Henry J. (Henry Jarvis) Raymond.

Lincoln, his life and times : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth President of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages, letters, and proclamations, and the closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 2) online

. (page 20 of 41)
Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondLincoln, his life and times : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth President of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages, letters, and proclamations, and the closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 2) → online text (page 20 of 41)
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let the friends of George B. McClellan manage their side of this
contest in their own way, and I will manage my side of it in my way."

"May we ask an answer in writing?" I suggested.

"Not now. Lay those papers down here. I will give no other
answer now. I may or I may not write something about this here-
after. I understand this. I know you intend to make a point of this.
But go ahead, you have my answer."

"Your answer then is that you expect to let General McClellan's
friends manage their side of the contest in their own way, and you
will manage your side of it in your way?"


I then thanked the President for his courtesy in giving us a hear-
ing at all, and then took my leave. * * *

John Lellyet.

The President, a few days after, however, sent them the fol-
lowing answer in writing : —

Executive Mansion, Washington, D. C., October 22, '1864.

Messrs. William B. Campbell, Thomas A. R. Nelson, James T. P.
Carter, John Williams, A. Blizzard, Henry Cooper, Baillie Pey-
ton, John Lellyet, Emerson Etheridge, and John D. Perryman:

Gentlemen : — On the 15th day of this month, as I remember, a
printed paper manuscript, with a few manuscript interlineations,
called a protest, with your names appended thereto, and accompanied
by another printed paper, purporting to be a proclamation by Andrew
Johnson, Military Governor of Tennessee, and also a manuscript
paper, purporting to be extracts from the Code of Tennessee, were
laid before me.

The protest, proclamation, and extracts are respectively as fol-
lows : —

[The protest is here recited, and also the proclamation of Gov-
ernor Johnson, dated September 30, to which it refers, together with
a list of the counties in East, Middle, and West Tennessee; also ex-
tracts from the Code of Tennessee in relation to electors of Presi-
dent and Vice-President, qualifications of voters for members of the
General Assembly, places of holding elections, and officers of popular

At the time these papers were presented, as before stated, I had
never seen either of them, nor heard of the subject to which they
relate, except in a general way one day previously.

Up to the present moment, nothing whatever upon the subject has
passed between Governor Johnson, or any one else, connected with
the proclamation, and myself.

Since receiving the papers, as stated, I have given the subject such
brief consideration as I have been able to do, in the midst of so many
pressing public duties.

My conclusion is, that I can have nothing to do with the matter,


either to sustain the plan as the convention and Governor Johnson
have initiated it, or to revoke or modify it as you demand.

By the Constitution and laws, the President is charged with no
duty in the Presidential election in any State, nor do I in this case
perceive any military reason for his interference in the matter.

The movement set on foot by the convention and Governor John-
son does not, as seems to be assumed by you, emanate from the
National Executive.

In no proper sense can it be considered other than an independent
movement of, at least, a portion of the loyal people of Tennessee.

I do not perceive in the plan any menace, or violence, or coer-
cion towards any one.

Governor Johnson, like any other loyal citizen of Tennessee, has
the right to favor any political plan he chooses, and, as military gov-
ernor, it is his duty to keep the peace among and for the loyal people
of the State.

I cannot discern that by this plan he purposes any more. But you
object to the plan.

Leaving it alone will be your perfect security against it. It is not
proposed to force you into it.

Do as you please, on your own account, peaceably and loyally, and
Governor Johnson will not molest you, but will protect you against
violence as far as in his power.

I presume that the conducting of a Presidential election in Ten-
nessee in strict accordance with the old code of the State, is not
now a possibility.

It is scarcely necessary to add, that if any election shall be held
and any votes shall be cast in the State of Tennessee for President
and Vice-President of the United States, it will not belong to the
military agents nor yet to the Executive Department, but exclusively
to another department of the Government, to determine whether they
are entitled to be counted in conformity with the Constitution and
laws of the United States.

