October 14th 1864.
I have the honor to report to you, in regard to a letter, referred to me from your Department on the 28th of September last. The letter is addressed to you officially, dated New Orleans, July 30, 1864, and signed W. W. Handlin.1
I need not make any remark upon those parts of the letter which relate to politics, local or general, for these, I am sure, present no question about which you desire opinions from me.
I understand that Mr. Hahn is Governor of the State of Louisiana, chosen by the people, and acting, professedly, under the Constitution and laws of that State. And that Mr. Handlin was a State Judge, for the third judicial (municipal) District of New Orleans, within that State.
This being so, I do not perceive that the President has any duty or power, to interfere between the conflicting officials of the same State government. He is not the judge of the laws and officers of the State. If, as Mr. Handlin affirms, the Governor had no power, under the State Constitution, to remove him from office and vacate his commission, the State judiciary alone has power to hear and determine the question of right; and if they find the Governor in the wrong and the Judge in the right, they will, doubtless, be able to protect the Judge in the enjoyment of his office, and in the legal exercise of all his legitimate functions.
I think it is a matter which belongs entirely to the State of Louisiana, and that the President has no legal authority in the premises.
The papers referred by the President to this office are herewith returned.
New York, October 14, 1864.
The general wish of the friends of the Union, so far as I have the means and the capacity of judging, points to Mr. Chase as the successor of the late Chief Justice. For such a post, Mr. Chase is admirably fitted, both by his native and his acquired qualities. As is an able and accomplished jurist, profoundly versed in international and constitutional law, and familiar with all questions arising out of the relations of the States to each other, and to the federal government, I do not know his superior-- I need not speak to you, who know him so well, of the his powers of discrimination, his calm and solid judgment and dignity of character. His liberal opinions, in regard to the duties of government, are tempered by a moderation which makes it impossible that he should push them to any rash extremes. All these qualities exist in combination with an incorruptible honesty. In the reconstruction of the Union many questions will arise in which the late Chief Justice would, without the least doubt, have been a most unsafe arbiter. In Mr. Chase the friends of the Union recognize one who would decide these questions wisely and with a judicious regard to the welfare and permanence of our system of government.
If he were appointed to the seat on the Supreme Bench left vacant by Chief Justice Taney’s death, the anxieties of many, who have looked towards the final settlement of the controversy in which the country is now engaged, with some degree of painful doubt, would be allayed. It is manifest that the Executive in this important work would need the powerful cooperation of the Judiciary, and with Mr. Chase at the head of the Supreme Court, that cooperation would be given most effectually and most satisfactorily to the country.2 I am, Sir,
2 On December 6, Lincoln nominated Salmon P. Chase to fill the vacancy created by Taney’s death. The Senate confirmed Chase’s nomination that same day.
Your obt. Servant,
Wm. C. Bryant
Document: William A. Buckingham to Abraham Lincoln, October 14, 1864
1 The position of Chief Justice of the United States had become vacant with the death of Roger B. Taney on October 12, 1864. On December 6, Lincoln nominated Salmon P. Chase to succeed Taney. The Senate confirmed Chase’s nomination that same day.
I have the honor to be with
Your obt sevt
Wm A Buckingham
Governor of Conn
Document: Benjamin F. Butler to Abraham Lincoln, October 14, 1864
The following Telegram received at Washington, 7 PM. Oct 14 1864.
From Gen Butlers Hd Qrs Oct 14 1864.
My order and a Report on the case of Capt Jos P Findley will be sent by Mail.1 It has never been my misfortune to get so disgraceful a case of Skulking
1 Lincoln had telegraphed General Butler and requested the details of Captain Joseph R. Findley’s case. See Collected Works, VIII, 47.
Benj F Butler
Document: William S. Alden to Abraham Lincoln, October 15, 1864
Oct. 15th 1864
Allow me the honor to solicit your indulgence in addressing you these lines.
Enclosed please find twenty-five cents which I send you for your Autographic Carte de Visite.
Very recently I was mustered out of the U. S. Service having served in the 2” Vermont Battery Lt. Artlly. three years.
I was on Ship Island when Gen. Butler arrived there to take command.
I have the honor to be Sir
Your Obdt Servt.
Wm. Seymour Alden
Late Q. M. Sgt. 2” Vt. Batty Lt. Artlly.
P. S. Please direct to Philadelphia Care of Rev. B. D. Ames Secretary Field Operations U. S. Christian Commission
W. S. A.
[Endorsed by John Hay:]
Money returned & photograph sent
Oco 21 64.
Document: William O. Bartlett to Abraham Lincoln, [November 1, 1864]1
1 Bartlett was a close friend and associate of James Gordon Bennett, the influential owner of the New York Herald. In the weeks leading up to the 1864 presidential election Lincoln attempted to secure Bennett’s support by tendering him the position as minister to France. Bartlett served as the intermediary in these negotiations between Bennett and Lincoln.
Enclosed is one of the letters of Judge Maxwell, to which I alluded in our conversation;2 but I concluded that any inquiry into the disposition of the money, now that it is gone, would be useless for any good purpose, and would disaffect the parties into whose hands it passed. I think it safer and wiser to renew the contribution through other sources.
