Abraham Lincoln Papers
Document: Christopher C. Andrews to Abraham Lincoln, November 3, 1864
Hd. Qrs. 2d Div. 7th A. C.
Devall’s Bluff Ark Nov. 3. 64
Matters remain here about as usual.
The weather has been rainy for three days. We have storehouses however, so that every thing is under good cover. There are now 60.000 sacks of grain in good shelter.
Undoubtedly a rise in the streams will be of advantage to our side. For some weeks past there has been no communication by water between Pine Bluff and Little Rock.
Recently a train of 300 wagons with supplies, left Little Rock for Fort Smith. Maj. Gen. Herron1 accompanied the escort.
1 Francis J. Herron had been given leave as commander of the District of Baton Rouge and Port Hudson and ordered to inspect the situation in Arkansas. See Official Records, Series I, Volume 41, Part III, 629-30.
I learn on fair authority that the rebel McRay who accompanied Price into Missouri with about 3000 men, is now at Searcy, (sixty miles north west of here)2
2 Brig. Gen. Dandridge McRae was a resident of Searcy, Arkansas. He resigned his commission in the Confederate army late in 1864.
I have now at this post 4000 troops, the greater part of whom have good winter quarters. I have 500 men at work on fortifications, all of which I hope to have finished in a few days. One of my regiments is the 57th U. S. Infy (Col.) and is at work on the last and heaviest earthwork.3 I told them the other day I thought if they made a good fort of it we would call it Fort Lincoln which greatly pleased the men and made them shovel faster.
3 The 57th U. S. Colored Troops was organized in March 1864 from men of the 4th Arkansas Infantry (African Descent).
I believe in getting as many colored troops as possible. The more rebels see that they cannot retain slavery the more readily will they quit. Yours truly
C. C. Andrews. Brig. Genl.
Document: John Boyle to Abraham Lincoln, November 3, 1864
The following Telegram received at Washington, 125 PM. Nov 3 1864.
From Louisville Nov 3 1864.
Robert W Reed Company A fourth Ky Cavalry at Chattanooga is sentenced to die November twentieth for killing John Arterburris his messmate & friend Arterburris brother witnessed the killing & represents it as committed in momentary passion wantonly provoked by deceased & repented as soon as done Reed has been a good soldier & was warm friend of Arterburris officers & others think it a proper case for executive clemency & beseech you to commute the sentence to imprisonment for term of years or life, grant reprieve until the case can be laid before you, but few days remain, please answer by telegraph1
1 The order to execute Reed was suspended. See Collected Works, VIII, 91.
Document: Stephen G. Burbridge to Abraham Lincoln, November 3, 18641
1 General Burbridge was commander of the District of Kentucky.
The following Telegram received at Washington, 5 PM. Nov 3 1864.
From Lexington Nov 3 1864.
Your dispatch recd, General Orders from Head Quarters Dept of the Ohio direct the execution of five soldiers for desertion at Louisville on Sunday next-- Vance Mason is one of the number I am charged with the execution of the orders & have asked that the sentences may not be carried out on Sunday but could obtain no change of the order2
2 Mason, a soldier in the 37th Kentucky Infantry, was to be executed for desertion. At the instance of one of Mason’s superiors, Lincoln ordered the suspension of the sentence on November 3. Private Mason was eventually returned to duty. See Benjamin J. Spaulding to Lincoln, November 3, 1864; and Collected Works, VIII, 88-89, 229.
S G Burbridge
Bvt M Genl Cmdg
Document: Schuyler Colfax to Abraham Lincoln, November 3, 1864
Quincy Ills. Nov 3, 1864.
My dear Sir,
I saw a dispatch yesterday stating that Mr. Stanton1 was certain to be Chief Justice & Mr. Blair2 Secretary of War. With the very highest regard for Mr. Stanton, let me say that I have spoken in five States since the Oct. election, & have never known public opinion to be as unanimous, as it is in favor of Gov. Chase3 for the Chief Justiceship. I spoke at Keokuk last night, & Judge Miller4 of the U. S. Supreme Court, told me to say to you that such was his desire and the hope of every Union man he had met. Excuse these suggestions.