Except it be to give protection against violence, I decline to in-
terfere in any way with any Presidential election.

Abraham Lincoln.

The singers of the protest thereupon declared the Mc-
Clellan electoral ticket withdrawn. And this incident was
made the basis of fresh attacks upon the President for inter-
fering in the election. * *

Like all other persons in similar position, Mr. Lincoln was
subjected to assaults upon his personal character and con-
duct. One of these charges was, that while all other public
creditors drew their compensation in paper money, his sal-
ary was paid in gold. The charge is important, now, only


because it led to the publication of the following letter from
the Treasurer of the United States :

United States Treasury, Washington, October 13.

My Dear Sir: — Since the receipt of your letter of the 10th instant,
I have found the article spoken of by you, and which, although I
am told it has gone the rounds of the Democratic press, I have not
before seen. It is in the words following : —

"Jeff. Davis's salary is nominally twenty-five thousand a year, but
by the depreciation of the Confederate money is equal to about fif-
teen hundred dollars, and on this practically he has to live. Abraham
Lincoln's salary is legally twenty-five thousand dollars a year. But
his legal-tender money having depreciated to less than half its nom-
inal value, he refuses to take, and demands and receives his pay in
gold or gold certificates, while the soldiers of his army have to take
their pay in greenbacks. Isn't this patriotic and honest in Old Abe,
and ought not he to be re-elected to another four years hard money
for himself, and of largely depreciated money for the people?"

Now, this story is perhaps as true as other slanders that have been
heaped upon the head of Mr. Lincoln by his malignant Copperhead
and traitor enemies, North and South. The facts in the case, how-
ever, are entirely at variance with, and the very reverse of, the state-
ments made in the article quoted. The salary of the President is,
in accordance with law, paid in warrant drafts on the Treasury of
the United States for the amount, less the income tax, which have
been sent him regularly monthly. Instead of drawing his money on
these drafts, .he has been in the habit of leaving it for a long time
without interest. In one case all his salary so remained for eleven
months. On several occasions I solicited the President to draw
what was due him, urging that he was losing largely in interest on
the amount due him. He asked me, "Who gains my loss?" On my
answering, "The United States," he replied, "Then as it goes for the
good of the country, let it remain. The Treasury needs it more
than I do." Having at length satisfied the President that it was
necessary to the closing of my annual accounts that the drafts on
the Treasury that he held should be presented and paid, he indorsed
and handed them to me. I drew the amount in United States notes,
and placed it to his credit as a temporary loan at five per cent, per
annum, payable, principal and interest, in greenbacks. Since then
his salary has been from time to time mostly invested in the stocks
of the United States, purchased at current rates by his friends for
him. The interest of these stocks is payable in coin. When this
interest became due, I tried to induce him to draw it. Failing in
doing so, the amount due -him was sent by Honorable John C. Under-
wood, Judge of the United States Court for the District of Virginia.
The result of his interview with the President is best told in the
letter of Judge Underwood to me, which is herewith enclosed to you.
I have caused an investigation to be made of the transactions of the
President with the receipt of his salary, and the investment of the
sums in United States stocks, and enclose you herewith the letter
of Leroy Turtle, Esq., the Assistant Cashier, from which it appears


that Mr. Lincoln, from his forbearance in collecting his dues, has
lost at least four thousand dollars, and which he has virtually given
to the people of the United States I have great doubts as to the
propriety of answering this foul falsehood, well knowing that others
perhaps even grosser will be made, so as to keep the Union party
on the defensive, and thus preventing the ioyal men of the country
from attacking the peace-at-any-price Democracy for their damning
heresies and treasonable practices. You, however, ask me to make
the statement and to put it in an official form. I have therefore done
so, and I authorize you to use it and the accompanying letters, or
any part of either, in any way that may seem best calculated to place
the President and his calumniators in their true' light and positions
before the American people.