2 See H. D. Maxwell to Bartlett, October 15, 1864.
W. O. Bartlett
In regard to New York I may remark that our latest advices from the central, Northern, and Western counties -- all coming from sources entitled to confidence -- represent that unless McClellan3 goes out of the city more than fifty thousand ahead, your majority in the State will still be large.
3 General George B. McClellan was the Democratic nominee for the presidency.
If the alleged letter from Barlow4 is really of a character that would be damaging to him, I could use it in the Herald to great advantage.
4 Samuel L. M. Barlow was a New York lawyer, Democratic politician and one of McClellan’s chief advisors.
In that case Maj. Hay might enclose it, directed to me at New York City simply, and I would see that it should be made to tell as far as possible.
Document: Hannibal Hamlin to Abraham Lincoln, October 15, 1864
Bangor Oct 15 1864
My Dear Sir
I notice by the papers the name of Secy Fessenden1 in connection with the apt. of Chief Justice of the S C of the U. S.2
1 Treasury Secretary William P. Fessenden
2 Chief Justice Roger B. Taney had died on October 12, thereby creating the vacancy.
I wish I could see you and if it would be of any avail I would go to W to see you-- I presume Mr F would be much gratified with the apt and is most eminently qualefied for the place, and let me assure you, if you can consistently give him the place it will confer a lasting obligation upon me--3
3 Lincoln appointed Salmon P. Chase to succeed Taney.
I go to N. Y. and Pa to engage in the Prest canvass
Yours very Truly
Document: Frederick Hassaurek to Abraham Lincoln, October 15, 1864 [With Endorsement by Lincoln]1
1 Lieutenant Leopold Markbreit, Frederick Hassaurek’s half-brother, was a prisoner at Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia. Lincoln had already requested that a special exchange be arranged for Markbreit, but he was not released until February 1865. For correspondence pertaining to Markbreit’s case, see Official Records, Series II, Volume 7, 842, 983-84; and Series II, Volume 8, 29-30, 182.
Washington Oct. 15th 1864.
Not wishing to tresspass unduly on your time, permit me to make the following short statement of my brother’s case:
Lt. Markbreit (my brother) would, by this time, be exchanged, had not Gen. Butler2 suspended the execution of the original order of the War Department.
2 Benjamin F. Butler
Markbreit was taken as a hostage for a man sentenced by a Military Commission on Johnson’s Island.
When his special exchange was proposed to Ould,3 the latter refused unless proposed in return “to exchange or place in the condition of ordinary prisoners of war, all prisoners held in close confinement, or in irons on both sides.”
3 Robert Ould was the Confederate agent for the exchange of prisoners.
To this Gen. Hitchcock4 consented, and the Secretary of War approved his decision.
4 Ethan A. Hitchcock
Orders were, therefore, issued to that effect, but when Gen. Butler returned to his post, he suspended their execution. In consequence of which Ould threatens to put my brother in close confinement again so soon as his shattered health permits it.
The Secretary of War was then very kindly ordered to propose to the Rebels the exchange of my brother for the man for whom he is held. To this I beg that a secret addition be made.
I implore your excellency that in case Ould should refuse to accede to this last proposition -- and only in case he should refuse -- Major Mulford5 be authorized to communicate to him (Ould) that our govt consents to “exhange or place in the condition of ordinary prisoners of war, all prisoners held in close confinement or in irons, on both sides.”-- This would, in my humble opinion, not be a concession to the Rebels, but to humanity, b worthy of the noble and civilized spirit of our Govt., and it would save a life dearer to me than my own.
5 Major John E. Mulford was the assistant agent for the exchange of prisoners at Fort Monroe.
In the expectation that my humble prayer will be favorably considered by your excellency, I have the honor to remain yours & &
[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]
Document: Frederick Hassaurek to Abraham Lincoln, October 15, 1864
Washington Oct. 15th 1864.
I know that private considerations cannot and will not interfere with the discharge of your official duties, but when those considerations affect or may affect a great cause in which we all are so deeply interested, you will weigh them with reference to that cause.
The delay of my brother’s exchange will undermine my influence with the Germans.1 It has already been hinted by some of their Democratic papers that although I am “used as a tool” by the administration “to make votes” I am unable to obtain for myself so little a point as the exchange of one prisoner. In this connection it is maliciously added that his fellow hostages -- (Americans) -- have been exchanged, while he is sacrificed, because he was born in Germany. This argument, unjust as it is, will injure our cause not only at the polls, but also with regard to volunteering; and for this reason I take the liberty of mentioning the matter which otherwise I should not have done. It is also hinted that I continue on the stump instead of taking steps to save his life-- For public and private reasons, therefore, this matter must be important to me, and I beseech you not to sacrifice my influence which, not for individual purposes, but to benefit our great national cause, I ought to retain--
1 Lieutenant Leopold Markbreit, Hassaurek’s half-brother, was a prisoner of war at Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia. Though Lincoln had ordered the arrangement of a special exchange for Markbreit in September 1864, he was not released until February 1865. See Official Records, Series II, Volume 7, 842, 983-84; and Series II, Volume 8, 29-30, 182.
