Document: Edwin M. Stanton to Abraham Lincoln, November 18, 1863

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Abraham Lincoln Papers


Document: Edwin M. Stanton to Abraham Lincoln, November 18, 1863 1

1 The following telegram was sent to Lincoln during his visit to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

The following Telegram has been received at the above named office, from Washington

Dated, Nov 18th 1863

Dispatch from Burnside2 Dated Nov. 10th “Ten oclock last night his troops Batteries & trains had all arrived & his position strengthened

2 General Ambrose E. Burnside, commander of the Army of Ohio, was in the midst of a campaign in which he successfully defended the city of Knoxville, Tennessee against Confederate forces led by James Longstreet.

The enemy made no demonstration during the day

Some cavalry skirmished on the Kingston road

The enemy seem to be holding back for some reason

Burnside expressed confidence in the strength of his position

Nothing from Chattanooga or any other place since your departure-- By enquiry Mrs Lincoln informs me that your son is better this evening3

3 Tad Lincoln was suffering from a fever and soon recovered. After Lincoln returned from Gettysburg, he was diagnosed with varioloid, a mild form of smallpox, and spent the next three weeks under quarantine.

E. M. Staunton

Secry of War

Document: Edwin M. Stanton to Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863

The following Telegram has been received at the above named office, from Washington

Dated, Nov 19th 18631

1 The following telegram was sent to Lincoln during his visit to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Another dispatch recd from Burnside2 just recd dated today but the hour not mentioned -- heavy skirmishing all day -- chiefly on out the Kingston Road Confidence expressed of an ability attack if made. Conjectures that Longstreet’s feeble advance may be with design to cover movements into Kentucky -- nothing from Chattanooga

2 General Ambrose E. Burnside, commander of the Army of Ohio, was in the midst of a campaign in which he successfully defended the city of Knoxville, Tennessee against Confederate forces led by James Longstreet.

E M. Staunton


Document: Edwin M. Stanton to Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863

The following Telegram has been received at the above named office, from Washington

Dated, Nov 19th 18631

1 The following telegram was sent to Lincoln during his visit to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Dispatch from Grant dated Nov 18th nine oclock P. M. states that Sherman movemans has commenced and that a battle or falling back of the enimy by Saturday fartherest is inevatable.2 He had had recd Burnsides3 dispatched down to ten oclock Tuesday night; but says nothing conserning his opinion of Burnsides position

four dispatches from Danna4 at Chattanooga dated respectivly yesterday 18th 12 1 3 & 7 oclock PM.

2 Grant and Sherman were in the process of concluding the Chattanooga Campaign which successfully culminated on November 24-25 with the battles at Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge.

3 General Ambrose E. Burnside, commander of the Army of Ohio, was in the midst of a campaign in which he successfully defended the city of Knoxville, Tennessee against Confederate forces led by James Longstreet.

4 Charles A. Dana

He reached Chattanooga Tuesday night, speaks of Burnside position as safe at Knoxville & gives details of matters accuring while with Burnside. The details of movements to Chattanooga is given but you would not understand them without a map-- Mrs Lincoln reports your sons health as a great deal better & that he will be out today5

5 Tad Lincoln was suffering from a fever when Lincoln departed for Gettysburg on November 18.

E. M. Staunton

Document: Abraham Lincoln to Zachariah Chandler, November 20, 1863 [Copy in a Secretarial Hand]

1 On November 15, 1863, Senator Chandler informed Lincoln that he had received a telegram to the effect that Thurlow Weed and former Governor Morgan of New York were urging the president to take a conservative line in his forthcoming message to Congress. In the remainder of his vehement letter, Chandler denounced Weed, Seward, and Montgomery Blair as millstones around Lincoln’s neck, and assured him that his best friends, in Congress and in the electorate, were radical Republicans. See Chandler to Lincoln, November 15, 1863.

Executive Mansion,

Washington, November 20, 1863.

My Dear Sir

Your letter of the 15th, marked “Private” was received today. I have seen Gov. Morgan2 and Thurlow Weed separately but not together, within the last ten days; but neither of them mentioned the forthcoming message or said anything so far as I can remember, which brought the thought of the message to my mind.

2 Edwin D. Morgan

I am very glad the elections this autumn have gone favorably, and that I have not, by native depravity, or undue evil influences, done anything bad enough to prevent the good result.

I hope to “stand firm” enough to not go backward, and yet not go forward fast enough to wreck the country’s cause.

