Document: Rice & Hart to Abraham Lincoln, March 19, 1864

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Abraham Lincoln Papers


Document: Rice & Hart to Abraham Lincoln, March 19, 1864

No 525 Minor St

Philadelphia March 19th 64


We publish the National Portrait Gallery of Distinguishid Americans”1 and we are desirous of adding to our work the Portrait & Biograpy of President Lincoln. Having received the kind aid of five former Presidents, we venture to ask you to do us similar favors Having been unable to find here, a portrait that is satisfactory, we ask you to do us the favor to sit at Mr Bradys2 Gallery for a photograph, he is advised of our desire to obtain your portrait for our work.

1 The Philadelphia publishing firm of D. Rice and A. N. Hart published The National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans; with Biographical Sketches, a work authored by James Herring and James B. Longacre. The work was published in various editions over the years.

2 Mathew B. Brady

Should Mr Brady fail to take a likeness that is satisfactory to yourself & family can you refer us to any that has been heretofore been taken, that you would prefer You will also greatly oblige us if you will name some friend with whom we can corespond in relation to a Biography. We also desire your autograph to engrave under the Portrait

We enclose a circular that you may know the character of our work.

We have the honor to be with high regard

Your obt. Servants

Rice & Hart


Document: Carl Schurz to Abraham Lincoln, March 19, 1864

New-York March 19th 1864.

Dear Sir,

Mr. Willmann1 of this city, who delivered my last letter to you,2 was informed at the White House, that you had written to me in reply, but as I have received no letter whatever from you, there must be some mistake about it. From what Mr. Willmann told me of his conversation with you I am led to believe that you consider my taking part in the electoral contest this summer as attended with some difficulty inasmuch as it would not be an easy thing to find a proper command and position for me afterwards. This as well as your silence upon my letters I can explain upon no other supposition than that you have entirely misapprehended my intentions.

1 Andreas Willmann

2 See Schurz to Lincoln, March 8, 1864.

Under present circumstances I do not want to appear or to feel bound by any favor from anybody. If I can take an active part in the political contest consistently with my position in the Army, I shall be glad to do so, expecting nothing for myself but to resume my old position and command after the election. If a political activity be deemed inconsistent with my military position, I shall then have to make my choice, either to remain in the Army and not to take part in the presidential canvass, or to resign my commission in order to take the political field.3 I wish to assure you here emphatically, that in neither case I would make any demands on the Administration. I should, however, be glad to be advised a little beforehand as to which of these two contingencies is likely to take place as in either case I would have to make certain preparations.

3 Lincoln had written Schurz on March 13 that “I would be very glad to have your service for the country in the approaching political canvass; but I fear we can not properly have it, without separating you from the military.” See Lincoln to Schurz, March 13, 1864.

About this and several other matters of a political nature I desired to have a conversation with you. At a time like this I would not consider it out of place to volunteer my advice and opinion about a few points of some importance. And in order to have an opportunity for doing this I desired to have the necessary permission to visit Washington, where I also might have seen and consulted with several of our political friends. I must confess, it is somewhat difficult for me to understand, why I did not receive that permission in reply to my letters--

In my first letter I took the liberty of asking you whether the rumor, that Gen. Hooker4 would be assigned to another command, was true. If it is not true I shall be obliged to apply to the War-Dept. to be relieved of my present command under Gen. Hooker and to be assigned somewhere else.

4 Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker

For your information I send you a copy of my agrument before the Court of Inquiry which I have had printed for my own private use.5 There is no Army in the civilized world in which an officer after such an occurrence would not be transferred to another command. I wish, however, to have it distinctly understood, that I do not aspire to anything larger or higher than I now have; that I would be completely satisfied with the command of a respectable division in some other Dept., Gen. Sigel’s6 for instance, unless he has already too many German generals with him, -- and that, in case the 11th Corps is taken from under Gen. Hooker, I shall be quite content with the command I now have. I suppose, five minutes conversation with you or the Sec. of War would settle this matter without the least difficulty; if there should be any I might resign now. At all events I should be greatly obliged for some information on that point.

5 Schurz and another officer had been accused of inefficient conduct at the battle of Wauhatchie, Tennessee (October 28-29, 1863). Schurz demanded a court of inquiry in which he was ultimately exonerated.

6 Maj. Gen. Franz Sigel commanded the Department of West Virginia.

I am quite sick, suffering from all sorts of complaints common in camps. I expect however to be able in a few days to return to the Army. Until then I should be glad to know what I shall have to do, and on my way there to visit Washington, unless my presence there be particularly undesirable.

Very truly yours

C. Schurz

Prescott-house, Broadway, New-York

Document: Edwin M. Stanton to Abraham Lincoln, March 19, 1864 [With Endorsement by Lincoln]1

1 On March 18, Lincoln had asked Stanton to consent to the discharge of certain Confederate prisoners who Lincoln might recommend, recognizing that in a few cases such discharged prisoners might rejoin the Confederate ranks. See Lincoln to Stanton, March 18, 1864, for a much longer draft of which this request was only a part, and Collected Works, VII, 254-55, for the letter actually sent.

Washington City,

March 19 1864

Mr President

Your order for the discharge of any prisoners of war, will be cheerfully & promptly obeyed.