I cheerfully tender to you the office which you so kindly bestowed on me, if by conferring it on somebody else you can add the slightest strength & influence to the cause of the country.
For what little I may have done more than my duty, I ask but one favor now -- my poor brother’s life which can be saved only by a word from you-- If you should decide to say that word, please do it by telegraph.
most obedient servant
Document: Henry W. Hoffman to Abraham Lincoln, October 15, 1864
The following Telegram received at Washington, 1120 AM. Oct 15 1864.
From Baltimore Md “ 15 1864.
Returns from State Come in slowly Probable maj. against the Constitution on the home vote of about one thousand1 It is believed that the soldiers vote may overcome this & give a small majority for the Constitution It is reported that in some of the rebel strongholds the oath was not administered & the Govr will consequently reject the returns2
1 On October 12, 1864 voters in Maryland went to the polls to determine whether or not a new state constitution would be ratified. The most controversial aspect of the new constitution was that it abolished slavery. Lincoln had written a letter in support of the constitution and was keenly interested in the outcome of the referendum. See Henry W. Hoffman to Lincoln, October 3, 12, 17, 1864 and Lincoln to Hoffman, October 10, 1864.
2 Upon receiving this telegram, Lincoln requested Hoffman to come to Washington. See Collected Works, VIII, 48.
H. W Hoffman
Document: Unknown to William H. Seward, October 15, 1864 [Copy in Frederick Seward’s Hand with Copied Endorsement by Lincoln]1
1 Lincoln’s endorsement suggests a timeless assessment of certain phases of politics in a democracy.
[Marginal note: Copy from F. W. S.]2
2 Copies of Lincoln’s correspondence with Seward were provided to John G. Nicolay by Seward’s son and secretary, Frederick W. Seward.
Saturday 15 Oct.
On the point of leaving I am told by a gentleman to whose statements I attach credit, that the Opposition Policy for the Presidential Campaign will be to “abstain from voting
P. J. J.
[Copy of Endorsement by Lincoln:]
More likely to abstain from stopping once they get at it, until they shall have voted several times each.
Oct. 16. 1864.
Document: Joseph Medill to Abraham Lincoln, October 15, 1864
Chicago, Oct 15 1864.
The result of last Tuesday’s election was too much for old Dred Scott Taney.1 He saw that it was useless to stay any longer, so he made his exit.
1 Chief Justice Roger B. Taney had died on October 12--one day after the state elections in Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania.
Now, for his successor I am convinced that 99 of every 100 of your political friends and supporters desire you to make Mr. Chase Chief-Justice. You never did a more popular act in your life than to appoint him to the vacancy.2
2 On December 6, Lincoln nominated Salmon P. Chase to succeed Taney. The Senate confirmed Chase’s nomination that same day.
Very Truly Yours
Document: James K. Moorhead to Abraham Lincoln, October 15, 1864
The following Telegram received at Washington, 5 PM. Oct 15 1864.
From Pittsburg Oct 15 1864.
Have you respited or pardoned Peter Gilner Ans1
1 Lincoln informed Moorhead that he did not remember Gilner’s case and needed to look it up. Lincoln had suspended Gilner’s execution on September 20, 1864 and on October 19, Gilner was released from prison and discharged. See Collected Works, VIII, 12, 49.
J K Moorhead
Document: George A. Bennett to Abraham Lincoln, October 16, 18641
1 Captain Bennett was commander of a cavalry company known as the “Union Light Guard.” This unit had been raised in Ohio in 1863 for the express purpose of guarding the president and important public buildings in Washington. Prior to his service in the Union Light Guard, Bennett was captain in a company of the 11th New York Cavalry (also known as “Scott’s 900”) which had also performed escort duty for the president.
Washington City, D. C.
October 16th 1864.
I have now been in arrest for five months, and the records of Proceedings in my case not having reached Genl Holt2 to whom you had ordered them to be refered -- I see no immediate prospect of a change.
2 Joseph Holt
I am desirous in my misfortunes to be of service on some honorable way whereby to dispel the effects of inactivity under which I have suffered so long, and venture to ask your Excellency to accept my resignation.
Especially as I have been appointed an Electoral Agent for the City and County of New York, to assist in taking the Union Vote of the Army of the Potomac, and which can only be accepted as a Citizen.3
3 Bennett’s formal letter of resignation. dated October 17, 1864, is in this collection.
Yr Ob Servant
Geo A Bennett
Capt U L G Cav
Document: Andrew Johnson to Abraham Lincoln, October 16, 1864
The following Telegram received at Washington, 725 PM. Oct 16 1864.
From Nashville Tenn Oct 16 1864.
Sometime since for varied reasons and in compliance with the wishes of the real Union men of this state I requested the Secy of War to include all Eastern Tenn in the Dept of the Cumb. This should be done I hope there is no objection to it by the Executive The change can produce no conflict but on the contrary will produce harmony & concert of action I have again renewed the request to the Secy of War & hope that there will be favorable action on the part of the Prest & the Secy of War1
1 General Sherman was initially opposed to the expansion of the Department of the Cumberland and Johnson’s request was not implemented until January 1865. See Official Records, Series I, Volume 39, Part V, 717 and Volume 45, Part II, 603.
