long tire out of themselves.

While, as stated in the beginning of the letter, a large discretion
must be and is left with yourself, I feel sure that an indefinite
pursuit of Price or an attempt by this long and circuitous route to
reach Memphis will be exhaustive beyond endurance, and will end in
the loss of the whole force engaged in it.

Your obedient servant,


(General Orders, No.94.)


WASHINGTON, November 1, 1861

The following order from the President of the United States,
announcing the retirement from active command of the honored veteran
Lieutenant general Winfield Scott, will be read by the army with
profound regret:


November 1, 1861

On the 1st day of November, A.D. 1861, upon his own application to
the President of the United States, Brevet Lieutenant-General
Winfield Scott is ordered to be placed, and hereby is placed, upon
the list of retired officers of the army of the United States,
without reduction in his current pay, subsistence, or allowances.

The American people will hear with sadness and deep emotion that
General Scott has withdrawn from the active control of the army,
while the President and a unanimous Cabinet express their own and the
nation’s sympathy in his personal affliction and their profound sense
of the important public services rendered by him to his country
during his long and brilliant career, among which will ever be
gratefully distinguished his faithful devotion to the Constitution,
the Union, and the flag when assailed by parricidal rebellion.


The President is pleased to direct that Major general George B.
McClellan assume the command of the army of the United States. The
headquarters of the army will be established in the city of
Washington. All communications intended for the commanding general
will hereafter be addressed direct to the adjutant-general. The
duplicate returns, orders, and other papers heretofore sent to the
assistant adjutant-general, headquarters of the army, will be

By order of the Secretary of War:
L. THOMAS, Adjutant General.



November 5, 1861.

The Governor of the State of Missouri, acting under the direction of
the convention of that State, proposes to the Government of the
United States that he will raise a military force to serve within the
State as State militia during the war there, to cooperate with the
troops in the service of the United States in repelling the invasion
of the State and suppressing rebellion therein; the said State
militia to be embodied and to be held in the camp and in the field,
drilled, disciplined, and governed according to the Army Regulations
and subject to the Articles of War; the said State militia not to be
ordered out of the State except for the immediate defense of the
State of Missouri, but to co-operate with the troops in the service
of the United States in military operations within the State or
necessary to its defense, and when officers of the State militia act
with officers in the service of the United States of the same grade
the officers of the United States service shall command the combined
force; the State militia to be armed, equipped, clothed, subsisted,
transported, and paid by the United States during such time as they
shall be actually engaged as an embodied military force in service in
accordance with regulations of the United States Army or general
orders as issued from time to time.

In order that the Treasury of the United States may not be burdened
with the pay of unnecessary officers, the governor proposes that,
although the State law requires him to appoint upon the general staff
an adjutant-general, a commissary-general, an inspector-general, a
quartermaster-general, a paymaster-general, and a surgeon-general,
each with the rank of colonel of cavalry, yet he proposes that the
Government of the United States pay only the adjutant-general, the
quartermaster-general, and inspector-general, their services being
necessary in the relations which would exist between the State
militia and the United States. The governor further proposes that
while he is allowed by the State law to appoint aides-de-camp to the
governor at his discretion, with the rank of colonel, three only
shall be reported to the United States for payment. He also proposes
that the State militia shall be commanded by a single major-general
and by such number of brigadier-generals as shall allow one for a
brigade of not less than four regiments, and that no greater number
of staff officers shall be appointed for regimental, brigade, and
division duties than as provided for in the act of Congress of the
22d July, 1861; and that, whatever be the rank of such officers as
fixed by the law of the State, the compensation that they shall
receive from the United States shall only be that which belongs to
the rank given by said act of Congress to officers in the United
States service performing the same duties.

The field officers of a regiment in the State militia are one
colonel, one lieutenant-colonel, and one major, and the company
officers are a captain, a first lieutenant, and a second lieutenant.
The governor proposes that, as the money to be disbursed is the money
of the United States, such staff officers in the service of the
United States as may be necessary to act as disbursing officers for
the State militia shall be assigned by the War Department for that
duty; or, if such cannot be spared from their present duty, he will
appoint such persons disbursing officers for the State militia as the
President of the United States may designate. Such regulations as
may be required, in the judgment of the President, to insure
regularity of returns and to protect the United States from any
fraudulent practices shall be observed and obeyed by all in office in
the State militia.

