Abraham Lincoln Papers
Document: Francis P. Blair, Jr. to Abraham Lincoln, November 14, 18621
1 Lincoln had telegraphed Blair earlier in the day and asked him to report the election results from Missouri. See Collected Works, V, 496.
Time Received 10 PM
Washington, D. C., Nov 14 1862.
St Louis 7 30 PM Nov 14
We have elected 5 Republicans one Emancipationist Democrat 2 Unconditional Union & 2 proslavery Dem”s to Congress. The Legislature is emancipation in both Branches on your plan2 & secures two Senators to Support the Administration My Election is certain. I think the army vote yet to come in will not change the result.
2 A reference to Lincoln’s plan for compensated emancipation.
Frank P Blair
Document: John Cochrane to Abraham Lincoln, November 14, 1862
New Baltimore: near Warrenton
Nov 14. 62
My Dear Sir:
I disliked to trouble you again with my personal affairs in Washington. I write you now on the subject only to inform you that the Secretary found himself unable to comply with your wishes & my desires and so I immediately resumed my post in the field. I hope that you will not think me importunate if I venture to ask that you will see if the Secretary cannot assign me to some less exposed duty during the winter months than service in the field. My reasons are these. During my speaking tour in Western New York (having been unpracticed for 18 months) I by frequency of speaking & subsequent exposure contracted a very formidable difficulty in my throat. Since then it has lapsed into the revival of a chronic Bronchitis with which I have been troubled. And now I find that the exposure of the field is bringing me rapidly to a serious pass-- If I could be transferred for a while (usefully) to a less exacting position I would be obliged to you. I would like such a post that quietly I might watch over & in a measure guide the changes impending in New York politics through the variations of party politics. What these parties shall be, & how citisens shall arrange themselves are of the utmost consequence to the country & to you. I might enlarge, but it is unnecessary. Besides, personally I have for the sake of your Administration separated myself from party associations, sacrificed (if it can be so called) my party position & laboured in your & the common cause and I think that you will not object that I should be afforded an opportunity if not incompatible with the public interests, to attempt to retrieve some thing of these disadvantages. However, you can judge best of this. I am truly afraid that if compelled to face the severities of a winter campaign my health will compel me to resign.1 This I shall deeply regret. Wont you, my dear Mr President please to keep this application in mind & endeavor to aid me therein The Army is in motion -- the advance moving forward to day-- The Army is in good heart-- There is & has been much disappointment among officers & men at McClellans removal. But all rally about Burnside with an excellent purpose & will-- He himself has shaken off his depression, and feels encouraged & alert-- He has the cordial support of officers & men-- May all your efforts for our country be crowned with success, and may you be rewarded with the applause & gratitude of a people saved
1 Cochrane’s poor health caused him to resign his commission on February 25, 1863.
I am Truly
Document: John A. Dahlgren to Abraham Lincoln, November 14, 1862
Washn Nov. 14” 1862
Dear Mr President
I very much regretted to find that the dash on to Fredericksburg had interfered with other plans and only beg to say that Gen. Sigel ought not to be held responsible for it--1 I know that the party was only designed for a reconnoisance and that Gen. Sigel was much disturbed when he learned that it had gone into the town & was reportd captured-- I am told that he sent for his chf of Staff and enquired if such orders had been given -- he was told they had not--
1 Dahlgren’s son Ulric, a captain on Franz Sigel’s staff, was involved in a skirmish at Fredericksburg, Virginia on November 8. See Sigel to John A. Dahlgren, November 11, 1862. Ulric Dahlgren’s report on the incident is in Official Records, Series I, Volume 19, Part II, 162-63.
The fault therefore was by no means with the General and I desire to make this known to you, because it does not appear to be so understood -- and I should regret than any act of my son’s should be charged to his General
I am with much regard
and profound respect
Your Obedt Svt
Jno A Dahlgren
Document: George Gould to Abraham Lincoln, November 14, 1862
New York, Nov. 14th 1862
On my arrival in this city, from my residence in Troy (N. Y.) -- I find that a cousin of mine, G. Colden Tracy, a broker of this city, has been, first, arrested and sent to Fort La Fayette; and secondly, today taken as a prisoner to Washington. The newspapers say, -- and so far as I can learn by all inquiries of authorities, I can hear nothing different, -- that the cause of the arrest is some dealings he has had, in contractors’ drafts on government officers, for moneys; and it is said that some frauds were committed in, or by, the drafts; and he is charged with complicity therewith.
If this be so, it is a crime congnizable by the courts, and only by the courts. And I am amazed at the fatuity of public officers, who can take no warning, from the distinctly uttered voice of a free people.
