Abraham Lincoln Papers
Document: Abraham Lincoln to Major Robert Anderson, May 1, 1861 [Draft in John G. Nicolay’s Hand]1
1 Lincoln wanted to meet Major Anderson to express his gratitude for his conduct and demeanor in commanding Fort Sumter when it was beseiged two weeks earlier. Shortly after this letter and the subsequent visit, Anderson was rewarded by being appointed to recruit troops in Kentucky and Western Virginia. In June he was promoted to brigadier general. See Collected Works, IV, 359.
Washington, D. C.
May 1, 1861
My dear Sir:
A few days ago I caused an official letter to be written you, through the War Department, expressive of the approbation and gratitude I considered due you and your command from this government.
I now write this as a purely private and social letter, to say I shall be much gratified to see you here at your earliest convenience, when and where I can personally testify my appreciation of your services, and fidelity, and perhaps explain some things on my part which you have not may not have understood.
I shall also be very glad to see any of the officers who served with you at Fort Sumpter, and whom it might be convenient and agreeable for you to invite to accompany you here
Your obt Servt
Document: Matilda W. Emory to Abraham Lincoln, May 1, 1861
Col: Emory1 1st Cavalry left Washington the last of March to take command at Fort Washita. Before reaching there, while at Fort Smith he heard the news of the surrender of Ft. Sumter, and all the wild stories of the invasion of of Washn &: He wished to be ordered home, failing in that he sent to me his resignation, to be handed in, if on consultation with friends I found it advisable-- I consulted with my brother Prof. Bache2 & other friends and concluded to withhold it. Meantime Col: Emory was ordered to march his command to Ft. Leavenworth. I sent him a telegram -- to Ft. Smith to be forwarded to Ft. Washita, telling him of this order and wrote to Leavenworth to say what I had done in the matter and my reasons-- He sent a duplicate of his resignation to his brother with the expectation he would consult with me on the propriety of its delivery. The interruption of travel between this & Balt. prevented his doing so, & he mailed the resignation at the latter place. All I ask is a delay of the acceptance of the resignation till Col: Emory’s arrival at Leavenworth, he has probably started for that post before this, and I am sure he will approve of my action in his affairs--
1 ID: William H. Emory, a West Point graduate and Mexican War veteran, was a colonel serving in the Indian Territory at the outbreak of the Civil War. Emory led his men out of Confederate territory and later commanded the 19th Corps under General Sheridan. Emory remained in the army until 1876 and retired with the rank of brigadier general.
2 Alexander D. Bache
My own family since the days of the Revolution when my great grandfather Dr. Franklin signed the Declaration of Independence have been true & loyal to the Union, two of my brothers have lost their lives in the service of their country and it is my earnest desire that my husband should remain in the Army where he has served with honor and fidelity for more than quarter of a century.
Matilda W. Emory
Document: Erasmus D. Keyes, Memorandum, May 1, 1861
Lt. Col. Keyes is a maj of artillery Has been in service since 1832. Has never arrested nor did he ever cause but one officer to be arrested.
Has been nearly 5 years at the head of the Dept of Artillery & Cavalry West Point.
Has commanded a Regt. of Arty one year out of the field & about 6 months in the field
Has commanded a District & Post on the coast of the Pacific many years.
Has been nigh ten years in Genl. Scott’s staff.
Has been spoken of in orders & Army Dictionary as three times distinguished in action within past three 5 five years & is still active as ever.
Col. Keyes is & has long been a Republican.
Enquire about Col K of
Document: John G. Nicolay to George W. Caldwell, May 1, 1861
Washington, May 1st 1861.
Your letter of the 25th ult. addressed to the President was duly received, and considered.1 Will you please to write to me, where and how soon, (and let the day be an early one) the leading and responsible men engaged in your movement can meet together, to receive and consult with such gentlemen as the Government may send to represent its views about the matter.
1 See Caldwell to Lincoln, April 25, 1861.
Jno. G. Nicolay
Document: Winfield Scott to Abraham Lincoln, May 1, 1861
For the President.