Very respectfully yours,

F. E. Spinner, U. S. Treasurer.
To General D. W. C. Clarke, Burlington, Vermont.

We may say here, that this gift of money to the cause of
the country was not the only way in which Mr. Lincoln
shared in the burdens of the war. He set an example to his
fellow-citizens, also, by sending a representative recruit to
the army.

The differences in the Union ranks had all disappeared be-
fore the common danger. Efforts were made on every side,
not for discord, but for harmony and united effort. With this
desire, and in accordance with an intimation in the Baltimore
Platform that a change in the Cabinet would be desirable,
Mr. Lincoln determined to displace Mr. Blair from the posi-
tion of Postmaster-General. The following correspondence
passed between them : —

Executive Mansion, Washington, September 26, 1864.
Hon. Montgomery Blair:

My Dear Sir: — You have generously said to me, more than once,
that whenever your resignation could be a relief to me, it was at
my disposal. The time has come. You very well know that this
proceeds from no dissatisfaction of mine with you personally or offi-
cially. Your uniform kindness has been unsurpassed by that of
any other friend, and while it is true that the war does not so greatly
add to the difficulties of your depaitment as to those of some oth-
ers, it is yet much to say, as I most truly can, that in the three years
and a half during which you have administered the General Post-
Office, I remember no single complaint against you in connection
therewith. Yours, as ever,

A. Lincoln.

My Dear Sir : — I have received your note of this date, referring to


my offers to resign whenever you should deem it advisable for the
public interest that I should do so, and stating that, in your judg-
ment, that time has now come. I now, therefore, formally tender
my resignation of the office of Postmaster-General. I cannot take
leave of you without renewing the expressions of my gratitude for
the uniform kindness which has marked your course toward

Yours truly, M. Blair.

The President.

The political canvass was prosecuted with energy and con-
fidence in every section of the country. The main considera-
tion which was pressed upon the public mind was that the
defeat of Mr. Lincoln would be, in the eyes of the rebels, an
explicit disapproval of the general line of policy he had pur-
sued, and a distinct repudiation by the people of the North-
ern States of the Baltimore declaration, that the war should
be prosecuted to the complete and final overthrow of the re-
bellion. This view of the case completely controlled the
sentiment and action of the people, and left little room or
disposition for wrangling over the many petty issues to
which such a contest gives birth. As the canvass advanced
the confidence of success increased, and received a still fur-
ther impulse from the grand military victories which, in quick
succession, began to crown the Union arms.

During the months of September and October, General
Hood, in a vain endeavor to regain the ground lost by the
fall of Atlanta, made a movement upon General Sherman's
communications. He might have caused some trouble, if it
had not been for the gallant defence of Alatoona, by General
Corse, which enabled Sherman to adopt such measures as
drove Hood away from his line of communication, into the
northern part of Alabama, where he gathered his forces for
that fatal march which led his army to be crushed upon the
heights of Nashville.

General Grant had not -been idle before Petersburg during'
this time. Several attacks had been made by our forces both
on the north side of the James and towards the south of
Petersburg, resulting in steady gains for Grant's operations.

But the most important of all were the brilliant victories
gained by General Sheridan, in the Shenandoah Valley, one
on September 19th, near Winchester, the second three days
later, at Fisher's Hill, and the greatest of all at Cedar Creek,
on the 19th of October, when what had already been a re-


pulse of our army, by a surprise on the part of General Early,
was turned into a glorious victory by the timely arrival of
Sheridan, who on his return from Washington, hearing the
guns of the battle at Winchester, rode full speed to join his
men, whom he reformed and led instantly to the destruction
of the exulting rebels.