Your Obedt Servt

[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]

Sec. of War -- about prisoners.


Document: Gideon Welles to Abraham Lincoln, March 19, 1864

Navy Department

March 19. 1864.


I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the letter of Mr. Joshua Hanna, of Pittsburg, dated the 12th inst., addressed to the Secretary of War,1 and accompanying communication, dated the 16th inst., addressed to you, in relation to the case of the Steamer “Volunteer,’ seized in November last by the Mississippi Squadron, which were referred by you to this Department for information on the subject.

1 See Hanna to Stanton, March 12, 1864.

I would respectfully state that this Department has not been furnished by Rear Admiral Porter2 with a full report of the seizure of the Steamer “Volunteer.” On the 20th ultimo he forwarded to me an appraisement of the vessel, stating that she had been captured some time since for “illicit trading, robbing plantations &c.” and that owing to the scarcity of transports he had obtained permission from the Judge of the District to use her for Government service. The “Volunteer” was appraised at twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.) and a requisition for that sum was drawn by this Department for the payment of the same.

2 Rear Admiral David D. Porter, commanding the Mississippi Squadron.

You will thus perceive that the case is in the hands of the District Court at Springfield Ills, and therefore, no longer under the control of this Department.

I herewith return the papers which were referred to me, and am

With great respect,

Yr. obt. servant,

Gideon Welles

Sec’y of the Navy

Document: Charles S. Hamilton to Samuel Breck, March 20, 18641

1 Maj. Samuel Breck was an assistant adjutant general in Washington.

Fond du Lac, Wis

March 20th 64--


In answer to your Circular of February 17th 64. asking for my Military history since March 4th 61, I submit the following narrative. I was appointed Colonel of the 3rd Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, my Commission bearing date May 11th 61. I was mustered into the United States Service, with my Regiment 1000 Strong, for three years Service on the 30th day of June 1861, at Fond du Lac Wisconsin.

On the 12th of July following, under orders from Lieut Genl. Scott2 the Regt. left Wisconsin to report to Major Genl. Patterson3, and reached Sandy Hook Md on the 18th of the same month. I was at once assigned by Genl. Patterson to the Command of Maryland Heights & Sandy Hook.

2 Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott

3 Maj. Gen. Robert Patterson of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, commanded the Military Departments of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

On the 5th of August following I was Confirmed as Brigadier General of Volunteers, with rank from May 17th 61, and was at once assigned to the Command of the 3d Brigade Banks4 Division. I was in command of this Brigade until March 15th 62, and in Command of the Joint Brigade of Genl. A. S. Williams5 and the Division of Brig Genl. Shields6 at the head of which forces I Entered Winchester Va on the 15th of Mch. I was releived Mch 15th 62 by Maj Gen McClellan,7 & ordered to Alexandria Va & assigned to the Command of 3d Div, 3 Army Corps (Heintzelmans)8 which I embarked on the 17th for the Peninsula and reached Hampton on the 18th, On the 13th of April following while in front of Yorktown, I sought permission of Gen McClellan to storm the Enemys lines. It is proper to say that in pursuance of McClellans timid policy, the request was not granted. I remained in command of the Division until the 2d of May following, when I was releived by order of McClellan, on the specious plea of disrespect, in Entering an Earnest protest against the inhuman overworking of my division, while the troops of Fitz John Porter9 were Comparatively idle. I was ordered to report in person to the Adjt Genl. of the Army at Washington. On the 25th of May I was ordered by Secretary of War to report in person to Major Genl. Banks for duty, but on reaching Harpers Ferry, I found Banks division across the Potomac at Williamsport, & I remained at Harpers Ferry putting it in a defensible condition until the 5th of June when at my own request, I was ordered to report in person for duty to Maj Genl. Halleck10 at Corinth-- On the 15th of June I was assigned by Genl. Halleck to the Command of the Left wing of the Army of the Mississippi formerly commanded by Genl Pope11, then under the Command of Gen Rosecrans.12 In August following the organization by wings was broken up & I took Command of the 3” Division of that Army, and on the 19th of Sept following, with Seven Regiments of that division I fought the battle of Iuka, and defeated Genl. Price,13 and on the 3d and 4th of Oct. with the same division, I saved the day and the Army at Corinth. About the 20th of Oct I succeeded Gen Rosecrans in the Command of the district of Corinth and the Army of the Mississippi, this Command Constituted the left wing of the Army of the Tennessee. I was Continued in this Command until Jany 63, when by order of Maj Genl. Halleck Grants Army was organized into four Army Corps and my command which I had lead to Victory at Iuk & Corinth taken from me and divided between Major Generals Hurlburt and McPherson14, neither of whom had had any part or action in Either of those battles which decided the fate of the Mississippi and the Department of the Tenn to Cairo.