I have received a letter from Governor Hicks who has learned that Colonel Ellsworth, at the head of a N. York regiment, called the Zouaves, is coming on resolved to cut his way thro’ Baltimore, which threat, the Governor fears, may check the change now rapidly going on thro’out Maryland, & particularly in Baltimore, in favour of the Union. That this change of sentiment will soon become almost universal I learn, also, thro’ a special agent.
My request that Major General Patterson might withdraw his call upon the Governor of Pennsylvania for 26 regiments in addition to the quota of sixteen required by the Secretary of War, was the result of the expressed disapprobation of the Secretary.
Forts Washington & McHenry were reinforced yesterday, & are considered as secure. So I also consider this city, as our means of defence are still ahead of the enemy’s means of attack, & additional volunteers may be expected, daily, for a week.
The four companies of the 2d Cavalry, from Texas, sent to Carlisle to be remounted, will be here, in the saddle tomorrow or the next day, which will give us six companies of that regiment. The remaining four that arrived, a few days ago, at N. Carlisle, York, from Texas, will, in a week, be remounted at Carlisle & follow.
Head Qrs. of the Army,
Washington, May 1, 1861.
Document: Ira Stout to Abraham Lincoln, May 1, 1861
Steam Boat Grey Eagle
Louisvill May 1 1861
I have written a number of letters to you and received no answer and have reason to believe they have been miscaried I shall maile this on the S B Grey Eagle to be remailed at Kenilton Indiana
but to the point -- no fear for Kentucky she is all right -- and if she was not there is not hardly an old shot gun in the State-- ten days since there was considerable excitement in the way of secession but the people begin to think for themselves I have lost no time in getting the people on the Ohio River to meet and concede the matters Indianna has done all that could be required in holding out the hand of friendship to the people on the Ky side and the Kentuckins has met them promptly and as far as I have traveled up and down the Ohio River there is now a decided feeling in favor of the Union-- Kencucky is safe Breckinridge is loosing his influence dont trust old Magofin he is the fool tool of Breckinridge have an eye to him we have had rousing meetings on both sides of the River and all say Union I am now on my way down as far as Hancock Co to call a meeting there and expect to have the extream pleasure of hearing the people say Union and will report to you or my friend Mr F P Blair -- in due time
I have left Missouri and have settled in Hancock Co Ky My Post Office is at Hawsvill and would be pleased to hear from you
Document: Truman Woodruff to Abraham Lincoln, May 1, 1861
Saint Louis May 1, 1861
Dear Sir -- Your war proclimation has made the entire north a unit -- it is true, that in some cases the union feeling in the Slave States are now some what smothered, but soon -- that would -- relieve itself, if it had the backing -- that the north is able and willing to grant -- when you say the word, the public mind in the north and the Union men of the South -- are ready to sustain you in the most rigid subjdigation of all trators and treasonable states-- You have it in your power to make yourself fully respected and honored by all born of this greate nation -- since a war President never was unpopular-- Now in the name of God and our common country we call on you to strike, strike a blow like a thunder bolt -- that will tell for time to come -- make no compromise with trators -- subdue them to the bitter end -- the people are with you -- and are willing to stand by you -- so long as you will meet out, to the enemies of our country, plenty of rope-- Since I saw you I have been considerable in Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky and in this State -- and conversed with many people & find the union men of the Slave States are willing to have their States subdued -- for say they “it will be no humiliation to us to be subdued for we are now, and still willing to be good loyal citizens now and for ever.”
We are getting along first rate in answering your call for our quota of troopes -- (the scoundrel Jackson1 -- to the contrary not with standing) -- I have just returnd from Camp Arsenal -- there is some four thousand in camp to day -- they are coming in all the time-- We have got the secessionist down here, and are determind to keep them down.