The above propositions are accepted on the part of the United States,
and the Secretary of War is directed to make the necessary orders
upon the Ordnance, Quartermaster’s, Commissary, Pay, and Medical
departments to carry this agreement into effect. He will cause the
necessary staff officers in the United States service to be detailed
for duty in connection with the Missouri State militia, and will
order them to make the necessary provision in their respective
offices for fulfilling this agreement. All requisitions upon the
different officers of the United States under this agreement to be
made in substance in the same mode for the Missouri State militia as
similar requisitions are made for troops in the service of the United
States; and the Secretary of War will cause any additional
regulations that may be necessary to insure regularity and economy in
carrying this agreement into effect to be adopted and communicated to
the Governor of Missouri for the government of the Missouri State


November 6, 1861.

This plan approved, with the modification that the governor
stipulates that when he commissions a major-general of militia it
shall be the same person at the time in command of the United States
Department of the West; and in case the United States shall change
such commander of the department, he (the governor) will revoke the
State commission given to the person relieved and give one to the
person substituted to the United States command of said department.



November 8, 1861.

SIR:–I receive with great pleasure a Minister from Sweden. That
pleasure is enhanced by the information which preceded your arrival
here, that his Majesty, your sovereign, had selected you to fill the
mission upon the grounds of your derivation from an ancestral stock
identified with the most glorious era of your country’s noble
history, and your own eminent social and political standing in
Sweden. This country, sir, maintains, and means to maintain, the
rights of human nature, and the capacity of men for self-government.
The history of Sweden proves that this is the faith of the people of
Sweden, and we know that it is the faith and practice of their
respected sovereign. Rest assured, therefore, that we shall be found
always just and paternal in our transactions with your government,
and that nothing will be omitted on my part to make your residence in
this capital agreeable to yourself and satisfactory to your


St. Louis, November 20, 1861.
(Received Nov. 20th.)


For the President of the United States.

No written authority is found here to declare and enforce martial law
in this department. Please send me such written authority and
telegraph me that it has been sent by mail.


[Indorsement.] November 21, 1861.

If General McClellan and General Halleck deem it necessary to declare
and maintain martial law in Saint Louis, the same is hereby




WASHINGTON, November 21, 1861

DEAR GOVERNOR:–I have thought over the interview which Mr. Gilmore
has had with Mr. Greeley, and the proposal that Greeley has made to
Gilmore, namely, that he [Gilmore] shall communicate to him [Greeley] all that he learns from you of the inner workings of the
administration, in return for his [Greeley’s] giving such aid as he
can to the new magazine, and allowing you [Walker] from time to time
the use of his [Greeley’s] columns when it is desirable to feel of,
or forestall, public opinion on important subjects. The arrangement
meets my unqualified approval, and I shall further it to the extent
of my ability, by opening to you–as I do now–fully the policy of
the Government,–its present views and future intentions when formed,
giving you permission to communicate them to Gilmore for Greeley; and
in case you go to Europe I will give these things direct to Gilmore.
But all this must be on the express and explicit understanding that
the fact of these communications coming from me shall be absolutely
confidential,–not to be disclosed by Greeley to his nearest friend,
or any of his subordinates. He will be, in effect, my mouthpiece,
but I must not be known to be the speaker.

I need not tell you that I have the highest confidence in Mr.
Greeley. He is a great power. Having him firmly behind me will be
as helpful to me as an army of one hundred thousand men.

This was to be most severely regretted, when Greeley became a traitor
to the cause, editorialized for compromise and separation–and
promoted McClellan as Democratic candidate for the Presidency.

That he has ever kicked the traces has been owing to his not being
fully informed. Tell Gilmore to say to him that, if he ever objects
to my policy, I shall be glad to have him state to me his views
frankly and fully. I shall adopt his if I can. If I cannot, I will
at least tell him why. He and I should stand together, and let no
minor differences come between us; for we both seek one end, which is
the saving of our country. Now, Governor, this is a longer letter
than I have written in a month,–longer than I would have written for
any other man than Horace Greeley.

Your friend, truly,


P. S.–The sooner Gilmore sees Greeley the better, as you may before
long think it wise to ventilate our policy on the Trent affair.


DECEMBER 2, 1861.

Commanding in the Department of Missouri.

GENERAL:–As an insurrection exists in the United States, and is in
arms in the State of Missouri, you are hereby authorized and
empowered to suspend the writ of habeas corpus within the limits of
the military division under your command, and to exercise martial law
as you find it necessary in your discretion to secure the public
safety and the authority of the United States.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the
seal of the United States to be affixed at Washington, this second
day of December, A.D. 1861.


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

WASHINGTON, December 3, 1861

midst of unprecedented political troubles we have cause of great
gratitude to God for unusual good health and most abundant harvests.

You will not be surprised to learn that in the peculiar exigencies of
the times our intercourse with foreign nations has been attended with
profound solicitude, chiefly turning upon our own domestic affairs.

«- Previous | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 | View All | Next -»