4 Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks

5 Brig. Gen. Alpheus S. Williams

6 Brig. Gen. James Shields

7 Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan

8 Maj. Gen. Samuel P. Heintzelman

9 Maj. Gen. Fitz John Porter commanded the 5th Corps, Army of the Potomac.

10 Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck

11 Maj. Gen. John Pope

12 Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans

13 Maj. Gen. Sterling Price

14 Maj. Gens. Stephen A. Hurlbut and James B. McPherson

I was for 20 days in Command of the 16th Army Corps and the districts of Memphis, Jackson & Corinth, during the absence of Maj Gen Hurlburt, and on his return I commanded the Districts of Jackson & Corinth under him. On the 9th of March 63 I was Confirmed a Major General with rank dating from 19th of Sept 62, the date of the battle of Iuka -- the rank made me Senior to Maj Gen McPherson, and I then asked for the command of the 17th Army Corps or any other Army Corps in virtue of my rank and my service this was denied me, and the alternative of my resignation accepted. My resignation dates Apr 13th 1863.

Thus in the face of eminent Service -- in the face of acknoledged fitness -- in the face of Every claim, just and Sacred to a Soldier, was I deprived of my command, which was given to a junior who had never had a command in battle, and compelled by the Simplest motives of self-respect to tender my resignation I have nothing to reproach myself for -- did no act while in the service which my judgment does not commend, and worked with a zeal, dictated by heart & soul in the cause.

I respectfully ask that this communication before being placed on file may be submitted to the President of the United States.

My Aides de Camp were 1st Lieut T. J. Widney 3d Wis Vols from Aug 61 to May 62. 1st Lieut E. T. Pearce 12th Mass from Mch 62 to Apr 13-- 63, 1st Lieut Wm F. Wheeler 4” Minn Vols from June 62 to Apr 13th 63 Capt Henry J. Doolittle Add Aide to Gen Fremont15 was on duty on my Staff from Apr 62 to Aug 10th 62 when he died

15 Maj. Gen. John C. Fremont

Capt Roswell M. Sawyer Asst Adjt. Genl. of Vols, served with me from Nov 61 -- until Apr 13, 63 I was President of Examining Board for Officers in Banks Division from Dec 61 -- to Mch 62, and also President of an Examining Board for Officers in the Army of the Mississippi from July 62 to Jany 63-- Have not at any time been on Court Martial or Military Commission I recd leave of absence for 20 days from Genl. Grant in Aug 62

Respy Your Obdt Svt

(Signed) C. S. Hamilton

A True Copy

A. G. O.

March 28” 64.

Document: Gustave P. Koerner to Abraham Lincoln, March 20, 1864

Madrid. March 20. 1864.

My dear Sir.

You have probably learned the death of Mr. Scheel1, my brother in law, at Belleville after a long protracted illness. Mr. Scheel had been my agent and entrusted with the management of all my affairs. His long sickness and now his death has thrown, as I am informed, my business into great confusion, and one of the most material points has been very much neglected, the collection of a tolerably large amount of outstanding debts, upon which I have necessarily to rely, when I finally return home. My family, at least a part of it, wishes to go back this summer, the principal reason being, that life is so extravagently expensive here, that they must either live so retired, as is unbecoming their station, or that I must spend every dollar of my own previous earnings in order to sustain my position here.--

1 John Scheel (or Schiel). See Collected Works, VII, 177.

Under these circumstances I desire to visit the United States, to attend to my affairs and to accompany my family, and for that purpose I solicit leave of absence for four months. I will not however desire to leave, until the hot season commences, say middle of June, and when practically business ceases in Madrid. About that time, and in fact some weeks before the Court and Ministers go to some summer residence and stay away some months. Most all of the chiefs of the diplomatic corps leave Spain and usually do not return before September, or October, sometimes even later. At the present there seems to be no prospect of any important business having to be settled with the Government here. The state of Europe is such as to entirely forbid the idea of any intervention in our affairs being undertaken by any European power. I never believed in it, and now I believe there is no one, who anticipates an interference. My absence therefore can not be prejudiced under any circumstances.

I hope therefore that you will be pleased to grant me the leave solicited.

With my warmest wishes for your success and that of our Country I remain Sir, sincerely and

faithfully yours

Gustavus Koerner.


Document: William Newton Mercer to Abraham Lincoln, March 20, 18641

1 William Newton Mercer served in the U. S. Army from Virginia as a surgeon’s mate and surgeon almost continually from 1813 until he resigned on July 1, 1821.

New York, No 34 East 14th Street--

March 20th 1864--


A Native American, I appeal to you, the Chief Magistrate of our common Country.

In early life I entered the Army during the War of 1812, & served without reproach till 1821, when I resigned; and have been ever since a planter near Natchez in Missi, passing my winters in Neworleans and my summers in the the North for many years.

I have always affiliated with the Whigs, but have never engaged in the strife of parties; nor, while discharging all the publick duties imposed on me, however humble, have I been an applicant or a candidate for any office. Under all circumstances, I have been stedfast in my devotion to the Union and the Constitution which founded it; and have resisted by every honourable means all attempts at nullification or secession. Such is my humble personal history, which I venture to obtrude on you.

When the unnatural rupture was consummated, I submitted passively to the Government de facto, and gave my money whenever demanded, as long as I had any. But I did not compromise my principles; I refused to illumenate my home, I visited several times the prisoners of war, 500 of whom were confined in Neworleans, gave money to the officers and needful supplies to all; I kept aloof from the persons and counsels of the authorities, and finally refused to take an oath of allegeance to the Confederacy. For this course, I was denounced and threatened. Probably my age, possibly my character, saved me from violence.