I am, and always have been, an unwavering enemy of the rebellion; -- (cursed in its origin, most accursed in its progress;--) and an old Whig, and a republican. I am a Judge of the highest court of this state. And if no honest voice has yet reached the ears of our Government, I wish to say, -- and to be heard in saying, that star-chamber writs, & Secretary’s warrants, are dangerous instruments to play with. And that, among us, the true, staunch supporters of the Government, -- who would crush rebellion with the iron heel, -- but who know the law, -- are compelled to hang their heads, in silence, at the mention of cases, which have occurred in our midst.
Spies are hardly cautioned, when they are where they can do infinite harm; but a powerful hand, and an oppressive one, is laid on a person here, -- who is not capable of doing mischief if he would, -- and who is supposed to have no friends.
In this latter point, I thank God there has been a mistake.-- He is a young man it is true, -- of little force, and less means; -- and he has a young wife (but about two years married,) who is in daily expectation of confinement: And for no assigned cause, -- and for no assignable cause, that those in power dare to give breath to; -- he is taken away from home, without giving to his wife, -- a woman in her extremity, a chance to see him!-- Is this country the France of a century ago?
The young man is the grandson of that Uriah Tracy, who lived and died a Senator of the United States, from Connecticut; who was the first man buried in the Congressional burying-ground at Washington; and whose ashes are insulted, by this atrocious invasion of the liberties of the people, in the person of his grandson.
I am not speaking merely my own opinion of merely such arrests. I know the opinions and the feelings, of my bretheren of the bench. And if the Government is really desirous of so proceeding as to make it our duty to make public our opinions, they will be heard not merely in the writ of habeas corpus, but in open declaration to the world.
Had I been a few hours earlier made aware of this case, I should not have troubled you with a word: But I would have seen that the process of the Supreme Court of this State was so executed, as to protect its citizens, -- accused of such offences, -- from any arrest other than one under the appropriate process of the courts.
I beg, again, to assure you, in all sincerity, that this kind of proceeding has gone too far, already: And that, while to the last of our men and our means, we are ready to, and determined to, sustain the law; and the Government, in enforcing the law over the whole land, as one country; -- we are, also, determined to be judged by the law, and not by any Secretary, or any one who is not commissioned for that purpose. We know, and we acknowledge, the rules of war, where the necessity of the case requires the existence of martial law. But we know also the common law of liberty, and the broad, great charter of the Constitution.
I write warmly, zealously, -- because I cannot bear to think of our cherished Government’s taking any course to injure itself; at a time, too, when our only hope of escaping the eternal disgrace and humiliation of letting the cause of human liberty perish in our hands, is to sustain this Government of this Union, -- and to have it worth sustaining.
With great respect
Document: Jane L. Williamson to Stephen R. Riggs, November 14, 18621
1 ID: Stephen R. Riggs, a Presbyterian minister, became a missionary for the American Board of Commissions for Foreign Missions and moved to Lac qui Parle (in present day Minnesota) with his wife in 1837. Riggs spent most of his life as a missionary to the Sioux and became a leading authority on the Siouan languages. He published numerous books and translations including an edition of the New Testament in Dakota and his Grammar and Dictionary of the Dakota Language (1852) is still considered a standard in the field.
Travers des Sioux Nov 14./62
Permit me to make a few statements respecting Tapaytatanka.2 The first evidence we had of the Indian outrage, was this man and some others standing out before our door as guard; while his sister and step mother were sent in. Ater telling us of the arrival of a messenger, who brought sad tidings of murders committed below and that the perpetraters were on their way up, added with indescribable consternation. If it be known that we told this the bad Indians will surely kill us” About one oclock Tuesday another messenger informed us that the marauders were robbing traders, and had shot Gorry. This startling intelligence, soon filled our room with Indian men who came to offer their services Tapaytatanka with his father then left us to go to Yellow medicine and as I learnd the next day they both used all their influence to prevent an attack upon the people of the Agency The next Tues morning he again presented himself and before we had time to ask said The people of the agency have all started in safety, oh how his countenance glowed when this was announced
2 Tapaytatanka was sentenced to death for his alleged participation in the Sioux uprising in Minnesota. Lincoln reviewed the cases of the three hundred who were to be executed and commuted the sentences of all but 38. See Stephen R. Riggs to Lincoln, November 17 and November 21, 1862. There are several additional documents in this collection that pertain to the Sioux uprising.