Document: Frederick F. Low and Stephen J. Field to Abraham Lincoln, October 15, 1864
The following Telegram received at Washington, 11 AM. Oct 16 1864.
From San Francisco Oct 15 1864.
The appointment of Hon S P Chase as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court vice Taney deceased would in our opinion be eminently Judicious & highly satisfactory to the loyal people of the Pacific Coast1
1 Chief Justice Roger B. Taney had died on October 12, 1864. On December 6, Lincoln nominated Salmon P. Chase to succeed Taney. The Senate confirmed Chase’s nomination that same day.
F F Low
Gov of Cal
Stephen G Field
Document: Edwin M. Stanton to Abraham Lincoln, October 16, 1864
Recd in cipher
715 A M 16th
3 A M Oct 16” 1864
Have just arrived and will go on immediately.1 It has occurred to me to propose Genl Jno A Logan for Missouri, or else for Hooker’s present command, and then Hooker go to Missouri--2
1 Stanton was en route to General Grant’s headquarters.
2 The chaotic political and military situation in the Department of Missouri had prompted Lincoln and Stanton to consider suitable replacements for William S. Rosecrans. When Stanton sent this telegram, John A. Logan was on leave campaigning in Illinois and Joseph Hooker was in command of the Northern Department. Lincoln delayed making a change until December when he replaced Rosecrans with Grenville M. Dodge.
What is your opinion in respect to this proposition? Expect to reach City Point at 9. AM-- Please let me have your answer--3
3 No reply from Lincoln has been located.
E M Stanton
Secy of War
Document: Charles C. Fulton to Henry W. Hoffman, October 16, 18641
1 Fulton was editor of the Baltimore American.
The following Telegram received at Washington, 12.50 PM. Oct 16 1864.
From Baltimore Oct 16 1864.
All the actual county returns we have foot up as follows.2
2 The following returns pertain to the October 12, 1864 referendum in Maryland on the new state constitution. The most controversial aspect of the new constitution was that it abolished slavery. Lincoln had written a letter in support of the constitution and was keenly interested in the outcome of the referendum. See Henry W. Hoffman to Lincoln, October 3, 12, 15, 17, 1864 and Lincoln to Hoffman, October 10, 1864.
Majority for Constitution 11246 against 6332 -- returns from soldiers as far as received principally in Maryland 924 majority for Constitution we have nothing from montgomery Charles prince Georges somerset Worcester and Dorchester -- the highest estimates for these counties against the convention are 6400 -- admitting these and the result will be about as follows -- for Constitution 12170 against 12722-- we expect fully one thousand more from soldiers for the constitution if the counties estimated exceed the estimates given the Constitution is lost if not it is probably adopted--3
3 The vote of Maryland’s soldiers helped pass the constitution by a very narrow margin and Maryland became a free state on November 1, 1864.
C. C. Fulton
Document: P. Wellington to Abraham Lincoln, October 16, 1864
Cincinnati Octobr. 16/64
My dear S’ir:
Enclosed please find a true copy, of Evidence rendered by me, in regard to George McClellan, to Edgar C’onklin of this city. My affidavit, having been taking this day.--
My object, for addressing you in regard to same is as follows, My enemies; or rather our Countries Enemies, may accuse me, of having acted, from motives of S’elf Interest, Knowing, that I hold just Claims against the Government.-- I state to you, that I have been prompted only by pure & patriotic motives; & would s’corn to stoop in any way, that would lead one iota, from the track of Honnor & Justice. Though I have & am still, supporting your administration; with a zeal but seldom found, I am S’ir; among the Thousands, that has lost their all! by your to great Clemency to Traitors.
Forgive me if I am so severe, but I deal in facts, the Truth is, that the treatment, which I have received, from the present Administration has been of that S’tamp, which would s’hake an Angels faith.
All what I have ask’d & still s’eek is Justice & my h’onnest Dues Had that been rendered me, I would again, have faced the Enemy of our Country.
I have given you my reasons for writing, let nothing be so construed; to think that this s’tatement would prompt you, to do ought in my behalf.--
I have only once more, answered my Countrys Call; & the noble s’atisfaction, of having done my duty; have already amply rewarded me.
To the Public
I am a Union Refugee from Pine Bluff Arkansas, now a Citizen of Ohio, & reside in Cincinnati. I render the following S’tatement from the purest motives, and what I state will be fully corroborated, by Thousands of true and prominent men S’outh. Early in June or July, 1863, was assembled at my S’tore in Pine Bluff Arkansas, the following noted Arkansas Rebels, Ex Governor, now General Roan,
* (the following ought to have been written on the first page) before s’econd s’tatement is rendered
* It was the common remark, among all loyal men, from their s’ep’rate localities; That there is something rotten in Virginia, & McClellan is selling us, dont you see how s’afe the Rebel Leaders always feel about Richmond, & then the Certainty with which they assert, that Washington will fall into their hands.*
Further, having had the opportunity, to mix among Thousands of loyal men S’outh, I never found one, to sustain McClellan, but have found most ev’ry inteligent Rebel ready to eulogize him, as a true S’outherner at heart.
