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The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, v5 by Abraham Lincoln

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like to be coerced into emancipation, either by the direct action of
the government or by indirection, as through the emancipation of
slaves in this District, or the confiscation of Southern property as
now threatened; and he thought before they would consent to consider
this proposition they would require to be informed on these points.
The President replied that, unless he was expelled by the act of God
or the Confederate armies he should occupy that house for three
years; and as long as he remained there Maryland had nothing to fear
either for her institutions or her interests on the points referred
to.

Mr. Crisfield immediately added: "Mr. President, if what you now say
could be heard by the people of Maryland, they would consider your
proposition with a much better feeling than I fear without it they
will be inclined to do."

The President: "That [meaning a publication of what he said] will not
do; it would force me into a quarrel before the proper time "; and,
again intimating, as he had before done, that a quarrel with the
"Greeley faction" was impending, he said he did not wish to encounter
it before the proper time, nor at all if it could be avoided.

[The Greely faction wanted an immediate Emancipation Proclamation.
D.W.]

Governor Wickliffe, of Kentucky, then asked him respecting the
constitutionality of his scheme.

The President replied: "As you may suppose, I have considered that;
and the proposition now submitted does not encounter any
constitutional difficulty. It proposes simply to co-operate with any
State by giving such State pecuniary aid"; and he thought that the
resolution, as proposed by him, would be considered rather as the
expression of a sentiment than as involving any constitutional
question.

Mr. Hall, of Missouri, thought that if this proposition was adopted
at all it should be by the votes of the free States, and come as a
proposition from them to the slave States, affording them an
inducement to put aside this subject of discord; that it ought not to
be expected that members representing slaveholding constituencies
should declare at once, and in advance of any proposition to them,
for the emancipation of slavery.

The President said he saw and felt the force of the objection; it was
a fearful responsibility, and every gentleman must do as he thought
best; that he did not know how this scheme was received by the
members from the free States; some of them had spoken to him and
received it kindly; but for the most part they were as reserved and
chary as we had been, and he could not tell how they would vote. And
in reply to some expression of Mr. Hall as to his own opinion
regarding slavery, he said he did not pretend to disguise his anti-
slavery feeling; that he thought it was wrong, and should continue to
think so; but that was not the question we had to deal with now.
Slavery existed, and that, too, as well by the act of the North as of
the South; and in any scheme to get rid of it the North as well as
the South was morally bound to do its full and equal share. He
thought the institution wrong and ought never to have existed; but
yet he recognized the rights of property which had grown out of it,
and would respect those rights as fully as similar rights in any
other property; that property can exist and does legally exist. He
thought such a law wrong, but the rights of property resulting must
be respected; he would get rid of the odious law, not by violating
the rights, but by encouraging the proposition and offering
inducements to give it up.

Here the interview, so far as this subject is concerned, terminated
by Mr. Crittenden's assuring the President that, whatever might be
our final action, we all thought him solely moved by a high
patriotism and sincere devotion to the happiness and glory of his
country; and with that conviction we should consider respectfully the
important suggestions he had made.

After some conversation on the current war news, we retired, and I
immediately proceeded to my room and wrote out this paper.

J. W. CRISFIELD.

We were present at the interview described in the foregoing paper of
Mr. Crisfield, and we certify that the substance of what passed on
the occasion is in this paper faithfully and fully given.

J. W. MENZIES,
J. J. CRITTENDEN,
R. MALLORY.

March 10, 1862.

PRESIDENT'S SPECIAL WAR ORDER NO.3.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, March 11, 1862.

Major-General McClellan having personally taken the field at the head
of the Army of the Potomac, until otherwise ordered he is relieved
from the command of the other military departments, he retaining
command of the Department of the Potomac.

Ordered further, That the departments now under the respective
commands of Generals Halleck and Hunter, together with so much of
that under General Buell as lies west of a north and south line
indefinitely drawn through Knoxville, Tenn., be consolidated and
designated the Department of the Mississippi, and that until
otherwise ordered Major General Halleck have command of said
department.

Ordered also, That the country west of the Department of the Potomac
and east of the Department of the Mississippi be a military
department, to be called the Mountain Department, and that the same
be commanded by Major-General Fremont.

That all the commanders of departments, after the receipt of this
order by them, respectively report severally and directly to the
Secretary of War, and that prompt, full, and frequent reports will be
expected of all and each of them.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

FROM SECRETARY STANTON TO GENERAL MCCLELLAN.
WAR DEPARTMENT, March 13, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN:

The President, having considered the plan of operations agreed upon
by yourself and the commanders of army corps, makes no objection to
the same but gives the following directions as to its execution:

1. Leave such force at Manassas Junction as shall make it entirely
certain that the enemy shall no repossess himself of that position
and line of communication.

2. Leave Washington entirely secure.

3. Move the remainder of the force down the Potomac, choosing a new
base at Fortress Monroe or anywhere between here and there, or, at
all events, move such remainder of the army at once in pursuit of the
enemy by some route.