When the forces of the U. S. took possession of Neworleans, I remained in Neworleans there, persisted in the same moderate course, to restrain violence and harshness of the existing authorities, as well as on the part of the population, believing as I still do, that moderation and justice, united with firmness were the only feasible means to abate our unholy dessentions, and to effect a permanent reconciliation, -- the object above all others, of my hopes and prayers. Unfortunately, as I think, a different policy was adopted.

With General Butler2 my intercourse was frequent and amicable, even up to the moment of his departure. For several months our opinions appeared to be the same. My relations with Admiral Farragut3, and the officers of the navy who continue to occupy my house, were constant and cordial.

2 Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Bulter had been commander of the Department of the Gulf.

3 Rear Adm. David G. Farragut commanded the West Gulf Blockading Squadron.

In September 1862, Genl. Butler issued an order that the intire population of N Orleans, should take an oath which he prescribed: or, should proclaim themselves enemies of the U. S. and make a Return of all their property, under severe penalties.4 Accordingly I made the required Return faithfully, but declined to take the oath, Because General Butler had not in my opinion any right to exact it; because I could not renew what I had not renounced, or return to an allegiance which I had not forfeited; & because my property near Natchez, and especially my old homestead and a chapel which I had built many years ago for the worship of my family and slaves, would thereby be exposed to destruction. Moreover I believed that some limits should be imposed on the exercise of military authority, and I could find no such power either in the confiscation law, or in your own Proclamation. General Butler was pleased to regard my refusal to recognize his despotic authority as contumacious, and caused all my property in Neworleans to be sequestered, as it has been ever since, and my name to be enrolled among the registered enemies of the United States. That such was not, and is not, the fact I solemnly declare, and beg to refer you to the Return itself of which I annex a true copy.

4 For the text of Butler’s General Orders, No. 41 (issued June 10, 1862), which contained the oath, see Official Records, Series I, Volume 15, 483-84.

At my advanced age, within a few days of the completion of my 73d year, I have but little to live for, as like Logan, I am alone in the world, and would most cheerfully sacrafice all that I possess, even life itself, to return our Country to its normal condition.

Already my name has been excised from the list of Registered enemies. It only remains therefore that the sequestration should be removed to restore me to my former status-- You alone, Mr. President, have the dispensing power which I dare to believe you will exercise, not for oppression, like James 2d,5 but to relieve it. I appeal to you therefore with the respect due to your personal character, as well as your official duty dignity, for Justice. If I have done wrong, I am willing to bear the penalty. If guilty of treason to my Country under whose flag I served for many years, let the punishment be commensurate with the crime. I will submit to the laws now as heretofore, with the resignation of a Christian or the firmness of an honest man, who has tried to do his duty to God and his fellow men.

5 When James II came to the throne in 1685, he used his appointing power to replace Anglicans with Roman Catholics.

After a careful review of all that I have done in my anomalous position, I can find nothing to reproach myself with, for it cannot be wrong to feel a deep sympathy for the sufferings South as well as North, caused by this unholy war, or a reluctance to take any part in its prosecution. As for myself, all that I can do, is to offer my fervent prayers to Allmighty God for its speedy termination. Had I been in office, I should have had no hesitation in supporting the government to the utmost of my ability-- My sentiments are identical with those that you formerly proclaimed. Possibly you may remember that Mr. Belmont sent you an extract from my letter to a friend 18 months ago.

With such sentiments & corresponding actions, I find myself empoverished in my old age, and exiled from my home. My plantations in Mississippi, alternately ravaged and devastated by both sides, and my political status precisely similar to that of most of the authors & fomenters of the Insurrection. Permit me to ask you if this is just? If from my statement, you believe that I have been treated [badly?], am I unreasonable in requesting that you will order my property to be restored to my controul? This immunity has been granted to Dr. Duncan and several other friends from Natchez, whose opinions and conduct are the same as my own.

Finally, with apologies for this trespass, may I beg you to direct your Secretary to favour me with a single line to relieve my suspense?

I have the honour to be,


Your most obedient Servant,

W. Newton Mercer.



W. Newton Mercer, a native of Maryland, makes the following Return of his property, in pursuance of the order of Genl. Butler, No. 76-- Then as an appendix--

The subscriber has not taken any oath to the Confederate States; has held no office in connection with them, and has belonged to no Society in Neworleans, or elsewhere; nor has he done any act to forfeit his allegiance to the United States, or to make it necessary that he should renew or return to his allegiance.

Neworleans Sept. 30. 1862--

signed -- W. Newton Mercer--


In the personal return made of himself and his household, in obedience to the same order, he declared that he was not an enemy of the United States.

Document: William M. Stewart to Abraham Lincoln, March 20, 1864

Cedar Rapids March 20, 1864

Honorable Sir,

The position you occupy as pres. of the U. S. being (perhaps) the most honorable on earth, would naturally make any loyal man approach you with some feelings of diffidence and respect. But still we think nothing the more of a man when his dignity comes from his office; yet we admire and even venerate the man when he occupies a high place and dignifies that place by his faithfullness, to truth, and to the high and holy principles of right. God ordained civil government for, 1st To pretect the weak, defend the innocent, and to secure the right; and 2nd To punish the evil doer, and to destroy the oppressor. See psalms. 72: 4 -- 82: 4. Rom. 13: 4. These texts plainly show what governments were designed for; and what civil Rulers are required to do.