1 Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton
2 Montgomery Blair
3 Salmon P. Chase
4 Samuel F. Miller
Let me congratulate you in advance on the triumphant reelection that awaits you next Tuesday-- Yrs truly & resp’y,
Document: John F. Frazer to Abraham Lincoln, November 3, 1864
St. Louis, Nov. 3, 1864.
Dear Sir: I enclose an account of the execution of six rebel prisoners, to which I respectfully ask your attention. This unjust, unchristian and barbarous act has shocked, pained and humiliated almost our entire reflecting community, and has affixed an ineffaceable stigma upon the sacred cause we are contending for. Its monstrous injustice -- taking the lives of men for crimes of which they are innocent -- is its condemnation. We do not retaliate the nameless outrages and fiendish barbarities perpetrated by guerrillas. Then why murder men in cold blood for the crimes of others?1
1 These men were executed in retaliation for the murders of Maj. James Wilson of the 3rd Missouri State Militia Cavalry and six of his men. They had been captured on September 27 at Pilot Knob, Missouri by elements of James F. Fagan’s Confederate forces and shortly thereafter turned over to the rebel guerrilla leader Timothy Reeves. Their bodies were found near Washington, Missouri early in October. There are numerous letters and telegrams in this collection relating to this affair. See Official Records, Series I, Volume 41, Part IV, 251.
This act has had no good effect, and can have none. On the contrary, it has injured our cause, and will be certain to cause incite the murder of more of our helpless prisoners in the hands of the rebels.
I earnestly beg you, sir, for the sake of our cause, which is that of civilization and not of barbarism -- for the sake of justice and religion -- for God’s sake -- to put a stop to these barbarities.
Excuse the liberty I have taken in addressing you thus., Believe me, It I have no other purpose than to save our cause from shame and reproach, and to subserve the cause of Right.
Mr. Foy2, Postmaster, and Mr. Wm. McKee,3 of the “Missouri Democrat,” have vouched for my loyalty and honesty, and I presume, if necessary, would do it again.
2 Peter L. Foy was postmaster at St. Louis.
3 William McKee was editor of the Missouri Democrat.
Yours with great respect
John F. Frazer.
Document: George G. Meade to Abraham Lincoln, November 3, 1864
The following Telegram received at Washington, 545 PM. Nov 3 1864.
From Head Qurs A Potomac Nov 3 1864.
Your dispatch of this date directing that execution of the sentence in the cases of Samuel J Smith and George Brown alias George Rock be suspended until further orders has been received The records in their cases were forwarded to the Judge Advocate General some days ago--1
1 Both Smith and Brown had been sentenced to death for desertion. See Collected Works, VIII, 88.
Geo G. Meade
Major General Comdg.
Document: Amasa J. Parker, et al. to Abraham Lincoln, November 3, 1864 [With Endorsement by Lincoln]1
1 In order to facilitate the voting of soldiers in the field, New York along with other states dispatched agents from both parties to deliver ballots to the regiments from their respective states. Upon arriving in Washington en route to the army, New York’s three Democratic agents were arrested and detained. Parker was a New York lawyer, politician and educator, who addresses this issue below. See also Edwin M. Stanton to Lincoln, November 2, 1864.
Washington Nov 3rd 1864.
The undersigned Commissioners in behalf of the State of New York appointed by the Governor of that State and charged with certain duties growing out of the arrest and detention of several citizens of the State who were at the time of their arrest acting as State Agents at Washington having in charge the interests of the New York Volunteers, in the service of the United States, beg leave to say to your Excellency, that on their arrival in Washington on the 31st ulto, they called upon the Hon E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War and made known to him the object of their mission-- They have had several interviews with the Secretary and have addressed to him several communications and hoped that the object of their visit would be substantially accomplished without the necessity of addressing you directly upon the subject. But certain requests which the undersigned deemed reasonable under the circumstances and which did not involve any principle or in any way affect the public interest, having been refused it has become our duty to bring the subject to your attention.