It was with the joy of this last victory kindling his heart,
that the President, on the 20th of October, issued his procla-
mation for a national thanksgiving, as follows : —


It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another
year, defending us with His guardian care against unfriendly de-
signs from abroad, and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many and
signal victories over the enemy who is of our own household. It
has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens
in their homes as our soldiers in their camps and our sailors on the
rivers and seas, with unusual health. He has largely augmented our
free population by emancipation and by immigration, while He has
opened to us new sources of wealth, and has crowned the labor of
our workingmen in every department of industry with abundant re-
ward. Moreover, He has been pleased to animate and inspire our
minds and hearts with fortitude, courage, and resolution sufficient
for the great trial of civil war, into which we have been brought by
our adherence as a nation to the cause of freedom and humanity, and
to afford to us reasonable hopes of an ultimate and happy deliverance
from all our dangers and affliction.

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United
States, do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in Novem-
ber next, as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-
citizens, wherever they may then be, as a day of thanksgiving and
prayer to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the
universe ; and I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens afore-
said, that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in
the dust, and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and
supplications to the great Disposer of events, for a return of the
inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the
land, which it has pleased Him to assign as a dwelling-place for our-
selves and our posterity throughout all generations.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the
seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this twentieth day of Octo-
[l. S.] ber, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and
sixty-four, and of the independence of the United States the
eighty-ninth. Abraham Lincoln.

By the President:
William H. Seward, Secretary of State.

He also wrote the following letter of congratulation to


General Sheridan, which was read at the head of every regi-
ment in the command : —

Executive Mansion, Washington, October 23.
To Major-General Sheridan :

With great pleasure I tender to you, and your brave army, the
thanks of the nation and my own personal admiration and gratitude
for the month's operations in the Shenandoah Valley, and especially
for the splendid work of October 19. Your obedient servant.

Abraham Lincoln.

These victories gave vigor and courage to the country.
The price of gold fell in the market, the credit of the Gov-
ernment was rapidly enhanced, volunteers swelled the ranks
of the army, and the menaced draft promised to be unneces-

The term for which the hundred-days men from the West
had enlisted had expired, and the men were sent home, hav-
ing done good service. Those from Ohio had served in the
east, while those from the States farther west had aided Sher-
man's march ; when they were discharged the following com-
plimentary orders, by President Lincoln, were issued: —


Washington, September 10.
Governor Brough:

Pursuant to the President's directions, I transmit to you the fol-
lowing Executive order, made by him in acknowledgment of the
services of the hundred-day men, who at the opening of the spring
campaign volunteered their services in the operations of General
Grant. The certificates of services mentioned in the order will be
prepared without delay and transmitted to the officers and soldiers
entitled to them.

Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War.

Executive order returning thanks to the Ohio Volunteers for one
hundred days: —

Executive Mansion, Washington City. September 10, 1864.

The term of one hundred days for which the National Guard of
Ohio volunteered having expired, the President directs an official
acknowledgment of their patriotism and valuable services during the
recent campaign. The term of service of their enlistment was short,
but distinguished by memorable events in the valley of the Shenan-
doah, on the Peninsula, in the operations of the James River, around
Petersburg and Richmond, in the battle of Monocacy, in the in^
trenchments of Washington, and in other important service. The


National Guard of Ohio performed with alacrity the duty of patriotic
volunteers, for which they are entitled, and are hereby tendered,
through the Governor of their State, the national thanks.

The Secretary of War is directed to transmit a copy of this order
to the Governor of Ohio, and to cause a certificate of their honorable
service to be delivered to the officers and soldiers of the Ohio Na-
tional Guard, who recently served in the military force of the United
States as volunteers for one hundred days.

Abraham Lincoln.


- War Department, Washington, October 7, 1864.

To the Governor of Illinois:

The following order has been made by the President, and the Adju-
tant-General is preparing certificates for the officers and soldiers of
your State, which will be forwarded to you for distribution.

Edward M. Stanton, Secretary of War.