Enclosed are some lines addressed to you and written by me, please accept them as my political Creed; they express my feelings and views as to human rights, and the duty of rulers in the use of the Adm Legislative, Judicial and Executive powers.

For a government of our conformation, -- of our pretentions -- of our Christian light and professions -- bassed on the “Declaration of Independence,” and on the great principles of natural right and equality, to tolerate slavery, or to make any legal or civil distinction between home born men on account of color, is one of the most complicated, pestiferious, and diabolical lies, that was ever invented.

And for a nation under the weight of such high and holy obligations, to have practiced slavery through its whole life, untill God was about to destroy it for its accursed oppressions; and then not as a thing that should have been done in ‘76, or now as a thing greatly to be desired, but, as “a Military necessity”; to liberate the slaves of rebels as if they were better, or more useful to the Union than those of Union men; or as if slavery among union men would be less sinful or fatal to the Union than slavery among the rebels. And when the slaves of Union men are enlisted to pay the bounty to the Masters, or to pay a price for the emancipation of slaves to their masters, is a combination of the most horrible attributes of atrocity, which very fully prove that the heart is mean, “Deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.”

The slaves have always been robbed by this nation; and now that they are willing to fight for the good of their former oppressors, and for their unjust country, and run the risk and do the labor of a faithful soldier (I have a son who is a true Lincoln man and who commands a company of colored soldiers at Helena) but still keep up the distinction, mark them for degradation, and withhold from them what you bestow on others, and God will mark this nation and its Rulers for his judgments, not for a few Florida mishaps, but for a fearful overthrow and eternal infamy

God’s hand is in all this matter, but he will have no compromise with slavery. And wo to any man who does not wipe his hands of slavery in 1864. I hope that God will bless you and make you the happy instrument of bloting out all slavery in this nation

Yours for the right

Wm M Stewart.

N. B. If you dont think this letter a good cause to have me arrested and take to Washington for trial I would be glad you would contrive some other way to get me there I would (if I could) give more than I could be sold for to be a free man for 30 days in Washington

W. M. S.

Document: Abraham Lincoln, Reply to New York Workingmen, March 21, 1864 [Copy in a Secretarial Hand]1

1 Lincoln responds here to an address from the New York Workingmen’s Democratic Republican Committee, which had elected him an honorary member. The committee stood for the advancement of workingmen and of the Union. See Collected Works, VII, 260n.

Gentlemen of the Committee.

The honorary membership in your Association, as generously tendered, is gratefully accepted.

You comprehend, as your address shows, that the existing rebellion, means more, and tends to more, than the perpetuation of African Slavery -- that it is, in fact, a war upon the rights of all working people. Partly to show that this view has not escaped my attention, and partly that I cannot better express myself, I read a passage from the Message to Congress in December 1861:

“It continues to develop that the insurrection * * * * * * * * * *2 till all of liberty shall be lost.”

2 The 800-word passage indicated by the ellipsis is in Collected Works, V, 51-53. That the secretarial copyist did not include them indicates that this document could not have been Lincoln’s reading copy but was rather created from the reading copy as a record of the event for the presidential files.

The views then expressed remain unchanged, nor have I much to add. None are so deeply interested to resist the present rebellion as the working people. Let them beware of prejudice, working division and hostility among themselves. The most notable feature of a disturbance in your city last summer, was the hanging of some working people by other working people. It should never be so. The strongest bond of human sympathy, outside of the family relation, should be one uniting all working people, of all nations, and tongues, and kindreds. Nor should this lead to a war upon property, or the owners of property. Property is the fruit of labor -- property is desirable -- -- is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich, shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprize. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.


Document: Anson G. Henry to Abraham Lincoln, March 21, 1864

Surveyor Generals Office

Olympia W. T. Mar. 21th 1864

My Dear Sir

I send you enclosed a slip from the Portland Daily Union, announcing the appointment of Victor Smith as Surveyor General in my place. I dont believe it is so, yet his friends here say it is true.1

1 The report was not true.

I know that a vigerous effort has been made to reinstate Smith in your confidence, by showing that I obtained his removal by preferring false charges.

I have much additional evidince going to show that I have done him no injustice, and that he is a greater knave than represented in my statement of reasons why he should be removed, Submitted to you last spring.

I care but little about the office, but it would crush me to the earth to be thus publicly proclaimed as unworthy of your confidence. Very Truly

Your Obdt. Servt.

Anson G. Henry

[Endorsed by John Hay:]

Report untrue

Ansd. May 17.

J. H.

Document: Andrew Johnson to Abraham Lincoln, March 21, 1864

The following Telegram received at Washington, 6 PM. Mch 21 1864.

From Louisville

Dated, Mch 21 1864.