1 ID: Claiborne F. Jackson was elected Governor of Missouri in 1860. Jackson sympathized with the Confederacy, but opposed both secession and coercion. Jackson refused to obey Lincoln’s call for volunteers in April 1861 and issued his own call for 50,000 volunteers when General William Harney of the U.S. Army and General Sterling Price of the Missouri militia were unable to reach a compromise. In June 1861 Jackson and the pro-Confederate faction of the legislature moved to Neosho and passed an ordinance of secession in November. The pro-Union faction of the legislature elected Hamilton R. Gamble provisional governor. Jackson died in 1862 before the conflict could be resolved.
Document: Abraham Lincoln to William H. Seward, May 2, 1861 [Copy]1
1 Allan Pinkerton had offered his services and those of his Chicago detective agency to Lincoln two weeks earlier and was probably the “Chicago detective” mentioned here. See Pinkerton to Lincoln, April 21, 1861.
[Marginal note: Copy from F. W. S.]2
2 Copies of Lincoln’s letters to Seward were provided to John G. Nicolay by Seward’s son and secretary, Frederick W. Seward.
May 2. 1861.
My dear Sir,
Our Chicago detective has arrived and I have promised to have you meet him and me here at 8. o’clock this evening.
Document: Maryland Legislature to Otho Scott, Robert M. McLean, and W. I. Ross, May 2, 1861
Frederick May 2d 1861
We have the honor to transmit herewith a resolution of the General Assembly of Maryland this day passed
We have the honor to be
Your ob. Servants
Jno B Brooke
Prest. of the Senate
E G Kilbourn
Speaker of the
House of Delegates
“Resolved by the House of Delegates of Maryland (the Senate concuring) that Otho Scott, R. M. McLane1 and Wm. J. Ross, be and they are hereby appointed Commissioners on the part of the State of Maryland to communicate immediately, in person, with the President of the United States in regard to the present and any proposed prospective military use or occupation of the soil and property of the State, by the General Government, and they are directed to ascertain and report to the General Assembly forthwith for its consideration, whether any becoming arrangements with the General Government are practicable in that connexion, for the maintenance of the peace and honor of the State and the security of its inhabitants.”2
1 Robert M. McLane was a Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives (1847-51) during Lincoln’s single term in Congress.
2 Lincoln met with the commissioners on May 4.
John B Brooke
Prest. of the Senate
E G Kilbourne Speaker
of the House of Delegates
Document: Winfield Scott to Abraham Lincoln, May 2, 1861
Head Quarters, O. V. M.
Columbus, Ohio, April 27, 1861,
Lieut. Genl. Winfield Scott
Comdg. U. S. Army,
Communication with Washington being so difficult, I beg to lay before you some views relative to this region of country, & to propose for your consideration a plan of operations intended to relieve the pressure upon Washington, & tending to bring the war to a speedy close; the region North of the Ohio, and between the Mississippi and the Alleganies, form one grand strategic field in which all operations must be under the control of one head, whether acting offensively or defensively on the defensive.
I assume it as the final result that hostilities will break out on the line of the Ohio.
For two reasons it is necessary to delay this result, by all political means, for a certain period of time.
1st To Enable the North West to make the requisite preparations now very incomplete.
2nd That a strong diversion may be made to in aid of the defense of Washington, & the Eastern line of operations.
First urging that the General Govt. should leave no means untried to arm & equip the Western States, I submit the following views.
Cairo should be occupied by a small force, say 2 Battalions strongly Entrenched, & furnished with heavy guns, & a gunboat to control the river. A force of some 8 Battalions to be in observation at Sandoval (the Junction of the Ohio & Miss, & the Illinois Central Railway) to observe St. Louis, sustain the Garrison of Cairo, & if necessary re-inforce Cincinnati. A few companies should observe the Central below Vincennes.
A Division of about 4000 men at Seymour, to observe Louisville & be ready to support Cincinnati or Cairo-- A Division of 5000 men at or near Cincinnati. Two Battalions at or near Chillicothe.
Could we be provided with arms, the North West has ample resources to furnish 80000 men for active operations, after providing somewhat more than the troops mentioned above for the protection of the frontier.