They therefore enclose for your consideration a copy of a communication addressed and delivered to the Secretary of War on the evening of the 1st inst.2
2 See Amasa J. Parker, William Kelley, and W. F. Allen to Stanton, November 1, 1864.
From that communication, your excellency will learn the nature of the demand which is respectfully made of the United States and some of the grounds on which it is based.
The claim is for the release of the individuals named in the paper, from arrest, and the delivery of them to the State Authorities, if as agents of the State they have violated any law of the State and the ground of the claim is a want of jurisdiction in the United States Military Authorities or tribunals over the persons of the parties in custody or over the offences with which they are understood to be charged.
No copy of the charges have yet been furnished the accused or their counsel, but the Judge Advocate has given the undersigned to understand their general nature, no answer has been received to this communication unless a refusal of the requests referred to may be regarded as a refusal to comply with the demand: but as by a note received last evening from Col Hardie3 of the War Department, it is suggested that these men may possibly be put on trial to day before a Military Commission, the undersigned have no time to lose, a in addressing your Excellency as the chief magistrate of the Nation. And in the name of the State of New York. ------------------------- the undersigned claim directly from your Excellency that which was asked of the Secretary of War in the communications referred to.
3 Col. James A. Hardie of the Inspector General’s Department
It is believed that no one will assert that the jurisdiction as claimed in this matter is not debateable and it may be added at least doubtful and as serious questions of public concern as well as important personal rights are involved, the undersigned respectfully ask a favorable consideration of the communication enclosed and an early reply to be addressed to us at Albany.
We are respectfully
Your Excellencys Obt Servants
Amasa J Parker
W F Allen
[Endorsed by Lincoln:]
These papers first seen
or known of by me, Jan.
12. 1865 A. L.
[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]
Amasa J. Parker et. al
Document: Benjamin J. Spaulding to Abraham Lincoln, November 3, 1864
The following Telegram received at Washington, 1220 PM. Nov 3 1864.
From Lexington Nov 3 1864.
Vance Mason Co C Thirty seventh Ky Vols mounted Infy on the charge of desertion is condemned to be shot on the sixth of this month I pray you that you reprieve him or grant a respite until I can bring the matter before you in form There are mitigating circumstances about his case which I am sure will recommend him to your clemency1
1 See Stephen G. Burbridge to Lincoln, November 3, 1864; and Collected Works, VIII, 88-89, 229.
B. J. Spaulding
Lt Col 37” Ky Vols Cmdg
Document: Elihu B. Washburne to Abraham Lincoln, November 3, 1864
The following Telegram received at Washington, 2 PM. Nov 3 1864.
From Galena Ill “ 3 1864.
Four thousand Illinois soldiers voters in Camp Butler will not public interest permit instant furlough1 I have telegraphed Stanton vastly important
1 Illinois did not enact absentee voter legislation until February 1865. Consequently, the only Illinois soldiers who voted in the 1864 election were those at home on election day.
E B Washburne
Document: Isachar Zacharie to Abraham Lincoln, November 3, 1864
New York, Nov. 3d 1864
My Dear Friend,
I just returned to this city after a trip of 9 days through Pennsylvania and New York state, and I am happy to inform you, that I am satisfied that I have done much good, I now think all is Right -- and if we can reduce the Democratic Majority in this city, I shall be satisfied-- As regards the Isrelites -- with but few Exceptions, they will vote for you, I understand them well, and have taken the precaution -- to see that they do as they have promised-- I have secured good and trustworthy men to -- attend on them on Election Day-- My Men have been all the week seeing that their masses are properly Registered -- so that all will go right on the 8th ins.
As Regards Pennsylvania, if you knew all -- you and your friends would give me much credit -- for I flatter myself I have done one of the sharpest things that has been done in the champaigne, will explain it to you when I see you.
I wish to God all was done for I am used up, but 3 years ago, I promised I would elect you, and if you are not it shall not be my fault--
Raymond1 will inform you that I am doing all I can for him but his choices are very Doubtfull-- I should feel very bad if your choices was like his--
1 Henry J. Raymond
I have much to say to you but have been up almost every night -- that I am used up-- I hope to see you after the fun is over, when I hope you will say
“Well done my good and faithfull servant.”