Yours truly

A Lincoln

Document: Abraham Lincoln to Edward Everett, November 20, 1863 [Copy in a Secretarial Hand]1

1 Lincoln responds here to Everett’s note delivered the day after both had spoken at Gettysburg. Everett wrote to Lincoln, “I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.” See Everett to Lincoln, November 20, 1863.

Executive Mansion,

Washington, November 20, 1863.

My Dear Sir

Your kind note of today is received. In our respective parts, yesterday, you could not have been excused to make a short address, nor I a long one. I am pleased to know that in your judgement, the little I did say was not entirely a failure. Of course I knew Mr. Everett would not fail; and yet while the whole discourse was eminently satisfactory, and will be of great value, there were passages in it, which transcended my expectations. The point made against the theory of the general government being only an agency, whose principals are the states, was new to me and, as I think, is one of the best arguments for the national supremacy. The tribute to our noble women for their angel ministering to the suffering soldiers, surpasses, in its way, as do the subject of it whatever has gone before.2

2 The authoritative text for Everett’s address at Gettysburg is given in Edward Everett, Orations and Speeches on Various Occasions, (Boston: Little, Brown, 1868), IV, 622-59.

Our sick boy, for whom you kindly inquire, we hope is past the worst.3

3 Tad Lincoln had been ill when Lincoln went to Gettysburg.

Your Obt. Servt

Signed A Lincoln.

[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]

Hon. E. Everett.

Document: George S. Boutwell to Abraham Lincoln, November 20, 1863

Boston, Nov. 20, 1863.


I have received a letter from Gen. Banks,
1 under date of 3d inst. saying that he has raised the flag in Texas and imploring me to urge the Government to send additional forces, if possible.2 He says that five to ten thousand will be enough; -- that volunteers can soon be obtained in Texas, but not in season for present needs. The tone of his letter is that of confidence.

1 Nathaniel P. Banks

2 General Banks was ordered to send an expedition into Texas after a French army captured Mexico City in June 1863 and overthrew the republican government of Benito Juarez. The French sought to replace Juarez with Prince Ferdninand Maximilian of Austria. The U. S. refused to recognize Maximilian’s government and hoped that the Banks expedition would send a strong warning to the French. Banks landed troops at the mouth of the Rio Grande on November 2, 1863 and soon captured the city of Brownsville. When the Confederates stalled the Union advance at Galveston, Banks requested reinforcements from Washington, but General Henry Halleck denied this request.

I know that I can not offer any considerations which are not present to your mind, and yet I can not forbear seconding Gen. Bank’s urgent appeal.

I am, with the highest consideration,

Yr. obt. servt.

Geo: S. Boutwell.

Document: Edward Everett to Abraham Lincoln, November 20, 18631

1 The following letter was written the day after Everett and Lincoln had spoken at the dedication of the military cemetery at Gettysburg.

225 H Street 1863.

My dear Sir,

Not wishing to intrude upon your privacy, when you must be much engaged, I beg leave, in this way, to thank you very sincerely for your great thoughtfulness for my daughter’s accommodation on the Platform yesterday, & much kindness otherwise to me & mine at Gettysburg.

Permit me also to express my great admiration of the thoughts expressed by you, with such eloquent simplicity & appropriateness, at the consecration of the Cemetery. I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes. My son who parted from me at Baltimore & my daughter, concur in this sentiment.

I remain, dear Sir, most respectfully Yours,

Edward Everett.

I hope your anxiety for your child was relieved on your arrival.2

2 Tad Lincoln had been ill with a fever when Lincoln departed for Gettysburg on November 18. The boy soon recovered, but Lincoln became ill with varioloid, a mild form of smallpox, and was quarantined for three weeks after his return from Gettysburg.

Document: Michael Hahn to Abraham Lincoln, November 20, 1863

New Orleans, La. Nov. 20th, 1863.

Dear Sir:--

I avail myself of the kindness of my friend, Dr. Cottman,1 who leaves tomorrow for Washington, to send you my kind regards. Before I left Washington lately I told you I would keep you “posted up” with regard to public matters in this State. By the next mail I will send you a pamphlet copy of a speech I made in this city a few days ago, in which I laid down my political platform, one which, I think, will be entirely satisfactory to you. The speech will give you information concerning matters in this State which it is unnecessary to repeat in the form of a letter.

1 Thomas E. H. Cottman was a New Orleans physician and planter who consulted with Lincoln regarding reconstruction in Louisiana. In October 1863 a faction of conservatives elected Cottman to the U. S. House of Representatives, but he was not allowed to take his seat.

