Abraham Lincoln.

Message of the President of the United States : communicating, in compliance with a resolution of the Senate of December 20, 1864, information to the arrest of the Colonel Richard T. Jacobs, lieutenant governor of the state of Kentucky, and Colonel Frank Wolford, one of the presidential electors of online

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Online LibraryAbraham LincolnMessage of the President of the United States : communicating, in compliance with a resolution of the Senate of December 20, 1864, information to the arrest of the Colonel Richard T. Jacobs, lieutenant governor of the state of Kentucky, and Colonel Frank Wolford, one of the presidential electors of → online text (page 1 of 4)
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38th Congress, ) SENATE. ( Ex. Doc.

2d S ssion. J 1 N . 16,



MESSAGE

OF THE

PRESIDENT OE THE UNITED STATES,

COMMUNICATING,

In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of December 20, 1S64, informa-
tion in relation to the arrest of Colonel Richard T. Jacobs, lieutenant governor
of the Si ate of Kentucky, and Colonel Frank Wolford, one of the presidential
electors of that State.



February 1, 1865.— Read, ordered to lie on the table and be printed.



Executive Mansion,
Washington, D. C, January 31, 1865.
Sir : I transmit herewith a communication from the Secretary of War, cover-
ing papers bearing on the arrest and imprisonment of Colonel Richard T. Jacobs,
lieutenant governor of the State of Kentucky, and Colonel Frank Wolford,'
one of the presidential electors of that State, requested by resolution of the
Senate, dated December 20, 1864.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

„ T ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

Hon. H. Hamlin,

President of the Senate.



War Department,

Washington City, January 31, 1865.

Sir : I submit herewith the report of the Adjutant General, with the papers

conveying the information called for by the Senate resolution of December 20,

1864, bearing on the arrest of Colonel Jacobs, lieutenant governor of Kentucky,

and Colonel Frank Wolford, one of the presidential electors of that State.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

EDWIN M. STANTON,

mj t> „ Secretary of War.

The President of the United States.



War Department,
Adjutant General's Office, Washington, January 31, 1865.
Sir : I have the honor to submit herewith the papers called for by the Senate
resolution of December 20, 1864, bearing on the arrest and imprisonment of
Colonel Kichard T. Jacobs and Colonel Frank Wol&rd. The report of Maior
Ex. Doc 16 1



2 ARREST OF COLONEL FRANK WOLFORD

General Burbridge, dated January 16, 1865, was only received at this department
the 17th of this month, and was specially called for, the report previously filed
not fully answering the questions proposed in the resolution. This is the
reason for the delay in making this report.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant General.
Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War.



Office United States Military Telegraph,

War Department.

The following telegram, received at Washington 1.15 p. m., July 2, 1864;
Erom Headquarters, Lexington, July 1, 1864.
J. Holt, Judge Advocate General :

Wolford was arrested, in compliance with telegraphic orders from Lieutenant
General Grant, dated Washington, June eleventh, eighteen sixty -four, (1864,)
for making public speeches of an insurrectionary character, and discouraging
negro enlistments. Affidavits and evidence were mailed to the Adjutant General
June twenty-eight (28.)

S. G. BURBRIDGE,
Brigadier General Commanding.
43 Ky. 384, and 91 paid.

Adjutant General's Office,

January 30, 1S65.
Official copy :

E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant General.



Executive Mansion,

Washington, July 7, 1S64.
I hereby give my parole of honor that, if allowed, I will forthwith proceed
to Louisville, Kentucky, and there remain until the court for my trial shall ar-
rive, when I will report myself to their charge, and that in the mean time I will
abstain from public speaking, and everything intended or calculated to produce
excitement.

FRANK WOLFORD.

Colonel Wolford is allowed to go on the above conditions.

A. LINCOLN.

Headquarters Provost Marshal's Office,

Washington, D. G, July 7, 1864.
Official :

GEORGE R. WALBRIDGE.

Captain and Assistant Provost Marshal.

Headquarters Military District of Washington,

Washington, Augicst 2, 1864.
Official :

THEODORE McGOWAN,

Assistant Adjutant General.
A true copy.

E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant General.



AND LIEUTENANT GOVEENOK JACOBS. 3

[Time, 1 p. m., in cipher.] Office U. S. Military Telegraph,

War Department,
Washington, D. G, June 11, 1864.
Brig. Gen. S. G. Burbridge,

Lexington, Kentucky:

It is reported here that ex-Colonel F. Wolford has been making to soldiers
and others speeches of an insurrectionary and treasonable character. If you
have proof of this, the Secretary of War directs that you arrest him and send
him to Washington under guard.