Document: George A. Bennett to Abraham Lincoln, October 17, 1864 [With Endorsement by Lincoln]1
The following Telegram received at Washington, 815 PM. Oct 17 1864.
From Baltimore Oct 17 1864.
The officals vote of Prince Georges, Queen Anne, Somerset, & Calvert have so reduced the vote against the Constitution that it now stands as follows For Constitution 12997, against Constitution 12961, majority for Constitution 36-- We expect at least five hundred (500) more soldiers votes. All hail Maryland as a free state
Document: John T. Hall to Abraham Lincoln, October 17, 1864
Albany Oct. 17th 1864.
“If that time comes and I am not crazy”, were the words, “I will give the country a Chief Justice upon whom it may rely.” I derive much comfort from another statement you were pleased to make, I think you said in the words of your “new Judge”, that “the function of of courts is to decide cases -- not principles.”
On your adhesion to these sentiments I place my hope that the next incumbent of the seat, which the Judge of all the Earth has just purged, will be one with whom the rights and liberties of both government and people will be safe.
I see by the papers that this state is likely to appear among the suitors for this high position. Assuming that the claims of our “well preserved old hunker” will not be considered even, and hoping those of the most sanctimonious rogue ever honored by this state may be regarded as little, I desire to say, that we have no worthier names than several of those alleged to have been presented to your notice already. Will you forgive me, Mr. Lincoln, if I suggest one, which, so far as I know, has not yet been printed in that connection?
John K. Porter, of this city of Albany, in my judgment, is the peer of any man who has been named or will be appointed to the lofty position in question.
As a jurist he has no superior among us; and if the calendars of our court of last resort, the Court of Appeals, should be consulted, it will be found that he has scarcely been spared from any case of high political or pecuniary importance during the last ten years. He is in the full vigor of manhood and maturity of intellectual power. He is courteous in manner and generous in spirit -- in point of fortune he is entirely independent of the practice of his profession.
Washington, D. C. Oct. 17, 1864.
The Govt. need be in no way involved-- It will resolve itself into an individual matter on both sides-- The attempt, in the manner proposed, to secure the cooperation of prominent and influential persons on the other side can do no possible harm, but must result in good.
There are no military objections in the Dept. by which the exchange & management of the Prisoners is controlled -- except such as relate to a supposed National, or Administration policy, to be judged by the President alone. It is proposed so to conduct the whole affair as to avoid the raising of any such question--
The patent objections are apparent, and are all of a secondary & inferior nature, & should not be allowed to weigh a feather in a question involving so much of relief to the Govt. & to suffering humanity as lamentably represented both among the prisoners themselves, & their relatives and connections. The Military authorities who have spent so much time in attempts to exchange & relieve our prisoners, with, so far, very indifferent success, of course will wish to take, & stand on high Military ground We have done, say they, all we are called on to do-- The fault is not ours, &c-- If the prisoners cannot be properly cared for and fed the laws of War require they should be paroled &c Grand Military law, & logic -- cold comfort to some 210.000 desolate Union men who are suffering the torments of the damned at the South, and to their disconsolate kith & kin at home-- Unfortunately of no practical avail in relieving & saving fighting patriots constitutions & lives--
The practical operation of the plan of relief proposed, would be substantially this-- The President & Genl. Grant, protect & pass the gentlemen to be named through our lines to Richmond & back-- They confer with the authorities on the other side, who, if they look at the proposal in the proper light, will consent to give the necessary permits & protection. The Military authorities on both sides, are relieved, and reliable individuals, influenced, it may be by entirely different motives, some humane & some sordid, with which we have nothing to do -- perfect the arrangements, and accomplish the benevolent, beneficial & humane results so much desired, & which will bring so much of comfort, & relief & happiness to all concerned--
Mr President, it is a proceeding in which the Govt. can take the action asked without any risks -- with nothing to lose, and everything to gain-- I have considered it well, and am persuaded that no real, or technical objection can be made which may not be fairly met and refuted--
Your obt. servt
O. S. Halsted Jr
Document: Henry W. Hoffman to Abraham Lincoln, October 17, 1864 [With Vote Tabulation by Lincoln]1
The following Telegram received at Washington, 11 AM. Oct 17 1864.
From Balto Oct 17 1864.
Allagheny official majority eight hundred and eighty five (885) for the Constitution Dorchester one thousand and forty (1040) against. Worcester eleven hundred and ninety (1190) against Soldier vote actually returned fourteen hundred and eighty (1480) majority for. Its estimated that at least one thousand further majority will be obtained from the soldiers. Our friends are still confident that the constitution will have a small majority on the total official
The following Telegram received at Washington, 7.20 PM. Oct 17 1864.
From Baltimore Oct 17 1864.