EDWARD M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

SPEECH TO A PARTY OF MASSACHUSETTS GENTLEMAN

WASHINGTON, MARCH 13, 1862

I thank you, Mr. Train, for your kindness in presenting me with this
truly elegant and highly creditable specimen of the handiwork of the
mechanics of your State of Massachusetts, and I beg of you to express
my hearty thanks to the donors. It displays a perfection of
workmanship which I really wish I had time to acknowledge in more
fitting words, and I might then follow your idea that it is
suggestive, for it is evidently expected that a good deal of whipping
is to be done. But as we meet here socially let us not think only of
whipping rebels, or of those who seem to think only of whipping
negroes, but of those pleasant days, which it is to be hoped are in
store for us, when seated behind a good pair of horses we can crack
our whips and drive through a peaceful, happy, and prosperous land.
With this idea, gentlemen, I must leave you for my business duties.
[It was likely a Buggy-Whip D.W.]

MESSAGE TO CONGRESS.

WASHINGTON CITY, March 20, 1862.

TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

The third section of the "Act further to promote the efficiency of
the Navy," approved December 21, 1861, provides:

"That the President of the United States, by and with the advice and
consent of the Senate, shall have the authority to detail from the
retired list of the navy for the command of squadrons and single
ships such officers as he may believe the good of the service
requires to be thus placed in command; and such officers may, if upon
the recommendation of the President of the United States they shall
receive a vote of thanks cf Congress for their services and gallantry
in action against an enemy, be restored to the active list, and not
otherwise."

In conformity with this law, Captain Samuel F. Du Pont, of the navy,
was nominated to the Senate for continuance as the flag-officer in
command of the squadron which recently rendered such important
service to the Union in the expedition to the coasts of South
Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Believing that no occasion could arise which would more fully
correspond with the intention of the law or be more pregnant with
happy influence as an example, I cordially recommend that Captain
Samuel F. Du Pont receive a vote of thanks of Congress for his
service and gallantry displayed in the capture since the 21st
December, 1861, of various ports on the coasts of Georgia and
Florida, particularly Brunswick, Cumberland Island and Sound, Amelia
Island, the towns of St. Mary's, St. Augustine, and Jacksonville and
Fernandina.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL G. B. McCLELLAN.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, MARCH 31, 1862

MAJOR-GENERAL McCLELLAN.

MY DEAR SIR:-This morning I felt constrained to order Blenker's
division to Fremont, and I write this to assure you I did so with
great pain, understanding that you would wish it otherwise. If you
could know the full pressure of the case, I am confident that you
would justify it, even beyond a mere acknowledgment that the
commander-in-chief may order what he pleases.

Yours very truly,

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

GIFT OF SOME RABBITS

TO MICHAEL CROCK.
360 N. Fourth St., Philadelphia.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
April 2, 1862.

MY DEAR SIR:-Allow me to thank you in behalf of my little son for
your present of white rabbits. He is very much pleased with them.

Yours truly,

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

INSTRUCTION TO SECRETARY STANTON.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, April 3, 1862.

The Secretary of War will order that one or the other of the corps of
General McDowell and General Sumner remain in front of Washington
until further orders from the department, to operate at or in the
direction of Manassas Junction, or otherwise, as occasion may
require; that the other Corps not so ordered to remain go forward to
General McClellan as speedily as possible; that General McClellan
commence his forward movements from his new base at once, and that
such incidental modifications as the foregoing may render proper be
also made.
A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL McCLELLAN.

WASHINGTON, April 6, 1862.

GENERAL G. B. McCLELLAN:

Yours of 11 A. M. today received. Secretary of War informs me that
the forwarding of transportation, ammunition, and Woodbury's brigade,
under your orders, is not, and will not be, interfered with. You now
have over one hundred thousand troops with you, independent of
General Wool's command. I think you better break the enemy's line
from Yorktown to Warwick River at once. This will probably use time
as advantageously as you can.

A. LINCOLN, President

TO GENERAL G. B. McCLELLAN.

WASHINGTON, April 9, 1862

MAJOR-GENERAL McCLELLAN.

MY DEAR SIR+--Your despatches, complaining that you are not properly
sustained, while they do not offend me, do pain me very much.

Blenker's division was withdrawn from you before you left here, and
you knew the pressure under which I did it, and, as I thought,
acquiesced in it certainly not without reluctance.

After you left I ascertained that less than 20,000 unorganized men,
without a single field battery, were all you designed to be left for
the defense of Washington and Manassas Junction, and part of this
even to go to General Hooker's old position; General Banks's corps,
once designed for Manassas Junction, was divided and tied up on the
line of Winchester and Strasburg, and could not leave it without
again exposing the upper Potomac and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
This presented (or would present when McDowell and Sumner should be
gone) a great temptation to the enemy to turn back from the
Rappahannock and sack Washington. My explicit order that Washington
should, by the judgment of all the Commanders of corps, be left
entirely secure, had been neglected. It was precisely this that
drove me to detain McDowell.