The Dept of the Cumberland ought to be placed under the command of Maj Genl Thomas1 Receiving his instructions & orders directly from Washn. I feel satisfied from what I know & hear that placing the command of the Dept under Gen- Sherman over Thomas will produce disappointment in the public mind & impair the public service2 Gen Thomas has the confidence of the Army & the people & will discharge his duty as he has from the commencement of the Rebellion He will in my opinion if permitted be one of the Great Genls of this War if not the greatest I will be in Nashville tomorrow & will despatch you again

1 Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas

2 The Department of the Cumberland along with the Departments of the Tennessee, Ohio, and Arkansas were placed under General U. S. Grant as commander of the Military Division of the Mississippi in October 1863. When Grant moved east, his place was taken by General William T. Sherman. Throughout the period General Thomas remained in command of the Department and Army of the Cumberland.

Andrew Johnson


Document: Carl Schurz to Abraham Lincoln, March 21, 1864

New-York March 21. 1864.

Dear Sir,

At last I have received your letter of the 13th1; it was not diverted to my hotel and I did, therefore, not hear of it until it was advertised in the papers.

1 See Lincoln to Schurz, March 13, 1864.

My letters to you2 were dictated by the ardent desire to see the unity of the party unimpaired at the next presidential election, for without that unity the prospective result seems to me extremely doubtful. Having that object sincerely at heart and being willing to contribute all I can towards that end, I thought that my opinion and advice upon several points of importance might be entitled to some consideration, and I desired to volunteer them; for there are things which it is better to discuss in private than in public. In believing that a full exchange of views might be desirable not only to me but also to you, it seems I was mistaken.-- While a number of Generals were permitted to visit Washington, it is difficult for me to understand, how my presence there could be attended with “unpleasant difficulties or even be detrimental to the public service.” I might perhaps claim a right to know, what particular unpleasant difficulty or what detriment to the service is meant; but I apprehend I have to submit not only to an incomprehensible refusal but also to a mysterious hint as to the cause of that refusal. I approached you with the feelings of a friend, not to ask for something but to offer something, and I find myself turned off very much like an enemy or a suspicious character. I must confess, I cannot understand this.

2 See Schurz to Lincoln, February 29; and March 8, 13, 19, 1864.

Still, while I have neither right nor inclination to thrust myself upon any person, I have not ceased to believe, that, in an emergency, I may be of some service to a cause. In this respect I am governed by no personal consideration; my feelings are to-day what they were yesterday. I did not think it would be so difficult, with your assistance, to procure me an opportunity to take an active part in the political contest some time in July or August and September; but if you think it is, I shall then have to decide the question of my remaining in the Army for myself when the time comes.

While I regret most sincerely that you deemed best to cut off a full exchange of views, I beg you not to construe this letter as a renewed application for permission to visit Washington. I merely could not refrain from giving words to the impression your letter produced upon me.

Truly yours

C. Schurz.

Document: Charles S. Spencer to Abraham Lincoln, March 21, 1864 [With Endorsement by Lincoln]1

1 No reply to this letter from Lincoln has been found, and it is not evident that he helped secure speakers for the New York “monster meeting.”

339 Broadway

New York March 21 1864

Dr Sir

This will be handed you by his Ex Gov. Morgan--
2 Please oblige your friends in this City by giving all the assistance you with propriety can, to Gov. Morgan in the securing speakers for a monster meeting of the Union Lincoln Campaign Club of this City

2 Edwin D. Morgan

This meeting ought to be held March 30th instant It will not be held or until speakers are secured We are 6000 strong although formed but five weeks

Mrs Spencer & myself remember with pleasure our interview of an entire evening with you at the Soldiers Home last October when we were introduced to you by Surveyor Andrews3

3 Rufus F. Andrews, surveyor of the port of New York.

We shall poll at the next election in this City 35000 Union votes--

1000 to day cannot be drummed up opposed to your re-nomination


Charles S Spencer

President Lincoln Campaign

Club of City of New York

[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]


Document: John W. Todd to Abraham Lincoln, March 21, 18641

1 Capt. John W. Todd of Kentucky was an officer in the Ordnance Bureau.

Washington City D C

March 21st 1864

Dear Sir

Permit me to express to you my deep and heartfelt thanks for revokeing the order dismissing me from the service of the U- States

2 See Henry Grider, et al. to Lincoln, April 1, 1864.

Death itself would be preferable to the feeling of deep humiliation that I have endured for the last few months

Nothing on my part shall ever cause you to regret what you have done

With the most sincere respect and genuine gratitude

I am Most Fathfully

Your ob Ser

John W. Todd

Document: Joseph A. Wright to Abraham Lincoln, March 21, 1864 [With Endorsement by Lincoln]1

1 Nothing more is known of the plan presented by Mr. Burbidge.

No 4 Bond St

March 21st 1864

Dear Sir,

This will be handed you by my brother in law Mr. Burbidge of Bourbon County, Kentucky, a most devoted, loyal citizen, & a great friend of yours.

I trust you will approve of his plan of obtaining the Steamboats & Cotton from Rebels, as is suggested by his southern friends Col Topp of Memphis, Tennesee. The whole plan looks right to me. Mr Burbridge would not engage in this affair, if he did not believe it was for the interest of our Country. There is not a more loyal man in the country. I go to Connecticut again this week, things look well for our success. Do not forget General Burbidge,2 of Ky.

If you knew his merits you would at once promote him.

2 Stephen G. Burbridge, in command of Federal troops in Kentucky, was breveted major general of volunteers on July 4, 1864.