With kind regards to Mrs Lincoln.
I. Zacharie. MD
P. S. did you receive the orages, oranges,
Document: Mary J. Baldwin to Abraham Lincoln, November 4, 18641
1 Mrs. Baldwin was the sister of Union Generals Alexander McD., Robert L., and Daniel McCook, Jr.
Nashville Nov 4th
In consideration of the approaching election I feel a delicacy in troubling you. Mrs. Fogg2 and Mrs Bridges are constantly intreating me to write and beg you pardon Bridges3 as is you can do no better send him to the Penitentary a short time. As you know from the evidence he was tried and convicted for the death of a “Rebel Soldier” -- while in the rebel Army-- I think he is entitled to some consideration for the deed and indeed the condition of his family is pitiable. Let this and the Young4 case be the first merciful act after your re-election Which thank Heaven is certain--
2 Mary Fogg, wife of Francis B. Fogg, of Nashville, Tennessee.
3 Robert T. Bridges, a former Confederate officer, was under sentence of death for a murder committed at his home in Ringgold, Georgia. See George W. Bridges to Lincoln, August 18 and 30, 1864; Andrew Johnson to Lincoln, September 6 and 28, 1864; Collected Works, VII, 540; and VIII, 26, 29, 180.
4 John S. Young, son of a former Tennessee secretary of state, was also under sentence of death. See Andrew Johnson to Lincoln, August 17, 1864; and Collected Works, VII, 502, 516.
After the execution of [Mirbey?] nine union men -- near Shelbyville [were?] shot in retaliation of his death proving my judgment was correct--
Please Mr President -- send to Capt W. H. McLyman now in charge of the Goverment Bakery in this city a commission as Major--5 He is a splendid officer and so honest and devoted to his duties-- Grant me this as a personal favor -- and the just reward of well-doing--
5 Capt. William H. McLyman was brevetted major of volunteers, to rank from August 18, 1865.
Do you know Genl Thomas6 (God bless the Hero) has appointed me Agent for the Army of the Cumberland -- and I am succeeding nicely and have employed the best of counselers and help. Although the Sutlers say they will force the Secty of War to brake up the arraingment-- If any thing should occur -- I hope you will be true to the daughter & sister of four dead Hero’s--
6 Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas
Wishing you health & happiness -- I hope to remain
respectfully your friend
Mary J. Baldwin
Document: Stephen G. Burbridge to Abraham Lincoln, November 4, 18641
1 General Burbridge was commander of the District of Kentucky.
The following Telegram received at Washington, 1010 PM. Nov 4 1864.
From Lexington Ky Nov 4 1864.
Your dispatch received and orders issued in conformity thereto, the record will be forwarded at once2
2 In a dispatch of November 3, Lincoln requested the records in the cases of five deserters, including that of Vance Mason. There are several documents in this collection relating to Mason’s case.
S G Burbridge
Bvt Maj Genl Comdg
Document: William Davenport to Abraham Lincoln, November 4, 1864
Hopkinsville Ky Novr 4th 1864
I am disposed to trouble you again, with another letter-- I hope you will not consider it an unpardonable intrusion.
I discover that there are to be two comissioners for this State, to adjudicate the claims to Citizens of this State for Negroes who have entered the service of the US.--
I have addressed a letter to Mr Stanton Secry of War, who has the appointing power, to get the appointment. I would now request your aid in securing for me the position.1
1 Commissioners to investigate the claims of slaveholders were appointed only for the states of Maryland and Delaware. See Official Records, Series III, Volume 4, 1075-76 and Series III, Volume 5, 139-40.
I would have been glad to have gotten the appt. of the assessor for the 1st District, in which I am now thrown, and wrote you about it but learned through Geo D Blakey2 It had been confered on [Yelser?] of Paducah, I have acted as Deputy Collector for Blakey.
2 Blakey was one of the original organizers of the Republican Party in Kentucky. He had been appointed Collector of Internal Revenue for the First Kentucky District by Lincoln.