Dr. Cottman has differed with us considerably of late on the “negro question”, but I think he is coming over all right. At all events his Unionism is as strong as yours or mine. I expect him to do us great good in our future movements here. He will inform you of some of my plans and intentions.2 Receive his statements as if the were made by

2 Cottman met with Lincoln on December 15. See Lincoln to Cottman, December 15, 1863.

Yours truly &c

Michael Hahn

Document: Maurice Mayer to Abraham Lincoln, November 20, 1863

Washington. Nov 20th/63

Honored Sir

Having met with unbounded success in my mission of charity, to the citizens of Natchez, Miss from our people in the cities of New York, Philadelphia & Baltimore, as well as from the proper authorities of my district of this city, now in our government’s employ, I respectfully inform you of my anticipated departure from New York this day week, to distribute to the Free Mkt & Associations of Natchez, such articles as I shall take with me. And shall during my sojourn with them attempt to awaken within an unthought-of but influential field, the proper respect and actions towards our government, your at Our head. All within my power shall be exercised for the welfare of my country. Hoping dear Sir, that you will accept this as a token of my gratitude for your kind letter1 of concurence in my enterprise towards our people of Natchez Miss. I am with much respect

1 This letter has not been located.

Your’s Truly Obt Servt.

Maurice Mayer




my motto.

Charity after Battles, Crown’s our Victories


Document: Thomas Franklin to Francis J. Keffer, November 21, 1863


Nov. 21st 1863


In compliance with your request I herewith submit in writing the facts attending my offer to vote at the Election on the 4th Inst. These facts are briefly these.

When I approached the voting place for the purpose of voting I saw standing at the Ballot-Box Washington G. Tuck one of the Judges of Election and tendered to him my ballot which he did not take, but after turning around said to me “there is an objection to your vote”. I then asked him “on what ground.”? to which he replied “disloyalty.” I then said to him “it has been my misfortune to see one of the Judges of Election now before me arrested for disloyalty which I have never been”. I then turned away and left the polls. No oath was tendered to me on that occasion. This is all that occurred in connection with my attempt to vote on the day in question.

1 There are several documents in this collection that pertain to the November 4, 1863 election in Maryland. See especially, Augustus W. Bradford to Lincoln, October 31, 1863; Lincoln to Bradford, November 2, 1863; Bradford to Lincoln, November 3, 1863; Lincoln to Montgomery Blair, November 11, 1863; and Donn Piatt to Lincoln, November 27, 1863.

Respectfully &c.

Thomas Franklin,

[Endorsed by Francis J. Keffer:]

Office Provost Marshal.

Annapolis, Md. Nov. 22, 1863.

Respectfully referred to Col. C. A. Waite, U. S. A., Com’dg at Annapolis, Md. Thomas Franklin was reported by the Judge of Election as refusing to take the oath. He denies that the oath was offered to him; but frankly acknowledged in my office, and in my presence, yesterday afternoon, that had the oath been tendered to him, he would have refused to take it.

Francis J. Keffer

Capt. 71st A. V. Provost Marshal.

Document: Thurlow Weed to William H. Seward, November 21, 1863

New-York, Nov. 21

Dear Seward,

I have been two hours with Pa. Gentleman1 It was a strange revelation, for he represents V.2 of Ohio, W3. of N-Y, and other strange People, including McClellan, all of whom he proposes to bring to the support of the Country!

1 The Pennsylvania gentleman has not been identified.

2 Clement L. Vallandigham

3 Possibly a reference to Fernando Wood

I was unprepared for this, but of course was not surprised.

I saw Richmond4 at Albany yesterday, and explained [freely?] to him. He went heartily into the Programme for finishing Rebellion, saying that upon that basis the Democracy of New-York would come promptly to the rescue.5

4 Dean Richmond was a leader of the New York Democratic Party.

5 In an attempt to forge Republicans and Democrats into a Union coalition, Weed offered a plan for “A More Vigorous Prosecution of the War” in November 1863. This plan proposed lenient treatment to Confederates who agreed to lay down their arms. Since Weed’s primary purpose was to restore the Union “as it was,” emancipation was not incorporated into his proposal. Ardent abolitionists, such as Zachariah Chandler, feared Lincoln had come under the influence of Weed and as a consequence, Lincoln’s 1863 Annual Message would be so conservative as to leave open the possibility of the revocation of the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln denied these rumors in a letter to Chandler. See Zachariah Chandler to Lincoln, November 15, 1863 and Lincoln to Chandler, November 20, 1863.