Mrs Wright unites with me in the kindest regards to yourself & Mrs Lincoln--

Yours Most respectfully

Joseph A Wright

[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]

Gov. Wright

Document: George Bates to Edward Bates, March 22, 1864 [With Endorsement by Lincoln]1

1 George Bates was apparently unrelated to the Attorney General. George Bates, however, did carry on a small, albeit one-sided, correspondence with the Attorney General regarding the 1864 election. The story is told of Edward Bates’ teasing Lincoln during a cabinet meeting, by nailing one of George’s flyers to the wall and announcing the appearance of a formidable rival to the President. See Marvin R. Cain, Lincoln’s Attorney General: Edward Bates of Missouri (Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri Press, 1965), 309.

1864 march the 22 Jenkinstown momgumery Co pan to the attorney general Bates i would askas a faver of you to asist me in Enterdusen my frend John. T. smith of Phildelpha for the next president of the united States of america by so duean yo will oblige me very much i thoth i would send a fw. bills to Enterduse as you are in apublick situation this John. T. Smith is a nice man i dont think he as aney of the dease call the nigger on the brain its a very Bad disease it was regnated by great Britain to overthrow this Contery by a deluge of blood i hope you want take aney offense as i beleve great Britain is the undergroun wark of all this destorbans in this contery she is the monkey setteng by the fire and shes got the cat be the paws scratching the nuts in the fire and she dont care how meney pows or legs gets Bornt & so she gets the nots to Ground i mite sed the heds to Ground i want to let hir know we ant so stuped but we know wat she at we will defete hir in hir attemp plese to Exebet thes bills by so duen you will oblige your freand

George Bates

[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]

A new Candidate for the Presidency.

Document: Orville H. Browning to Abraham Lincoln, March 22, 1864

Washington, March 22, 1864.

Mr President

Will it be possible for you, without too much trouble, to decide Morris’ case about the three per cent fund.1

1 There are numerous letters in this collection regarding the attempt of Isaac N. Morris, representing the state of Illinois, in her attempt to collect monies due from the sale of public lands, which were to be used in the construction of roads.

I am wonderfully annoyed about it, and I presume you will be till you dispose of it. Cant you give the commissioner some sort of direction, and get rid of it?

Truly yours


Document: Abraham Lincoln, Draft of Order Regarding the Long Branch and Sea Shore Railroad, [March 23, 1864] [Draft]1

1 Following is a draft of a memorandum on the use of Federal property that was later altered somewhat and then sent by Lincoln to the Secretary of War for his approval. Governor William A. Newell of New Jersey had requested such a transaction. Secretary Stanton referred the matter to General Halleck who in turn passed it on to Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt, who reported that such disposition of Federal property as was anticipated required an act of Congress. See William A. Newell to Lincoln, March 23, 1864, Lincoln to Stanton, March 23, 1864, Sandy Hook Bay -- Railroad Route [Map], March 23, 1864, Holt to Stanton, March 26, 1864, Halleck to Stanton, April 1, 1864, and Collected Works, VII, 263-64.

The Long-Branch and Sea-Shore Railroad Company is hereby authorized to make and use a railroad track on the land of the United States, conforming to the curved dotted line on this map, which line commences at the figure 8, and runs Southward nearly touching the right hand ends of those written lines and on till it passes off the government lands, upon condition that said railroad track and all possession of the ground shall be instantly removed and surrendered by force if necessary, upon either the order of the President of the United States, or a Joint Resolution of Congress so requiring.

[Endorsed on Envelope by Lincoln:]

Sandy-Hook. R. R.


Document: James H. Bell to Abraham Lincoln, March 23, 18641

1 James H. Bell of Delaware was a clerk in the Office of Indian Affairs.

Department of the Interior

Office Indian Affairs

March 23rd 1864.


I have the honor to inform you that Adams Express Company will this day deliver to you a mammoth live Turkey, weighing 32 pounds -- the present of a highly respected and patriotic farmer near Milford Delaware -- Mr Noah F. Davenport-- He is no office seeker, or politician, but an honest, hard fisted, Blue Hen’s Chicken, whose admiration for you and the acts of your administration know no bounds, and in the simplicity of his nature, he chose this method of expressing to you his respect and approbation,

It would be a source of great satisfaction to him and his friends to know that the present was accepted by you, and your autograph would be preserved as an heirloom in his family,

With the Highest Respect

Your obedient Servant,

James H. Bell,


Document: Benjamin F. Butler to Abraham Lincoln, March 23, 1864 [With Endorsement by Lincoln]1

1 Lincoln’s messages to Butler regarding the exchange of Lt. Brooks of the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers are in Collected Works, VII, 244, 252. See also Butler to Lincoln, March 14 and 18, 1864.

Fortress Monroe, March 23rd 1864--


I have the honor to report to you the exchange of Edward P. Brooks, 1st Lieut. 6th Reg’t Wis. Vols, concerning whom you telegraphed me the other day. He is now on board the Flag of Truce boat which has just returned from City Point. The boat brought down more than nine hundred (900) men and sixty three (63) officers. I have the honor also to enclose an open letter sent by the same Flag of Truce directed to yourself.