With the active Army of operations it is proposed to cross the Ohio at, or in the vicinity of Gallipolis, & move up the valley of the Great Kanawha on Richmond; in combination with this Cumberland should be seized, and a few thousand men left, at Ironton or Gallipolis to cover the rear & right flank of the main column. The presence of this detachment & a prompt movement on Louisville, or the heights opposite Cincinnati would effectually prevent any interference on the part of Kentucky. The movement on Richmond should be conducted with the utmost promptness, & could not fail to relieve Washington, as well as to secure the destruction of the Southern Army if aided by a decided advance on the Eastern Line. I know that there would be difficulties in crossing the mountains, but would go prepared to meet them.
Another plan would be, in the event of Kentucky assuming a hostile position, to cross the Ohio at Cincinnati or Louisville with 80,000 men; march straight to Nashville & then act according to circumstances. Were a battle gained before reaching Nashville, so that the strength of Kentucky & Tennessee were effectually broken, a movement on Montgomery, aided by a vigorous [movement?] on the Eastern Line, towards Charleston & Augusta, should not be delayed. The ulterior movements of the combined armies might be on Pensacola, Mobile & New Orleans. It seems clear that the forces of the North West should not remain quietly on the defensive, & that under present circumstances, if the supply of arms is such as to render it absolutely impossible to bring into the field the numbers indicated above -- then offensive movements would be most effective on the line first indicated; but if so liberal a supply can be obtained as to enable us to dispose of 80,000 troops for the active army, then the 2nd line of operations would be the most decisive
To Enable us to carry out either of these plans, it is absolutely necessary that the Genl. Govt. should strain Every nerve to supply the west with arms, ammunition & Equipments.
Even to maintain the defensive we must be largely assisted.
I beg to urge upon you that we are very badly supplied at present, & that a vast population, eager to fight, are rendered powerless by want of arms -- the nation being thus deprived of their aid--
--I have the honor to be, General,
very respectfully yours,
Signed) Geo. B. McClellan
Maj. Genl. Comdg O. V.
A true copy-- Interlineation of omitted paragraph Page 4 made before Certifying
Lt. Col & Mily. Secy.
Head Quarters O. V. M.
April 27, 1861.
Geo. B. McClellan
Maj. Genl. Comdg
To the Genl. in Chief, relating to movements in the West
As at the date of this letter Genl. Mc. knew nothing of the intended call for two years’ volunteers, he must have had the idea of composing his enormous columns of three months’ men for operating against Nashville & Richmond -- that is, of men whose term of service would expire by the time he had collected and organized them. That such was his idea appears from a prior letter, in which, altho’ the Ohio quota is but 10,000 men, the general speaks, I think, of having 30,000 & wants arms &c. &c. &c for 80,000.
2. A march upon Richmond from the Ohio would probably insure the revolt of Western Virginia, which, if left alone, will soon be, 5 out of 7, for the Union.
3. The general eschews water transportation by the Ohio and Mississippi, in favor of long, tedious & break-down (of men, horses & wagons) marches.
4. His plan is to subdue the seceded states, by piecemeal, instead of enveloping them all (nearly) at once, by a cordon of posts on the Mississippi to its mouth, from its junction with the Ohio, & by blockading ships of war on the sea-board-- For the cordon a number of men equal to one of the general’s columns would, probably, suffice; & the transportation of men & all supplies, by water, is about a fifth of the land cost -- be-sides the immense saving in time.
Respectfully submitted to the Presiden
signed Winfield Scott
May 2, 1861.
a true copy)
Lt. Col & Mily. Secy.
Document: Abraham Lincoln, Proclamation Calling for Volunteers, May 3, 1861 [Draft]1
1 Exercising his constitutional powers as commander-in-chief, and acting without Congressional authorization (Congress would not convene for two months), Lincoln here calls for an additional moderate increase in the country’s military and naval forces. The term of enlistment is for three years, however, rather than the 90-day term called for in Lincoln’s earlier proclamation of April 15. See Abraham Lincoln, Proclamation, April 15, 1861.
The draft is in the hand of John G. Nicolay, Lincoln’s secretary, with revisions in Lincoln’s hand.