The official votes of Prince George Queen Annes Somerset and Calvert Counties have so reduced the vote against the Constitution that it now stands as follows. For twelve thousand nine hundred and ninety seven (12997) against twelve thousand nine hundred & sixty one (12961). The fifth infantry and first cavalry beside several other bodies of troops are still to hear from which will swell the majority for the Constitution to a thousand (1000) majority or more2
1 In March 1864 Francis Waldron claimed to have firsthand knowledge of a meeting between Lee and McClellan that occurred immediately following the battle at Antietam. During this alleged meeting McClellan guaranteed Lee’s army safe passage across the Potomac River. This story was circulated by the newspapers in March 1864 and once McClellan accepted the Democratic presidential nomination in September, these charges of treason became more varied and widespread in the Republican press. McClellan denied these charges and Waldron was subsequently proved a humbug. See Stephen W. Sears ed. The Civil War Papers of George B. McClellan (New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1989), 568-69.
The Lady stated that her husband Capt Wheeler and her Brother Lt. Skinner told her that Genl McClellan wih the Union Army could have captured or -- destroyed all Lee’s Army, but for this timely warning from Genl McClellan to Lee--
The above statement was made by this Lady on the 13. Oct/64 at the House and in the hearing of Mr Wm Bayliss on Capitol Hill, and Mr Bayliss thinks the Lady would not hesitate to make the above statement on oath if calld for. I am personally acquainted with Mr Bayliss and know him to be a truthful ma--
And if such statement is correct, and I believe it is, Genl McClellan is ten times worst traitor that Genl Lee -- and all the loyal Voters should know this before the 8th of Novr
If the above will produce one vote to the great and overwhelming majority for Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson at the coming contest, which I hope to live to Read--
And may God speed you both, and neve you with power and strength to save this great country from being broken into fragments -- by Rubellion
Is the prayer of Your humble and devoted Servant
Florist 7th & B Street
October 17th 1864
Document: Joseph J. Lewis to Abraham Lincoln, October 17, 1864 [With Endorsement by Lincoln]1
1 As Lewis indicates below, General Marston had written on October 11 of the majorities for Lincoln that prevailed among soldiers in his brigade. See Gilman Marston to Hiram Rollins, October 11, 1864.
Washington, Oct 17, 1864
The inclosed note from Gen. Marston now on the field, shews the relative proportion of the Connecticut volunteers. The ballots are sent away inclosed in envelopes which are not broken and the precise numbers are not ascertained.
I have supposed that the information would afford you some satisfaction.
Your obt servt
Joseph J Lewis
[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]
J. J. Lewis -- about
Conn. & Ills-- votes.
Document: Solomon Meredith to Abraham Lincoln, October 17, 1864
Paducah, Ky., October 17th 1864.
I am now engaged in canvassing this District.2
1 General Meredith was commander of the District of Western Kentucky.
2 Though no reply from Lincoln has been located, reinforcements were sent to Meredith. See Official Records, Series I, Volume 39, Part III, 410, 458, 475-76.
Your obt servt
Document: David Tod to Abraham Lincoln, October 17, 1864
Youngstown O. Oct. 17” 1864
To the President
Allow me to advise that you leave the Chief Justiceship vacant until after the fall of Richmond.1 And then tender the position to Stanton.2 “I know whereof I speak”.
1 The position of Chief Justice of the United States had become vacant with the death of Roger B. Taney on October 12. On December 6, Lincoln nominated Salmon P. Chase to succeed Taney. The Senate confirmed Chase’s nomination that same day.
2 Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton
We have carried this State by about 50.000. including the Soldier’s vote. Your majority will be from 20.000 to 30.000. better, say 75.000.3
3 State elections were held in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana on October 11, 1864. The results in these “October States” were used to forecast the outcome of the presidential election.
Document: William F. Warburton to Abraham Lincoln, October 17, 1864
Philadelphia Octor 17th 1864
I forward to day by Adams Express, another Hat, in place of the one first sent you, returned.1
1 See William F. Warburton Sr. to Lincoln, September 30, 1864.
I feel much gratified that Your Excellency has indicated your willingness to accept a Hat from your humble servant
It will give me great pleasure to know that the Hat now sent fits properly, and is pleasing to you. With great respect and regard
I am Your Excellencys
very obedient Servant
Wm F Warburton
Philadelphia, Pa., October 17th 1864
Received of Wm F. Warburton
One Silk Hat in Wood Box
Marked His Excellency Abraham Lincoln
President of the United States Washington D C
Freight, Paid 75¢ For the Company, Dougherty
Document: Elihu B. Washburne to Abraham Lincoln, October 17, 1864 [With Endorsement by Lincoln]1
1 Congressman Washburne’s fears to the contrary notwithstanding, Lincoln carried Illinois by over thirty thousand votes. As his endorsement indicates, Lincoln did not share Washburne’s pre-election fears for Illinois.
Oct. 17. 1864.
It is no use to deceive ourselves about this State.
We have no close, active, efficient organization. Everything is at sixes and sevens and no head or tail to anything.
There is imminent danger of our losing the State.
Moulton,2 our candidate for Congressman at large, was here yesterday. He has been canvassing the State diligently since the 12th of August and he says that to-day we would lose the State by 10.000 majority without the soldiers vote.3
2 Samuel W. Moulton
3 Several states had enacted absentee voting laws that allowed their soldiers to vote in the field, however Illinois was not among them. Many, including Washburne, believed that the soldiers’ vote would be the determining factor in the 1864 elections.
Steps must be taken, instantly, to have every soldier home possible.