H. W. HALLECK,
Major General, Chief of Staff.

Adjutant General's Office, January 30, 1865.
Official copy :

E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant General.



Headquarters District of Kentucky,

5th Division, 23d Army Corps,

Lexington, Kentucky, June 28, 1864.
General : In compliance with telegraphic order from Lieutenant General U.
S. Grant, general-in-chief, dated Washington, June 11, 1864, I have the honor
to report that I have arrested ex- Colonel Frank Wolford, and that he is now
on his way to Washington, under guard. I enclose the following papers in
regard to his speech at Lebanon, viz : Deposition of A. K. Young ; affidavit of
Jos. Odell ; letter written by Captain J. M. Fidler, provost marshal 4th district,
Kentucky, giving statement of facts connected with Wolford's speech and the
disturbances produced by it.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. G. BURBRIDGE,
Brigadier General Commanding.
Brig. Gen. L. Thomas,

Adjutant General U. S. A., Washington, D. C.

Adjutant General's Office, January 30, 1865.
Official copy :

E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant General.



Headquarters Provost Marshal,

Fourth Congressional District,

Lebanon, Kentucky, June 18, 1864.

Sir : In obedience to your order, of date June 11, 1864, received by me by
telegraph, in Louisville, Kentucky, on that day, I have the honor of transmit-
ting the following papers relative to the speech of ex-Colonel Frank Wolford,
viz : Deposition of A. K. Young; affidavit of Joseph Odell; letter written by
myself to you the day after the delivery of the speech.

A. K. Young is one of the most reliable men' in Marion county, is wealthy, a
large slaveholder, and by no means opposed to Wolford.



4 ARREST OF COLONEL FRANK WOLFORD

Joseph Odell is clerk of the board of enrolment, and, by my direction, took
down, as far as possible, the speech of Wolford ; he is reliable.

This work should have been done earlier had not the presence of guerillas
caused the board of enrolment to adjourn to Louisville.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES M. FIDLEE,
Captain and Provost Marshal 4th District, Kentucky.

Through Major W. R. Sidell,

Acting Assistant Provost Marshal General, Louisville, Ky.
Brig. Gen. Burbridge, Commanding District of Kentucky.

Adjutant General's Office, January 30, 1865.
Official copy :

E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant General.



The deposition of Alfred K. Young, a citizen of Marion county, taken by
direction of the provost marshal of the fourth district of Kentucky, under orders
of the general commanding district Kentucky.

A. K. Young, being duly sworn to answer all questions proposed to him, de-
poseth as follows, viz:

Question. Were you in Lebanon, Kentucky, on Saturday, May 28, the day
that ex-Colonel Frank Wolford spoke?

Answer. I was.

Question. Did or did you not hear the speech delivered entire ?

Answer. I heard the speech up to the time of the disturbance caused by
Captain Fidler's threats to arrest Wolford; I heard only a portion of his speech
after that time.

Question. Did or did you not hear Wolford denounce the President of the
United States ? If so, state the terms he used in denouncing him.

Answer. He did denounce the President severely, but I do not remember the
terms used.

Question. Do you not remember that he applied the terms "fool," "tyrant,"
"usurper," &c, to him?

Answer. I think that he did, to the best of my knowledge.

Question. Did he announce, in hearing of the people, that he was authorized
to raise a regiment of Kentucky troops for the defence of the State by the gov-
ernor ?

Answer. He did.

Question. Do you remember whether or not he denounced the law for the en-
listment of negroes.

Answer. He did, by saying it was unlawful.

Question. Did he refer to the enlistment of negroes at Lebanon ? If so, did
he not denounce the action of the provost marshal on enlisting negroes as "con-
trary to law and order, and disgraceful? "

Answer. I do not remember that he denounced the provost marshal at Leb-
anon, but he denounced the enlistment of negroes as " contrary to law, against
order, and disgraceful."

Question. Do you not know that his speech was directly in opposition to
the enlistment of slaves, calculated to infuriate the people, and productive of
sedition ?

Answer. A portion of his speech was directly in opposition to the enlistment
of slaves. I do not know whether his speech would infuriate the people or
not.



AND LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR JACOBS. 5

Question. "Were you in the court-house at the time Captain Fidler threatened
to arrest him ?

Answer. I was.

Question. Do you remember what he (Wolford) said directly before he threat-
ened the arrest?

Answer. I do not.

Question. Did be not call attention of the people to the fact tbat a poll had
been opened in Lebanon for the enlistment of slaves ; that it was contrary to
law, disgraceful, and against order ; and did he not call attention of the provost
marshal to this fact?