After the ware house was broken open Wednesday he went with his band to get a part Leaving word that if he had an intimation that we were in danger he would hasten to our relief. On the afternoon of Wednesday Tuesday the rioters having found ardent spirits somewhere were howling around Tapaytatankas house like demons; and both his own and his Fathers presence were required to restrain them from deeds of violence, but they sent their women to see after us These women told us that many of the lower Indians were in that drunken band who were expecting to be joined by a party from [Canmayaxica?] and start out the next morning, on a war party. They appeared very sorry it was so. The women would have remained with us during the night but there were others, and we told them we were not afraid so bidding us a very affectionate good night they left when they had returned two men from the band doubtless sent by Tapaytatank and Father to act as sentinels came these two men sat by our door with guns medling with nothing (unless we requested some little service which was always performed with cheerfulness) untill we were seated on the wagon when they gave us a cordial pressure of the hand closed our intercourse.
At the Rapids we were again told of the war party and several invited us to hide with them till they had passed by the way we were to travel I afterwards heard that when he could not restrain the war party he went with them till they were off of our trail and then complaining of sore feet returned. home
I suppose none of us can fully realize the circumstances in which our friendly Indians were thus placed not wishing to participate in the deeds of Little Crow many would gladly have fled to our Flag, and espoused our cause but how should they get away and how would they be receivd? were questions not easily disposed of. They feared that the white people enraged at the crimes already committed might not distinguish the innocent from the guilty Some dreading the fury of the Eagle proposed flying to the to the Lyon for protection but how could they leave their comfortable houses and their fields promising so bountifully to repay the labor of their hands and by their way they must be exposed to their deadly enemies the Chippewas
Yours with christian sympathy
J. L. W.
Document: David Davis to Abraham Lincoln, November 15, 1862
Time Received 11.50 am
Washington, D. C., Nov 15 1862.
New York 15
Will be in Washington tomorrow morning Willards1
1 Lincoln had recently appointed Davis to the Supreme Court.
Document: George F. Shepley to Abraham Lincoln, November 15, 1862 [With Endorsement by Lincoln]1
1 After the Union forces captured Louisiana, Lincoln began urging the reestablishment of a loyal state government. Lincoln had called on those in Louisiana desiring “to have peace again upon the old terms of the Constitution of the United States” to make arrangements for elections to Congress, and “perhaps a legislature, State officers and United States Senators friendly to their object.” See Lincoln to Benjamin F. Butler, George F. Shepley, et. al. October 16, 1862.
New-Orleans, Novr 15 1862.
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt through the Hon E. Bouligny2 of your communication in relation to the subject of elections of Representatives to Congress from the State of Louisiana
2 John E. Bouligny was a Louisiana Unionist who was returning to his state following the occupation of New Orleans and other areas by Federal troops.
In accordance with the views expressed by you I have issued a proclamation for an election in the first and second Congressional Districts
I entertain no doubt that these elections will result in the choice of two representatives of unquestioned loyalty to the Government.
I should feel honored by any suggestions or instructions you may be pleased to give in relation to the subject of filling the vacancies in the Senate of the United States from the State of Louisiana.
I shall not take any action on this question without instructions or at least some intimation from the Executive that such action on my part would be considered within the legitimate scope of my authority
With an additional force of ten thousand men the authority of the United States could be fully established throughout the State of Louisiana
In Lafourche District, recently occupied by the troops under General Weitzel,3 the people are rapidly returning to their allegiance, and a strong Union feeling is being developed under the judicious measures of General Weitzel, and I am taking measures, as speedily as possible, to restore a civil administration administered by true and loyal men.
3 Godfrey Weitzel had recently been elevated to the rank of brigadier general while serving with Benjamin Butler in Louisiana.
With great respect
I have the honor to be
Your Most Obedient Servant
G. F. Shepley
[Endorsed by Lincoln:]
Nov. 15, 1862
[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]
Nov. 15. 1862.
Dec. 9. “
Dec. 31. 1863
Document: Mark W. Delahay to Abraham Lincoln, November 16, 1862
Leavenworth Novr 16th 1862
I send you a slip, from the Evening Bulletin of this City, Headed “Sealed Proposals” my only reason for sending it to you is from the fact that it seems very large in figures and will when calculated by a merchant require a very large sum of money to fill the list of articles, and the fact that it is for the refugee Indians which I think should be restored to their homes and more agreeable climate, and if that were done very much of the proposed Expenditure would be needless, with some 30 thousand troops in Ark. SW. Mo. and the Indian Country, it strikes me, these Indians can be restored & protected in their homes at least; it is my wish not to infringe upon any body, or the rights of any person, But a conviction of duty impells me to call your attention to what looks to be very Extravigant to me; and that there will be a large speculation, (Not to say fraud,) in this Project, I am well convinced, I desire this to be Confidential,
Very Truly Your friend M W Delahay
Document: John A. Dix to Abraham Lincoln, November 17, 1862
Fort Monroe, Va. 17th Nov. 1862.