Please consult with Mr. Stanton4 and have the most efficient measures taken to have our soldiers started home at once. There are vast numbers of them in hospitals and at garrisoned forts, who can be spared, if we cannot get any from the front
4 Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton appreciated the importance of the soldier vote and did as much as possible to facilitate furloughs for soldiers that would allow them to return home and cast their ballots. See Official Records, Series I, Volume 39, Part III, 603; Series III, Volume 4, 871-72; and Benjamin P. Thomas and Harold M. Hyman, Stanton: The Life and Times of Lincoln’s Secretary of War (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1962), 326-33.
We shall lose 20.000 votes on our majority of 1860 in four northern Congressional districts.
The Copperheads are working with desperation.
If you would save our State from the most appalling calamity, pray do not neglect what I herein suggest about getting the soldiers home.-- We want them home not only on the election day, but several days before.
E B Washburne
[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]
Document: Norman Wiard to Abraham Lincoln, October 17, 18641
1 Wiard was proprietor of an ordnance works at Trenton, New Jersey.
Washington Oct 17th 1864
A few days before the Pennsylvania election,2 I learned that from three to four thousand of the employees of the Quarter Master Department, from Pennsylvania Ohio and Indiana had been over looked by all persons engaged in the effort to have voters at home during the election. I obtained this information from Col Ellison3 Q M of this Dept and immeadiatly went to the Capitol in company with Mr Halstead and informed Mr Washburne4 of the Con” Comm”ittee of the facts. He was much interested and imeadiatly called on the Sect” of War in reference to the matter The result was about one thousand voters went to Pennsylvania for the Union ticket who were [incited?] to go home by an arrangement made with the R. R. companies to send them at a fare of 1/4 of a cent a mile. The details of this arrangement was intrusted to Col Ellison Q M of this Dept, and to Captain Thomas5 Military Store keeper, each man being furnished with the necessary furlough. When they returned as I am informed, three of the men boasted they had voted the Copper Head ticket and upon hearing this Col Ellison discharged them. Where upon these Copper heads managed to get Col Ellison removed, and Captain Thomas it is said is to be subjected to the same disicipline. It often proves dangerous for any one to support the administration a fact which is exciting much feeling among your supporters and friends. Col Townsend6 Ajt Gen”ls office is said to have caused the discharge of Col Ellison Two other officers, within my knowledge have been recently releived in the same manner, and for no other cause than an earnest support of the Administration viz -- Captain Drake De Kay releived from duty at Harrisburg, now however reinstated at the request of Mr Washburne upon information furnished him by me, and Captain Halstead also now reinstated. If I have had four cases of this kind come under my observation how many may have occured of which I have no knowledge. It is thought by many earnest men beside myself that a searching enquiry should be instituted to expose the parties who are engaged in oppressing the active friends of the administration in this manner so that they may be effectively squelched.
2 State elections were held in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana on October 11, 1864.
3 Colonel John A. Elison served as chief quartermaster for the Department of Washington from August to October 1864.
4 Elihu B. Washburne
5 Daniel G. Thomas was the military storekeeper at Washington.
6 Colonel Edward D. Townsend was the assistant adjutant general of the army.
Document: [Abraham Lincoln?], Proclamation, October 18, 1864 [Draft in a Secretarial Hand]1
1 This proclamation doubtless originated in response to a protest Lincoln received on October 15, 1864 from Tennessee conservatives, complaining about the terms contained in Governor Johnson’s proclamation calling for an election for president and vice-president (see Collected Works, VIII, 58-72). But this draft may not have been drawn by the president himself, and was never issued as an actual proclamation by Abraham Lincoln. The endorsement on the verso of the final page of this document is in Hay’s hand, and reads “Projected Proclamation in regard to Tennessee.”
Washington, Oct. 18, 1864.
The people of Tennessee, in the year 1861, through the action of their corporate authorities, rose into armed insurrection against the United States and deliberately committed themselves to revolution. This proceeding was initiated by a dispatch received from the Governor of that State in the following words:--
April 17, 1861.
Hon Simon Cameron.
Secretary of War,
Your dispatch of the 15th inst. informing me that Tennesee is called upon for two regiments of Militia for immediate service is received.
Tennesee will not furnish a single man for coercion, but fifty thousand if necessary for the defence of our rights, and those of our Southern Brethren
(sd) Isham G Harris.
The People of Tennesee have hitherto neglected to comply with the proclamations by which they have been invited to return to their allegiance and resume their constitutional functions in the Union. They still allow pretended Agents to represent them in the revolutionary assemblies held at Richmond. Owing to this condition of affairs the State has been occupied by the military forces of the United States, and the essential powers of municipal administration have been confided by this Government to Andrew Johnson as Military Governor of the aforesaid State. Some of the citizens of that State now manifest a desire to hold elections for the offices of President and Vice President of the United States, although it is manifest that such elections could only be conducted through the superintendence of the military authorities.