Answer. I think he did.

Question. Do you remember what Captain Fidler said to ex-Colonel Wolford
said then?

Answer. I do not.

Question. Did his speech produce considerable excitement in the country?

Answer. It did at the court-house. A large crowd was present from different
parts of the country, and were considerably excited.

Question. You believe this excitement did discourage negro enlistment ?

Answer. I don't know.

Question. You have been for many years a resident of Marion county, and a
slaveholder, have you not?

Answer. Yes, sir, I have.

Question. Would you suppose that he could encourage enlistments of any
kind by the speech he delivered at Lebanon ?

Answer. He encouraged the enlistment of whites. His speech would not.
encourage negro enlistments, but discourage them.

Question. Was his speech calculated to infuriate the people against the pres-
ent administration, and against the present government of the United States?

Answer. I think that it was. He said as much as a man could say against
the administration.

Question. Was it not calculated to infuriate the people against the provost
marshal department?

Answer. It was.

Question. If his speech had been heard by slaves, would it not have dis-
couraged them from enlisting?

Answer. I think it would have done so.

Question. Did he denounce the rebellion ?

Answer. He did, in severe terms.

Further deponent saith not.

Given at Lebanon, Kentucky, June 17, 1864.

A. K. YOUNG.

Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 17th day of June, 1864.

JAMES M. FIDLER,
Captain and Provost Marshal, Fourth District, Kentucky.

Adjutant General's Office,

January 30, 1865.
Official copy :

E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant General,



I heard Mr. Frank Wolford speak for about four hours in the court-house in
Lebanon. Kentucky, on Saturday, May 28, and undertook to make a nearly ver-
batim report, but the great length of the speech caused me to desist. I embodied



6 ARREST OF COLONEL FRANK WOLFORD

my understanding of what was said in a letter to the Louisville National Union
Press, a newspaper published by L. A. Cecil, esq., in the city of Louisville, and
think I did not iu letter mistake or overcolor any of Mr. Wolford's positions.
By reference to my original notes I find that the speaker used the words
" tyrant," "usurper," and "fool," in connexion with Mr. Lincoln's name, and as
applicable to him. He, in destinctive terms, charged him (the President) with
being as great an enemy to the country as Mr. Davis, but did not think him
conscious of it. He also qualified his remarks by saying that Mr. Lincoln
thought it right to be a tyrant and usurper. Speaking of Mr. Lincoln's order
dismissing him from the service, he said that the author knew it contained a
"vile slander," and that it would help him (the President.) He said Mr. Lin-
coln had pronounced him (Wolford) "disloyal" in the order referred to. If
this were so, the President was a "traitor" and a "scoundrel" for turning him
loose upon the country.

"If we fail to defeat the present aspirant the country is gone" is one of
his expressions in regard to Mr. Lincoln. In another part of his speech he
said, " to take the alternative of Lincoln or Davis was crucifying one between
two thieves."

He took especial pains to proclaim that he wanted only white men. He spoke
contemptuously of negro soldiers ; said the people of Marion county were dis-
graced by a "nigger recruiting office" in their midst — that everybody was dis-
graced by it. He denounced the enlistment of negroes as without warrant of
law, and tauntingly proclaimed it to the provost marshal (who was in the house.)
His frequent and indirect reference to the provost marshal's enlistment of ne-
groes afforded opportunities for the crowd to turn their faces to that officer,
Captain J. M. Fidler, and gave him a significant proof of their feelings. So
fierce were Mr. Wolford's denunciations of negro enlistments that Captain Fid-
ler interrupted him, and threatened to arrest him for " discouraging enlistments."
Upon this an intense excitement ensued. Decided demonstrations were made
by persons in the crowd indicative of a determination to resist any attempt
that might be made to arrest him. Mr. Wolford here said he hoped the audience
would consider that in case he was arrested, the violence would be towards him,
and not to them. The tendency of the whole speech was, in my opinion, to
give comfort to rebel sympathizers, dishearten Union men, discourage both
white and black enlistments, and arouse a spirit of resistance to the laws.

JOSEPH ODELL.

The attached printed slip is the letter to the Union Press, referred to above,
and sworn and subscribed to before me, at Lebanon, Kentucky, June 17, 1865.

JAMES W. FIDLER,
Captain and Provost Marshal.



THE DAILY PRESS.

Louisville, Thursday, June 2, 1864.
[Correspondence of the National Union Press.]

Lebanon, Kentucky, May 27, 1864.