I suppose more Slaves have enlisted in the counties of Todd, Trigg, and Christian than in any other portion of the State; having become intimately acquainted with the political Status of men in those and many others in other counties, I think, I could protect the Government from the claims of those who should not be remunerated; and only remunerate those who have been; and still are loyal--
I think there has been in this part of Ky, (that has come under my observation) great injustice done the loyal portion. Rebellion has all the time has been at a premium. And numbers have become sympathizers, because they have been protected and more favoured than true Union men.
With this portion of Ky great evils have grown out of the amnesty Oath, it has been mainly through that channel the South Western part of Ky has been so bountifully suppled with those roving bands of desperadoes Jas. Brewer and Barrett where shot in this place 2 or 3 week ago, had cerficates of the of the Oath of Allegiance Mr Goodin who was killed below Princton, Had taken the oath 3 times. Forrest after his attack on Paducah, purposely send numbers of his forces into this region As many as 30 at time would take the oath having surrendered themselves Those afterwards formed the neuclous for new bands and new organizations &c
I sometime since recommended Leut. Col Saml. F Johnson of 52 R Ky Caly to raise another regt.3 He has mainly succeeded. I was present and witnessd the mustering in, of part of the Regt by Col. Cradock to my unther astonishment. They were sworn to obey the orders of Govr Bramlette.4 I have since learned they have been transfered to the state and Govr. B-- has the intire controle of them It is my humble opinion they had as well -- if not better have been transfered to Jeff Davis or the comm’ders in chief of the N. W. conspirators.-- I have no confidence Bramlette’s integrity. (I send you his proclamation)
3 Lt. Col. Johnson of the 52nd Kentucky Infantry became colonel of the 17th Kentucky Cavalry.
4 Thomas E. Bramlette
Johnson has been a good and effecient officer. But ever since the transfer I think I can discover a softening down toward Rebels &. Permits have since been granted with out any discrimination to all. These things were unknown to to the truly loyal of this place Such blunders have been the bain of Unionism in this country
Orders are issued from Head Qrs for the punishment of Gurrellas &c But not executed.-- If strictly carried out the officers are superceeded. Example Genl. Payne5 of Paducah Genl. Butler of N. Orleans.6 Such men as Genl. Boyle Genl Hurlburt Col Bruce Col E A Straling Col True Col Craddock7 are men who rebels and C-Heads like to administer law for them-- Craddock I am informed was one of Paynes triers; an honest man might as soon expect to get justice in Hell, with the Devil on the bench He is a down right C-head -- I am astonished at the trasfer of Johnsons Regt. I enclose you Bramlettes
5 General Eleazar A. Paine had recently been removed as commander of the District of Western Kentucky. For correspondence pertaining to his removal, see Lucien Anderson to Lincoln, September 10, 1864; Anderson to Green Adams, September 10, 1864; and John M. Mackenzie to Lincoln, September 16, 1864.
6 Benjamin F. Butler
7 Brig. Gen. Jeremiah T. Boyle; Maj. Gen. Stephen A. Hurlbut; Col. Sanders D. Bruce, 20th Ky. Inf.; Col. Edmund A. Starling, 35th Ky. Inf.; Col. Clinton J. True, 40th Ky. Inf.; and Lt. Col. William B. Craddock, 30th Ky. Inf.
I have now strong hopes of your getting the Electoral Vote of this state since the issuing of Burbridges order (I think) No. 7 preventing illegal voting--
I hope you may get evry vote. I have some fears of the consequences at the elections in this state and N Y Bramlette & Seymore8 I am satesfied would be glad a Rebellion was inaugerated if they could avoid the resposibility His Proclamation in my opinion looks that way to me, Smells very strongly of treason
8 Horatio Seymour
Document: David A. Harsha to Abraham Lincoln, November 4, 1864
Argyle, Nov. 4th 1864.