By the President of the United States
-- A Proclamation --
Whereas pressing existing exigencies demand immediate and adequate measures for the security of the national Capital, the protection of the National constitution and the preservation of the National Union by the suppression of the insurrectionary combinations now existing in several states for opposing the laws of the Union and obstructing the Execution thereof, to which end a military force in addition to that called forth by my proclamation of the fifteenth day of April in the present year, appears to be indispensably necessary. Now therefore I, Abraham Lincoln President of the United States and Commander in Chief of the Army Land Army and Navy thereof Navaly forces of the United States, thereof, and of the militia of the several states when called called into the actual service of the United States do hereby call into the service of the United States2 forty two thousand and thirty four volunteers to serve for the period of two three years unless sooner discharged, and to be mustered into service as Infantry and Cavalry. The proportion of each arm and the details of enrollment and organization will be made known through the Department of War.
2 This sentence originally began: “Now therefore I Abraham Lincoln President of the United states and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy thereof do hereby call into service of the United States . . .” After much alteration, the revised version reads: “Now therefore I Abraham Lincoln President of the United states and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy thereof and of the militia of the several states when called into actual service do hereby call into the service of the United States . . .”
And I also direct that the regular army of the United States, be increased by the addition of eight regiments of Infantry, one regiment of Cavalry and one regiment of Artillery, making altogether a maximum aggregate increase of twenty two thousand seven hundred and fourteen officers and enlisted men, the details of which increase will also be made known through the Department of War.3
3 The paragraph immediately following is written on a slip to be inserted here. The first sentence is in Lincoln’s hand, the second in Nicolay’s hand.
And I further direct the enlistment for not less than one or more than three years of eighteen thousand Seamen in addition to the present force for the naval service of the United States. The details of the enlistment and organization will be made kn known through the Department of the Navy.
The call for volunteers hereby made and the direction for the increase of the regular army and the enlistment of Seamen4 hereby given, together with the Plan of organization adopted for the volunteer and for the regular forces hereby authorized, will be submitted to Congress as soon as assembled.
4 “and the enlistment of Seamen” inserted in Lincoln’s hand.
In the mean time I earnestly invite the coöperation of all good citizens in the measures hereby adopted for the effectual suppression of unlawful violence, for the impartial enforcement of Constitutional laws and for the speediest possible restoration of peace and order and with these of happiness and prosperity throughout our Country--
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the City of Washington this third day of May, in the Year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty fifth
By the President: Abraham Lincoln5
5 The signature is Lincoln’s
Document: Simon Cameron to Abraham Lincoln, May 3, 1861
Will the President please receive the Gentlemen, who hand this? They come from Richmond and have valuable information.
May 3, 1861
Document: William Dennison to Abraham Lincoln, May 3, 1861
May 3, 1861.
Judge Swan1 and Mr N H Swayne2 of Columbus who will hand you this note visit Washington at my request to communicate to you the news and wishes of the people of Ohio in regard to what they deem to be the necessary policy of the General Government in relation to the United States in the existing difficulties of the country. I trust you may be able to give them an early audience and communicate fully with them on the subjects to which they will call your attention.
1 Joseph R. Swan
2 ID: Noah H. Swayne, a prominent Columbus, Ohio attorney, was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by Lincoln in January 1862.
Document: Winfield Scott to Abraham Lincoln, May 3, 1861
For the President
It being ascertained that the Presidents’ square & all the western part of this city, with Georgetown are within the reach of heavy gun batteries on the Arlington heights, I gave instructions yesterday, to Colo. Mansfield not to lose a moment in anticipating the enemy by occupying those heights, with redoubts, sufficient to hold them. This will render an addition of several regiments to the force estimated for the defence of this Capital in my bulletin (report to you of the 30th ultimo.
Perceiving, in a news-paper, that the Legislature of Maryland has appointed commissioners to wait upon the President, with certain propositions, I fear that, after all, we shall be forced to re open free communications with the north, thro’ Baltimore, by our troops.