Ex-Colonel Frank Wolford makes a speech at Lebanon, Kentucky. — Denounces
the President as a tyrant. — Boasts that he makes a severer speech than at
Lexington. — Intense excitement. — Captain Fidler threatens to arrest him. —
The crowd threaten resistance.

Ex-Colonel Frank Wolford came here to-day with authority in his pocket to
raise a regiment of State troops for six months' service. An announcement that
he would speak filled the court-house soon after dinner with a large audience of



AND LIEUTENANT GOVEENOE JACOBS. 7

" conservatives" and rebels. They evidently felt that he had come to give them
both comfort, and never were expectant mortals less disappointed. Whatever
of abuse, ridicule, and lugubrious prophecy lay within the speaker's power to
hurl at the administration, they were gratified with. Had he not in distinctive
terms announced his intention to raise federal soldiers, we should have supposed
from his speech he was fearing a sudden descent of blue-coated vandals, and
not gray-coated freebooters !

As the harangue lasted from two until six o'clock p. m., and repeated itself
several times, we shall attempt nothing more in this report than a fair statement
of its substance. Nearly half the time was occupied in a vindication of his own
course, and a denunciation of the President of the United States for dismissing
him. He denied that he had violated the fifth article of war, declared the act
of Congress under which the President pretended to dismiss him unconstitutional,
and finally declared that he was not and could not be dismissed the service at
all. He had only chosen to obey for a purpose. We suppose, then, when the
policy of this gracious obedience ceases, we shall again hear of Wolford's
cavalry. " Under which king," colonel 1 We may presume that when next he
takes the saddle it will be to execute his own order, dismissing the President.
It may be, though, that Mr. Lincoln will be as accommodating as the quondam
trooper, and choose himself to obey for a purpose. We shall see ; and if the
half Wolford charges upon him be true, we confess that we wait his decision
with anxious solicitude. He tells us, in all apparent sincerity, that he is "tyrant,
usurper, and fool;" that his policy has added two hundred thousand men to the
rebel army, stopped volunteering in the north, promoted it in the south, struck
down civil liberty everywhere, and transformed the whole country under his
control into an infernal inquisition; that under his administration the morale
of the army, once grand, glorious, and irresistible, has been so degraded that
theft, murder, rapine, and pillage mark its track, and dim the lustre of its
achievements ; that the salvation of the nation depends not upon battles won in
.the field, but battles won at the ballot-box, and that Grant and Sherman must
suspect their victories " Dead sea fruit" until Chicago seals their character. He
tells us, too, that the appointees of the President are reeking in corruption ; that,
like their master, they have not thought of their country's good for two long
bloody years; that military necessity is only military stealing; that a military
governor is . only a military tyrant ; that a collector of internal revenue is only
a private plunderer, and that confiscation is only highway robbery ! In addition
to all this, he tells U3 we are fighting our brethren; that we must deal gently
with them ; that they are too good to be killed with negro soldiers ; that although
they have slain our fathers and our brothers, denounced our wives, and defamed
our sisters, loaded our posterity with debt, and sought to tear down our flag of
glory, they must be treated as chivalrous knights, and welcomed home to the
paternal mansion with music and dancing, the golden ring, and the fatted calf.
He tells us, too, that though we have buried a quarter of a million of our sons
in the name of liberty, their tombstone shall be an obelisk of slavery.

As a specimen of the orator's logic, we offer the following : " At the time when
our army had not become a band of thieves, and it was high-minded and brave,
fired with a noble purpose, and full of strength, one-third of the confederate army
was occupied in guarding another third, and lay prostrate at our feet !" "But
a change of policy came — the mutinous one-third returned to duty — the other
third Avho guarded them were released, (200,000) two hundred thousand addi-
tional men rallied to the southern standard, and volunteering ceased in the north "
Where, we ask Colonel Wolford, was the Union army then so strong, and the
enemy then so weak, that it did not crush the foe] It is a double slander on
our brave soldiers, first to say they have degenerated to thieves, and then that
they neglected to conquer when they could easily do so. It is a slander, though,
that refutes itself, and is liable to cuver nobody but its utterer with infamy.



o AEREST OF COLONEL FRANK WOLFORD

Such is the suhstauce of Colonel Wolford's tirade poured into the ears of the
delighted rebels who assembled here to hear him on Saturday. Of course they
were pleased — of course they forgot the battles he had fought against them —
" pardoned all " (more generous than the President) " to the spirit of liberty,"
and welcomed him with loud plaudits as a new ally.