The Peace Democracy consider their game played out. But can they be useful? The Pa. Gent. reminded me that V. received the largest vote ever cast by the Democracy of Ohio. I told him that I had no Friends who were against the Government, and no Enimies for who are for it. At the close of the interview I saw that he was in communication with the P-M-G.6

6 Montgomery Blair, Lincoln’s Postmaster General, had been very active in denouncing the abolitionists during the 1863 campaign season. In an October 3
speech at Rockville, Maryland, Blair accused the abolitionists of prolonging the war by advocating racial amalgamation. This speech received wide coverage in the newspapers and was published in pamphlet form.

I declined to mix in the organization of the House.7

7 This is probably a reference to the plot hatched by Emerson Etheridge, the clerk of the U. S. House of Representatives, to insure the election of a conservative speaker by denying credentials to certain Republican congressmen when the House organized in December. Lincoln received word of the plot and countered Etheridge by contacting leading Republicans and urging them to be sure their governors provided members-elect of the House with the proper credentials. See Collected Works, VI, 546-47, 549-50, 552-53; James W. Grimes to Lincoln, November 3, 1863; Frederick F. Low to Lincoln, November 7, 1863; and Zachariah Chandler to Lincoln, November 13, 1863.


Document: John F. Lee to Montgomery Blair, November 22, 1863

1 Lee had served as the judge advocate of the army from 1849 until his resignation in 1862.

Upper Marlboro. Md. Nov 22. 1863.

Dear Judge.

Will you get from the President, a pass for Mrs E. A. B Upshur,2 her sister Miss Sally Upshur, and her grandchild James Ringgold, to come on the flag of truce boat to Old point comfort, (there is no other way of coming) and thence to their home in Washington.

They went before the war to the mountains of Va, as always before in summer, and did not come back.

2 Mrs. Upshur was the widow of Abel P. Upshur, the secretary of the navy (1841-43) and secretary of state (1843-44) during the Tyler Administration who was killed when a gun exploded on the U. S. S. Princeton in 1844.

I am Executor of the child’s father, administrator of his Mother, and hold his property. I wrote to the grandmother that to bring him back, & let me settle up with the orphan’s court in Washington. They ask permission. Mrs Upshur’s age & health make it necessary that her sister should live with her. I beleive the President will willingly grant the permission. He said before, that he wished good people to return. I think they have a right. Explain to the President who they are; excellent and innocent people entitled to sympathy and respect.

They have resided in Washington since Judge Upshur was killed there when Secretary of State.

When you get the pass, please endorse it in my letter herewith to Mrs Upshur, and forward it to Genl Butler.

I put in my letter to her a piece of your money, for postage beyond our lines. If better money is needed, please borrow 25¢ in silver for me from Mr. Chase; & I will refund to you or him on sight.3

3 Lincoln wrote to Secretary Stanton on December 16 and requested a pass for Mrs. Upshur and her family. See Collected Works, VII, 74.

Yours truly. J. F. Lee


Document: Abraham Lincoln to William H. Seward, November 23, 1863 [Copy in Frederick Seward’s Hand]1

1 Confederate General James Longstreet had attacked General Ambrose Burnside’s troops at Knoxville, Tennessee. Seward and Lincoln were anxious to know Burnside’s condition. Burnside was relieved a few days later by Grant and Sherman at Chattanooga.

[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.

Executive Mansion.

Washington. D. C. Nov. 23. 1863.

My dear Sir,

Two despatches since I saw you -- one not quite so late on firing as we had before, but giving the points that Burnside thinks he can hold the place, that he is not closely invested, and that he forages across the river. The other brings the firing up to 11. A. M. yesterday being 23. hours later than we had before.3

3 See Orlando Wilcox to Henry W. Halleck, November 20, 1863 (Three Same Date)

Yours truly--

A. Lincoln.
Document: John A. Dix to Abraham Lincoln, November 23, 1863

Office of the Union Pacific

Rail Road Company,

New York 23. Nov. 1863.


If the Engineers are ready, it is proposed to break ground on the Pacific Rail Road, on the 1st or 2nd day of next month, at some point in Nebraska, through which, under the Act of Congress, the line will pass. This inauguration of the work will be followed up by early measures to complete, as soon as possible, the grading of one hundred miles of road authorized by the Board of Directors to report under contract.

In view of the vastness of the enterprise, and its probable influence upon the political and commercial prosperity of the country, it would be gratifying to receive a communication from you to be read on the occasion.