Executive Mansion, Washington, October 1, 1864.
Special Executive order returning thanks to volunteers for one hun-
dred days, from the State of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin: —

The term of one hundred days for which volunteers from the States
of Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin volunteered, under the call ,
of their respective Governors, in the months of May and June, to
aid the recent campaign of General Sherman, having expired, the
President directs an official acknowledgment to be made of their
patriotic service. It was their good fortune to render effective serv-
ice in the brilliant operations in the Southwest, and to contribute to
the victories of the national arms over the rebel forces in Georgia,
under command of Johnston and Hood. On all occasions, and in
every service to which they were assigned, their duty as patriotic
volunteers was performed with alacrity and courage, for which they
are entitled to and are hereby tendered the national thanks through
the Governors of their respective States.

The Secretary of War is directed to transmit a copy of this order
to the Governors of Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin, and to
cause a certificate of their honorable services to be delivered to the
officers and soldiers of the States above named, who recently served
in the military service of the United States as volunteers for one
hundred days. A. Lincoln.

To one of the Ohio Regiments returning through Wash-
ington and calling to serenade him, the President made a
brief speech, in which are noticeable, first, his desire to im-
press upon them the importance of the main point involved
in the contest with the rebellion, and the duty of not allowing
minor matters to blind them to this main point, and second,
that specimen of his careful and perfectly clear way of stat


ing a proposition, when he says, not that this is a country
in which all men are equal, but that it is one in which "every
man has a right to be equal to every other man."
The speech was as follows : —

Soldiers : — You are about to return to your homes and your friends,
after having, as I learn, performed in camp a comparatively short
term of duty in this great contest. I am greatly obliged to you, and
to all who have come forward at the call of their country. I wish
it might be more generally and universally understood what the
country is now engaged in. We have, as all will agree, a free gov-
ernment, where every man has a right to be equal with every other
man. In this great struggle, this form of government and every
form of human right is endangered if our enemies succeed. There
is more involved in this contest than is realized by every one. There
is involved in this struggle, the question whether your children and
my children shall enjoy the privileges we have enjoyed. I say this,
in order to impress upon you, if you are not already so impressed,
that no small matter should divert us from our great purpose.

There may be some inequalities in the practical application of our
system. It is fair that each man shall pay taxes in exact proportion
to the value of his property; but if we should wait, before collecting
a tax, to adjust the taxes upon each man in exact proportion with
every other man, we should never collect any tax at all. There may
be mistakes made sometimes; things may be done wrong, while the
officers of the Government do all they can to prevent mistakes. But
I beg of you, as citizens of this great Republic, not to let your minds
be carried off from the great work we have before us. This struggle
is too large for you to be diverted from it by an smaller matter.
When you return to your homes, rise up to the height of a genera-
tion of men worthy of a free government, and we will carry out the
great work we have commenced. I return to you my sincere thanks,
soldiers, for the honor you have done me this afternoon.

To another Ohio regiment he spoke as follows : —

Soldiers : — I suppose you are going home to see your families and
friends. For the services you have done in this great struggle in
which we are engaged, I present you sincere thanks for myself and
the country.

I almost always feel inclined, when I say anything to soldiers, to
impress upon them, in a few brief remarks, the importance of suc-
cess in this contest. It is not merely for the day, but for all time
to come, that we should perpetuate for our children's children that
great and free government which we have enjoyed all our lives. I
beg you to remember this, not merely for my sake, but for yours. I
happen, temporarily, to occupy this big White House. I am a living
witness that any one of your children may look to come here as my
father's child has. It is in order that each one of you may have,
through this free government which we have enjoyed, an open field,


and a fair chance for your industry, enterprise, and intelligence; that
you may all have equal privileges in the race of life, with all its de-
sirable human aspirations— it is for this that the struggle should be
maintained, that we may not lose our birthrights — not only for one,
but for two or three years, if necessary. The nation is worth fighting

Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondLincoln, his life and times : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth President of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages, letters, and proclamations, and the closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 2) → online text (page 20 of 41)