What devil possesses him I know not, but he is certainly rushing " down a
steep place." " Much learning," though we know " hath not made him mad,"
though much slaughter may, for he slays the king's English with as much non-
chalance as he charges a rebel squadron. If, however, the President is as bad
as he is represented to be, he has no right to be abused in respectable grammar.
Indeed, he deserves to be treated in only barbarous Hottentot. If he is such a
Ghoul, such a Nero, such a Caligula, such a South Sea islander, such an uncouth
hyena, and ungodly Polyphemus, " korrendum monstrum, informe, ingcns cui
lumen adempfum," with no eye for the public good, his abuse ought to be
growled, and howled, and yelled into his ears in the language of a Babel of
infernal devils. Colonel Wolford's dialect is not sufficient punishment !

Such a picture of mingled anarchy, despotism, and horrid morals did the
speaker draw, that we instinctively looked around for the glaring eyes of Robes-
pierre and Danton ; transformed a sweet rebel girl in front into a Charlotte
Corday, fancied ourselves the identical Marat of her hate, and resolved to, in
future, double-bolt our bath-room door. Nor are we quite sure, since we have
escaped into the open air, which, contrary to our expectations, is still free, that
we have not here, in Marion county, some of the elements of that lawlessness
which characterized the days of the French revolution. The light manner in
which Colonel Wolford spoke of the recent outrage of cutting off negroes' ears,
condemning it only sotto voce, and the ready manner in which lawless hands
found butts of pistols and the hilts of daggers when our gallant, brave, and out-
raged provost marshal publicly threatened the arrest of the speaker if he discour-
aged enlistments, creates more than a suspicion that, were certain physical
restraints removed, an unartistic mode of scalping and an approved method of
strangulation would be resorted to to rid the community of the board of enrol-
ment and its obnoxious employes.

Does- Mr. Wolford expect such speeches as his to repress this tendency to
outrage, to allay the excitement, to secure peace and maintain order ] Or does
he desire to excite the mob and fforgre himself with the blood that flows 1 Let
him beware; let him reflect that he who raises the storm cannot always quell
it. He may be " sowing the wind to reap the whirlwind." Stinging under a
sense of personal wrong — susceptible of the magic influence of a sympathizing
and impetuous crowd — fired, for aught we know, with the same ambition he so
gratuitously imparts to others, he is a person not only to be watched, but
restrained, and we greatly mistake the character of our rulers if be is permitted
to be the commander of a brigade of Kentuckians raised under the influence of
such speeches as he made here. We arraign him before his own sense of pro-
priety as an unsuitable person to either raise or command troops subject to the
orders of Abraham Lincoln, whom he villifies as a daily occupation. We ar-
raign him before the American people as a practical secessionist, who, like his
predecessors in 1860, now in 1864 declares the salvation of the country depends
upon the defeat of Lincoln. AVe arraign him as a revolutionist, because he
threatens in a certain contingency, of which he is to be the judge, to turn out
the administration at the point of the bayonet. For all these reasons, and others,
we protest in the name of loyalty, propriety, and the common good, against his
appointment to command Kentucky troops. The prestige of his name, the glory
of his past achievements, and the purity of his private character, only render him
now in his deluded crusade upon his rulers the more dangerous and the more to
be circumscribed in his action. Let him dismiss the vain thought that even with
his ten thousand men he can turn the government fiom its course or change its



AND LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR JACOBS. 9

policy. With them, it is true, he may again" summons the dread tribunals of
war to hold their courts in our peaceful valleys, but he can never summon back
the incubus of slavery to rest again with the weight of ages upon Kentucky
prosperity. That is gone forever, and no thanks to him. When the apostates
of liberty in the Breckinridge family have been forgiven on account of the eter-
nal fame which settles even now upon the brow of their regal relative, and when
the false steps of her brilliant Prentices and heroic Wolfords shall have been
forgotten in the glory and grand, rushing prosperity of Kentucky's new birth,
then we hope the words that seem harsh in this letter will no longer linger in
the memory of the writer.

ADELOS.

Adjutant General's Office,

Washington, January 30, 1865.
Official copy :

E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant General.

Headquarters Provost Marshal, Fourth District Ky.,

Lebanon, Ky., May 29, 1864.



Sir : I have the honor to submit, subject to your approval, the following
statement of facts to the general commanding district of Kentucky, viz :

The citizens of the fourth congressional district have been for some time very


1 3 4

Online LibraryAbraham LincolnMessage of the President of the United States : communicating, in compliance with a resolution of the Senate of December 20, 1864, information to the arrest of the Colonel Richard T. Jacobs, lieutenant governor of the state of Kentucky, and Colonel Frank Wolford, one of the presidential electors of → online text (page 1 of 4)