1 Lincoln had issued an executive order on November 17, 1863 that designated Omaha as the point of construction for the Union Pacific. A ground breaking ceremony was held in Omaha on December 2, but a bout with varioloid (a mild form of smallpox) prevented Lincoln from sending a letter to be read at the ceremony. See John Hay to Dix, December 1, 1863.

I have the honor to be,

very respectfully,

Your obt. Servt.

John A. Dix

Prest. U. P. R. R. Co.


Document: Ulysses S. Grant to Henry W. Halleck, November 23, 1863 [With Endorsement by Lincoln]1

1 The following telegram is a report on the progress of Grant’s Chattanooga Campaign. As Grant predicted, a decisive battle was fought the following day at Lookout Mountain. Grant successfully concluded the Chattanooga Campaign on November 25 with a victory at Missionary Ridge.

Recd 640 P. m.

Nov. 23. 1863.

Chattanooga Tenn.

3. P. m. Nov. 23, 1863.

Gen. Thomas’2 troops attacked the Enemy’s left at 2. P. m, today carried first line of rifle pits, running over the knoll twelve hundred yards in front of Wood’s3 forts, & low ridge to the right of it, taking about two hundred prisoners, besides killed and wounded, Our loss small. The troops moved under fire with all the precision of veterans on parade. Thomas’ troops will entrench themselves and hold their position until daylight when Sherman will join the attack from the mouth of the Chicamauga & a decisive battle will be fought.

2 General George H. Thomas was commander of the Army of the Cumberland.

3 General Thomas J. Wood was a division commander in Thomas’s Army of the Cumberland.

U. S. Grant maj. Genl

[Endorsed by Lincoln:]

Genl. Grant

Chattanooga. Nov. 23. 1863.

Document: James M. Scovel to Abraham Lincoln, November 23, 18631

1 Scovel was appointed commissioner on the Enrollment Board for the 1st Congressional District of New Jersey under the Enrollment Act of March 3, 1863. He served from May 2 until November 27, 1863.

Camden N. J Nov 23/63.

Dear Mr. President,

I enclose you an editorial from the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin in regard to your excellent speech at Gettysburg.2

2 Lincoln had delivered the Gettysburg Address on November 19.

When I last had the honor of conversing with you in reading you the article in relation to yourself you asked me where the quotation was found, “There are no tricks in plain and simple faith”.--

I then thought it was in Lear but I was mistaken. It is in Julius Caesar Act IV. Sec II when Brutus speaks to Lucilius

The lines which come next, are quite as remarkable and I have quoted them before now in making stump speeches as very applicable to Horatio Seymour and men of his kidney, -- half hearted lovers of Treason

Hear are the lines

-- “Hollow men, like horses hot at hand

Make gallant show & promise of their mettle,

But when they should endure the bloody spur,

They fall their crests, and, like deceitful jades, sink in the trial”--

I never read the play till within a month and was surprised to find what a mine of wit & wisdom had been left unexplored by me.--

But I must not detain you when every moment of your time belongs to the necessities of state.-- I enclose you my resignation as Commissioner of the draft because I hope to sail for Europe on Saturday in the City of London. While in England I hope to be of some service to you by writing for the papers there which sympathise with us in our great struggle for life & nationality a just account of what we are doing, and what we have done, during your administration.-- Very many of the educated English sadly misunderstand our struggle which they think a race for power instead of a life or death struggle for the glorious, yet simple principles, which underlie the government itself.--

Directory: mss -> mal -> maltext -> rtf orig
rtf orig -> Document: Ohio and Illinois General Assemblies, Resolutions for Gradual Emancipation of Slaves, 1824 and 1825
rtf orig -> Document: Alexander K. McClure to Abraham Lincoln, June 30, 1863
rtf orig -> Document: Thomas Corwin to Abraham Lincoln, September 6, 1864
rtf orig -> Document: Harriet Chapman to Abraham Lincoln, January 17, 1865
rtf orig -> Document: Mary C. W. Wadsworth to Abraham Lincoln, July 4, 1864 [With Endorsement by Lincoln]
rtf orig -> Document: Isachar Zacharie to Abraham Lincoln, April 25, 1863
rtf orig -> Document: Abraham Lincoln to Mary Mann, April 5, 1864 [Draft]
rtf orig -> Document: Jesse K. Dubois and Ozias M. Hatch to Abraham Lincoln, September 16, 1863 Springfield Sept 16. 1863
rtf orig -> Document: Joseph Butler to Abraham Lincoln, January 10, 1861
rtf orig -> Document: Francis P. Blair, Jr to Abraham Lincoln, November 14, 1862

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