I feel a strong sympathy in behalf of the people of the Eastern Shore of Virginia -- Accomac and Northampton Counties. When I sent an armed force against them giving them assurances of protection and promising them the enjoyment of all the rights of loyal citizens, they laid down their Arms. They have at no time since been in rebellion against the United States. On the contrary they have united themselves to Western Virginia: they have had two elections: and they have sent strong Union men to the Legislature and Congress.-- In all things they have fulfilled the conditions, on which I pledged to them equality in rights and priveleges with the people of the loyal states. When you issued your Proclamation in July last designating the States and parts of States that were to be deemed loyal & omitting these two Counties, I thought to write to you begging that they should be added to the number thus designated.-- I write now to make the request, in order that they may be relieved from the penalties of disloyalty, and that the taint of disaffection may not rest on a community, in which no such feeling exists, excepting in individual cases, which may unfortunately be found everywhere-- They are entitled to exemption by their loyal conduct during the last year; and the effect of such a declaration from you at this time could not fail to have a beneficial effect in other quarters. But it is chiefly as an act of justice to them that I urge it, and I am sure that you will appreciate the earnestness with which I press it, when you consider the relation, in which I stand to them.1
1 Lincoln wrote a reply to Dix on November 20 (Collected Works, V, 522) and when the final version of the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863, Lincoln exempted both Accomac and Northampton Counties from the proclamation.
I have the honor to be,
Your ob’d’t Serv’t
John A. Dix
Document: Hamilton R. Gamble to Abraham Lincoln, November 17, 1862
Washington Novr 17. 1862
A year since I made a proposal in writing to you to raise a force of State militia which should cooperate with troops in the service of the United States in suppressing insurrection within, and repelling invasion of, the State of Missouri. You accepted the proposal as I made it, with the condition, that I should appoint the Major Genl of the United States commanding the Department, the Major General of the force thus to be raised1
1 For more on the 1861 agreement between Lincoln and Gamble, see Gamble to Lincoln, October 31, 1861 and Collected Works, V, 15-17.
In accordance with what I have always understood to be the intention of the parties, I proceeded to raise the force and put it in the field, where it has rendered eminent service in putting down the rebel forces collected in the State. Thus far I am sure of having benefitted the country.
A question has now arisen between the War Department and myself -- whether the force thus raised is a state force or a United States force.2
2 There was a dispute between General Halleck and Gamble over the governor’s authority to control the militia in his state. Gamble believed that Halleck was attempting to curb his powers and was therefore in violation of the agreement he made with Lincoln in 1861. For more on the feud between Gamble and Halleck, see Gamble to Halleck, October, 1862 and Official Records, Series III, Volume 2, 579, 591-93, 646-47.
I have always treated it as a state force. The muster of the men has been a muster into the service of the state of Missouri, and that, by officers, appointed by me. The muster rolls have been from the beginning been on file in the proper office of the War Department and no objection has ever been made to this mode of muster by the authorities of the United States.
I have received and accepted resignations and filled the vacancies thus occasioned, when I would not have accepted resignations if I had thought the force a United States force.
I have removed officers of this force when I never claimed the power to remove officers of volunteers in the service of the United States.
I have acted with perfectly good faith on the clear conviction that I was dealing with a state force.
The question now pending between the War Department and myself involves the construction of the instrument in which my offer to raise this force is accepted by you.
In a letter which I addressed to General Halleck (a copy of which was handed to you by Mr Bates) I have briefly stated my view of the meaning and effect of that instrument. I ask your attention to that communication.3
3 See Gamble to Halleck, October, 1862.
In my different calls upon you no discussion of the question could be had, because you had not received from the War Department the instrument containing the agreement.
My letter to General Halleck contains extracts from the original draft which I have at home, and they furnish a sufficient basis upon which the question may be correctly decided. I received a copy of the instrument from the War Department which at the request of General Halleck was sent to him when he was in command at St Louis and which was never returned. I beleive I can still obtain a copy if the original cannot be found.
I enclose herewith a copy of General Orders of the War Department No 96 which will show the understanding of the character of this force when the agreement was made. Although this order does not profess to quote the language of the instrument which you signed, yet it sufficiently gives the meaning as then received at the Department. Six or seven times it calls the force