I send you, by mail, for your acceptance my sketch of the Life of my friend the Hon. Charles Sumner &c, with an enclosed Appeal to the Loyal voters of Washington County, N. York.--1 For some months past I have turned aside from my usual course of authorship to canvass my native county of Washington for the Union cause. And I can assure you that we are going to give a large Union majority for our county on next tuesday. Desperate efforts have been made this fall by the Copperheads to convert our patriotic county to their disloyal principles. Gov. Seymour2 is in our midst to day (at Ft. Edward) abusing your loyal administration; but it will be in vain. Old Washington County (N. Y.) was christened rightly; and she will not in this hour of national peril disgrace her baptism. We are all ready for the work of next Tuesday. Wishing you, and the loyal cause, you have so faithfully sustained, all success3
1 Harsha’s life of Sumner was originally published in 1856 in New York.
2 Gov. Horatio Seymour
3 Lincoln wrote to Harsha on November 10 and thanked him for the book. Lincoln’s note to Harsha has not been located. See Harsha to Lincoln, November 23, 1864.
I remain very Truly
Your friend & Servant
D. A. Harsha.
Document: William O. Bartlett to Abraham Lincoln, November 5, 18641
1 Bartlett was a close associate of James Gordon Bennett of the New York Herald.
Easton, Northampton Co. Pa.
Nov. 5, 1864.
Everything looks agreeably encouraging here. There remains no doubt that the Curtin men are all right.
J. Glancy Jones2 predicted to McClellan,3 one day last week 2000 Democratic gain in this County. If it is made it will be in spite of great efforts on the part of the Republicans. All things look most propitious. A torch light procession here last night was very enthusiastic.
2 Jones was a former Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania and U. S. minister to Austria.
3 General George B. McClellan was Lincoln’s opponent in the 1864 presidential election.
W. O. Bartlett
Mrs. James Gordon Bennett has become a very ardent Lincolnite! Little Mac’s visit to Fort Washington was like most of his advance movements -- altogether unsuccessful.
Document: Titian J. Coffey to Abraham Lincoln, November 5, 18641
1 Coffey was the Assistant Attorney General.
5 Novr 1864
My Dear Mr. President
Having expressed to the Attorney Genl when in Washington a few days ago, a wish to give you my views of the political situation in Penna, he suggested that I should write you on the subject-- I therefore venture to obtrude them on you, although at this late stage of the campaign, if indeed at any stage, they can have but little value--
I have looked carefully over the whole field and, yielding to no hasty or prejudiced impressions, I feel certain that you will carry the State by a handsome majority on the home vote-- I am mistaken if it will not be 10,000-- Of course the soldier vote will increase it-- It ought to have been the same at the October election and it ought next Tuesday to be 20,000-- That we will carry the State is due to the immense stake of the contest and to the popular confidence in and regard for yourself -- and nothing else-- For we have gone through the struggle without the benefit of that thorough and detailed organization which heretofore has enabled us to carry the State-- I do not mean that our State committee did not try to do their whole duty-- Their hearts and efforts were thoroughly enlisted in the work-- But I doubt whether they had that perfect knowledge of the instrumentalities which heretofore have availed in our contests-- The fact is that the class of men who, more than any other, have built up and perfected our partisan organization here have not been charged with the responsibilities of the contest and, whilst all have been anxious to work and have worked as they could, many of those who have heretofore organized victory in Penna have had but a subordinate place this year-- This was signally true before the October election, but I am glad to say that the startling closeness of the vote then, has, to a great extent, silenced personal and factious jealousies and stimulated all to a common effort And so, I have no doubt whatever, that the home vote will go for you-- But it might and aught to have been larger by thousands than it will be You could not be interested in the details by which this proposition might be established, but it is true-- All of our shrewdest and best politicians know it-- But in view of the effect of draft, taxes &c on our German population and of our inefficient organization the certain fact that you will get a decided majority on our home vote is a splendid tribute to the success of your administration and the fidelity of the people to the Union--
Pardon, sir, the length of this letter, but I have ventured to write it, close as the time is to the election day, because opinions of results never lose any interest they may have until the returns begin to come in--
Respectfully & truly
Your friend & sevt
T. J. Coffey--
Document: John W. Forney to Abraham Lincoln, November 5, 1864
November 5th 1864.
Dear Mr. President;
F. Carrol Brewster1, city solicitor, one of the ablest and most influential members of