In view of the facts thus recited, it is apparent that a considerable portion of the people of Tennessee must be regarded as being disloyal insurgents, and while voluntarily remaining in that attitude not entitled to vote for agents to administer the government which they are attempting to overthrow by force. It is understood that the Military Governor has adopted certain regulations designed to prevent such disloyal insurgents from exercising the right of suffrage. A written complaint has been submitted to the President with a view to show that some of these regulations are improper and ought to be modified.2 The question thus raised is, under the circumstances, a military one, and is to be decided exclusively with regard to the security of the military situation in the State of Tennessee and throughout the United States. For this reason the remonstrance before mentioned is referred to Major General Sherman commanding, with instructions to approve or disapprove or modify the regulations prescribed by Govenor Johnson, as in his judgment, the interests of the military service require. It is hardly necessary to add that if any election shall be held and any votes shall be cast in the State of Tennessee for President and Vice President of the United States, it will belong not to the military agents nor yet to the Executive Department but exclusively to another department of the Government to determine whether such votes were lawfully cast and whether they are entitled to be counted in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States.3
2 See Collected Works, VIII, 58-72.
3 In fact some 35,000 Tennesseans voted in the 1864 presidential election, most of them for Lincoln, but Congress disallowed Tennessee’s electoral votes.
By the President:
Secretary of State.
[Endorsed by John Hay:]
Projected Proclamation in regard to Tennessee
Document: Green Adams to Abraham Lincoln, October 18, 1864 [With Endorsement by Lincoln]1
1 Adams’s tenure in the Treasury Department ended on October 26, after which he began a law practice in Philadelphia.
Office of the Auditor of the Treasury
For the Post Office Department,
October 18th 1864.
I here by respectfully resign the Office, of Auditor of the Treasury, for the Post Office Department, to take effect from to day.
I have the honor to be,
Your obedient servant,
[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]
Document: Christopher C. Andrews to Abraham Lincoln, October 18, 1864
DeVall’s Bluff, Ark., Oct. 18 1864.
Dear Sir: The 1st Brigade of the 3d Division 19th A. C. arrived here today from Morganza; and I learn that a few thousand more troops are coming from the lower Mississippi. One brigade of Gen. Dennis’s1 division arrived here about ten days ago; and the rest of the division is on the way up.
1 Elias Dennis was a division commander in the 19th Corps.
We ought to annihilate Prices’s2 army to compensate for the injury he has done.
2 Sterling Price conducted an invasion of Missouri in September 1864. He did not retreat from the state until after his defeat at Westport on October 23.
Maj. Gen. Herron3 is at Little Rock having come up a few days ago.
3 Francis J. Herron had recently 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.
Fortune may favor us by a rise in the Arkansas
I hardly think Price will venture this particular way in returning, as he must apprehend our getting reinforcements readily.
Conjectures amount to but little. The important thing is to have men enough in hand, and ready to strike and to march. I hope something will occur in our favor that is more than common place.
We have had two weeks of delightful weather, which is being taken advantage of by the troops at this place, in making earth works and building comfortable quarters.
I had the pleasure the other day of voting for you, the commissioners from Minnesota having been here.4
4 Minnesota was one of several states that had enacted absentee voting laws which allowed soldiers to vote in the field.
I pray to God you may be re-elected by an overwhelming majority so that the enemies of the country may be confounded.
C. C. Andrews.
Document: Simon Cameron to Abraham Lincoln, October 18, 1864
Harrisburg. Oct. 18, 1864.
We are still, without the whole official returns1 -- but I believe we will have 1500, or 2000. on the Congressional home vote2 -- which is quite as much as we had a right to expect, considering that last year you sent home 17.000 to aid Gov. Curtin,3 and that he had only 15,560 maj -- and that we have sent since to the field over 23,000-- Looking at the votes in the counties, I find we have greatly increased our resident vote over Gov. Curtin; but we will do better, in Nov, and will give you 20 or 25.000. maj--
1 State elections were held in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana on October 11, 1864. The results in these “October States” were vital to the Union cause and used to forecast the outcome of the presidential election.
2 Pennsylvania was one of several states that had enacted absentee voting laws that allowed soldiers to vote in the field. States that tabulated the absentee ballots separately made a distinction between the “soldier vote” and the “home vote.”
3 Andrew G. Curtin
We have had difficulties in getting the army vote -- and annoyances from officers at home which, with the aid of Mr Stanton4 and yourself, can be corrected, and will give us many votes. I will come to Washington, some day this week, to see you on the subject.
4 Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton
I am informed, by a Penn: officer stationed at Indianapolis, that all soldiers in the state, no matter where belonging, voted for Morton.5 He had no officers in command, that did not aid him. In this state we had very few of them to help us. A few changes would help us, greatly.
5 Oliver P. Morton
Please do not let Green Adam’s place be filled till after the election.6
6 Green Adams had resigned his position as an auditor in the Treasury Department. On December 12, Lincoln nominated Elijah Sells to fill the vacancy. See Green Adams to Lincoln, October 18, 1864.
Very truly yrs
Document: John J. Hall to Abraham Lincoln, October 18, 18641
1 Hall was the son of Lincoln’s stepsister Matilda Johnston Hall. He had purchased the property in Coles County, Illinois of Lincoln’s father, Thomas Lincoln, and helped care for Lincoln’s stepmother.
Charleston Coles County Illinois Oct 18th 1864