With sentiments of the highest respect I remain

Very Respectfully

Your Ob’d’t Servant

Benj. F Butler

Maj Genl


[Endorsed by Lincoln:]

Gen. Butler


Document: Meredith P. Gentry to Abraham Lincoln, March 23, 1864

Shelbyville Tennessee

March 23d 1864


Please accept my thanks for your prompt and favourable reply to my Letter of the 13th Inst, which came to hand this day.1 If I am correctly informed Genl Grant is not now in Nashville but so soon as I can ascertain where to address him, I will enclose him a Copy of your Letter and doubt not, but through its influence, I will receive a favourable decission on my application

1 See Gentry to Lincoln, February 3, 1864, and Lincoln’s response, March 13, 1864.


M P Gentry

Document: Miller & Mathews to Abraham Lincoln, March 23, 1864


We have had printed as part of our contribution to the Metropolitan Fair, Your Dedicatory Address at the Gettysburgh Cemetry. Thinking that the eloquent sentiments expressed in the words of sympathy for our brave dead might be reproduced for the benefit of the wounded and surviving. Enclosing a few specimens

We are with great respect

Your obt. Servants

Miller & Mathews.

New York Mch 23.


Document: [William A. Newell], Draft of Executive Order, [March 22, 1864]1

1 This document seems have originated with Governor William A. Newell of New Jersey and is identified in his letter to Lincoln on March 23, 1864 (q. v.) as “the paper which I left with you on yesterday.” Lincoln seems to have sent a version of this request (see Draft of Order Regarding the Long Branch and Sea Shore Railroad) to Secretary Stanton, who sent it to General Halleck, who in turn passed it on to Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt. His opinion was that such disposition of Federal property as was anticipated required an act of Congress. See William A. Newell to Lincoln, March 23, 1864; Abraham Lincoln, Draft of Order Regarding the Long Branch and Sea Shore Railroad [March 23, 1864]; Sandy Hook Bay -- Railroad Route [Map] March 23, 1864; Holt to Stanton, March 26, 1864; Halleck to Stanton, April 1, 1864; and Collected Works, VII, 263-64.

Executive Mansion,


Permission is hereby given to the Long Branch and Sea-Shore Rail Road Company to use so much of the government property at Sandy Hook, beginning at the Horse Shoe and extending southward, as may be nescessary for the construction of suitable dock, depot and track accommodations, with the understanding that the improvements thus designated shall be removed or transferred to the Government whenever it shall be required


Document: Abraham Lincoln to Edwin M. Stanton, March 23, 18641

1 This message apparently accompanied other documents explaining the nature of the case and Lincoln’s proposed disposition of it. Governor William A. Newell of New Jersey had requested Lincoln’s approval of a transaction allowing the Long Branch and Sea Shore Railroad to operate on Federal property in New Jersey. Newell apparently met with Lincoln on March 22 and left with him a suggested authorization statement (see [William A. Newell], Draft of Executive Order, [March 22, 1864]). Lincoln drafted a different version of this statement (see Lincoln, Draft of Order Regarding the Long Branch and Sea Shore Railroad, [March 23, 1864]). The endorsements accompanying this document trace its bureacratic journey before being returned to Lincoln. For the Judge Advocate General’s opinion that the measure would require an act of Congress, see Joseph Holt to Edwin M. Stanton, March 26, 1864.

I would like to oblige Gov-- Newell with a note like the within, unless the Sec-- of War perceives objections--

Will he please answer?

A. Lincoln

March 23, 1864.


War Department,

March 24th. 1864

The President asks the Secretary’s opinion of the enclosed permit which he proposes giving to Gov. Newell, granting authority to the Long Branch and Sea Shore R.R. Co to use a part of the Government property at Sandy Hook.

[Endorsed by Edwin M. Stanton:]

Referred to

Major General Halleck Chief of Army Staff for Report & also to the Judge Advocate General

Edwin M Stanton

Secretary of War.

[Endorsed by Joseph Holt:]

Report. Major General Halleck

Judge Adv General's office

March 26th 1864.

Respectfully returned with report inclosed.2

2 See Holt to Stanton, March 26, 1864.

J. Holt,

Judge Adv General

Document: Robert C. Schenck to Abraham Lincoln, March 23, 18641

1 Schenck was chairman of the House committee on military affairs and seems to have arranged with Mrs. Lincoln for something involving the president that failed to transpire at a White House party the previous evening. Whatever it was prompted a note from the President to Schenck which said in part: “I beg to assure you that a programme was brought to me, exactly as I carried it out; and that I had not the slightest suspicion of a mistake. I am aware this is no great matter, not going beyond a little temporary embarrassment to any but myself; still I feel that this explanation is due all round, which I am sure you will believe is the truth, and nothing but the truth.” See Collected Works, VII, 262.

Washington City Mar. 23, 1864,

My dear Sir

I am very sorry that you have felt annoyed in any way, or for a moment, by the little matter of last evening. I did not for an instant suppose that it was anything but accidental, & without design, that Mrs Lincoln’s arrangement was not carried out; I should not have given it another thought, but for your note which I have just received. I pray you not to think of it again, but to believe me Very truly yours

Robt. C. Schenck

Document: New York Union Party Committee to Abraham Lincoln, March 23, 1864

To His Excellency

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

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