Head Qrs. of the Army
Washington May 3, 1861
Document: Abraham Lincoln to William H. Seward, May 4, 1861 [Copy]1
1 The Maryland legislature had appointed three commissioners to confer with Lincoln “in regard to the present and any proposed prospective military use or occupation of the soil and property of the State, by the General Government.” See Maryland Legislature to Otho Scott, Robert W. McLean and W.I. Ross, May 2, 1861.
[Marginal note: Copy from F. W. S.]2
2 Copies of Lincoln’s letters to Seward were provided to John G. Nicolay by Seward’s son and secretary, Frederick W. Seward.
May 4. 1861.
The Maryland Committee men or Commissioners, are to be here at ten o’clock this morning--
Document: Millard Fillmore to Abraham Lincoln, May 4, 1861
Buffalo May 4, 1861.
My Dear Sir,
The bearer, Dr. Martin Mayer, a Stranger to me, has asked of me a letter of Introduction to your Excellency, and produced such high proofs of character, that I do not feel at liberty to refuse it; and therefore while I decline any interference, in any appointment he may desire, (which is my uniform practice) I desire simple to ask that he may be heard.
Document: John P. Gillis to Abraham Lincoln, May 4, 1861
‘private’ --. U. S. Steamr ‘Pocahontas’
Chesapeake Bay -- off ‘Potomac’
4th May 1861
We left the Navy Yard Washgtn at 9.30 A. M. 30th ulto., proceeded down the Potomac to its mouth, all along the shores appeared peaceful, no offensive demonstrations.
We have been actively employed in the Bay, speaking many vessels, a steamr passed up the Potomac, night of the 1st May, too distant to hail, spoke a Barque from Balto, she reports passing a Steamr with troops, at anchor off the Pautuxent, 9.30 P M 30th Apl, which was about the time we reached the mouth of Potomac (30 miles below), spoke Steamr Addaide from ‘Old Point’ -- no news -- 3d May spoke ship Neptune from Bremen bound to Balto, she reported two Steamrs with troops gone in to Fortress Monroe yesterday, and the ‘Quaker City’ cruising at the entrance of Chesapeake Bay -- rough and wet weather 3d and 4th May gales No & We to So & Ea, rain -- Therm: 42˚ Fah.
At 6.20 p.m. 4th May discovered two Steamrs Standing up the Bay, made chase, firing guns, and after dark sent up rockets, to bring them to, overhauled them at 9 p.m. off the Pautuxent, they proved to be the Harriet Lane in company with transport ‘Star of the South’ with six hundred troops on board, Brooklyn Regt. Lt Col. Burns Commandg. communicated with him, and directed her to follow the Pocahontas to the mouth of Potomac, they report the U. S. Steam frigate Niagara to leave N York 4th May for Chesapeake Bay --, Transpt. Columbia to leave with Regt. from Maine; I learn also that Col Ellsworth with firemen Zouaves is at Annapolis, the Ulster County guards were left in Barracks New York Park, ‘Star of the South’ waited in New York until 4.30 p.m. on Thursday for ‘Columbia’, the Harriet Lane has orders to proceed to the mouth of the Patapsco, there to lie off and on until further orders, I will convoy the Transport to Washington.
The motion caused by the propeller of this vessel is so great that it is difficult to write.
“The cry is still they come”! more stout hearts and strong arms to defend and preserve, not only the federal Capital, but the whole Union!!
We pass the resting place of the mortal remains of our beloved Washington, with heads uncovered, flag half mast, and bell tolling -- “Mount Vernon tomb, its gates outspread
See where the reverend shade is weeping!”
I am Sir Very Respectfully
and Truly Yours
Jno. P. Gillis
Commdr U S Navy.
The troops will debark at the Arsenal point--
Document: Winfield Scott to Abraham Lincoln, May 4, 1861
For the President.
I have authorized commanders of Departments, Butler & Mansfield, to interchange two regiments, so that the former may have two of his brigade with him, at Annapolis. The movement will be made without any expence to the U. States.
Brig. General Butler has my instructions to send, from Annapolis, to the Relay-house, 8 miles this side of Baltimore, a heavy regiment to hold that important point; --