I do not forget that I was satisfied with your arrangement to leave
Banks at Manassas Junction; but when that arrangement was broken up
and nothing substituted for it, of course I was not satisfied. I was
constrained to substitute something for it myself.

And now allow me to ask, do you really think I should permit the line
from Richmond via Manaasas Junction to this city to be entirely open,
except what resistance could be presented by less than 20,000
unorganized troops? This is a question which the country will not
allow me to evade.

There is a curious mystery about the number of the troops now with
you. When I telegraphed you on the 6th, saying you had over 100,000
with you, I had just obtained from the Secretary of War a statement,
taken as he said from your own returns, making 108,000 then with you
and en route to you. You now say you will have but 85,000 when all
enroute to you shall have reached you. How can this discrepancy of
23,000 be accounted for?

As to General Wool's command, I understand it is doing for you
precisely what a like number of your own would have to do if that
command was away. I suppose the whole force which has gone forward
to you is with you by this time; and if so, I think it is the precise
time for you to strike a blow. By delay the enemy will relatively
gain upon you--that is, he will gain faster by fortifications and
reinforcements than you can by reinforcements alone.

And once more let me tell you it is indispensable to you that you
strike a blow. I am powerless to help this. You will do me the
justice to remember I always insisted that going down the bay in
search of a field, instead of fighting at or near Manassas, was only
shifting and not surmounting a difficulty; that we would find the
same enemy and the same or equal entrenchments at either place. The
country will not fail to note--is noting now--that the present
hesitation to move upon an entrenched enemy is but the story of
Manassas repeated.

I beg to assure you that I have never written you or spoken to you in
greater kindness of feeling than now, nor with a fuller purpose to
sustain you, so far as in my most anxious judgment I consistently
can; but you must act.

Yours very truly,
A. LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL H. W. HALLECK.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
April 9, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL HALLECK, Saint Louis, Mo.:
If the rigor of the confinement of Magoffin (Governor of Kentucky) at
Alton is endangering his life, or materially impairing his health, I
wish it mitigated as far as it can be consistently with his safe
detention.
A. LINCOLN.

Please send above, by order of the President.
JOHN HAY.

PROCLAMATION RECOMMENDING THANKSGIVING FOR VICTORIES,

APRIL 10, 1862.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

A Proclamation

It has pleased Almighty God to vouchsafe signal victories to the land
and naval forces engaged in suppressing, an internal rebellion, and
at the same time to avert from our country the dangers of foreign
intervention and invasion.

It is therefore recommended to the people of the United States that
at their next weekly assemblages in their accustomed places of public
worship which shall occur after notice of this proclamation shall
have been received, they especially acknowledge and render thanks to
our Heavenly Father for these inestimable blessings, that they then
and there implore spiritual consolation in behalf of all who have
been brought into affliction by the casualties and calamities of
sedition and civil war, and that they reverently invoke the divine
guidance for our national counsels, to the end that they may speedily
result in the restoration of peace, harmony, and unity throughout our
borders and hasten the establishment of fraternal relations among all
the countries of the earth.

In witness 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 tenth day of April, A.D. 1862,
and of the independence of the United States the eighty-sixth.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

ABOLISHING SLAVERY IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

MESSAGE TO CONGRESS.
April 16, 1862.

FELLOW-CITIZENS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The act entitled "An act for the relief of certain persons held to
service or labor in the District of Columbia" has this day been
approved and signed.

I have never doubted the constitutional authority of Congress to
abolish slavery in this District, and I have ever desired to see the
national capital freed from the institution in some satisfactory way.
Hence there has never been in my mind any question on the subject
except the one of expediency, arising in view of all the
circumstances. If there be matters within and about this act which
might have taken a course or shape more satisfactory to my judgment,
I do not attempt to specify them. I am gratified that the two
principles of compensation and colonization are both recognized and
practically applied in the act.

In the matter of compensation, it is provided that claims may be
presented within ninety days from the passage of the act, "but not
thereafter"; and there is no saving for minors, femmes covert, insane
or absent persons. I presume this is an omission by mere oversight,
and I recommend that it be supplied by an amendatory or supplemental
act.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL G. B. McCLELLAN.

WASHINGTON, April 21, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL McCLELLAN:

Your despatch of the 19th was received that day. Fredericksburg is
evacuated and the bridges destroyed by the enemy, and a small part of
McDowell's command occupies this side of the Rappahannock, opposite
the town. He purposes moving his whole force to that point.

A. LINCOLN.

TO POSTMASTER-GENERAL

A. LINCOLN. EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
April 24, 1862.

Hon. POSTMASTER-GENERAL.

MY DEAR SIR:--The member of Congress from the district including
Tiffin, O., calls on me about the postmaster at that place.
I believe I turned over a despatch to you from some persons there,
asking a suspension, so as for them to be heard, or something of the
sort. If nothing, or nothing amounting to anything, has been done, I
think the suspension might now be suspended, and the commission go
forward.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL G. B. McCLELLAN.

WASHINGTON, April 29, 1862.

MAJOR-GENERAL McCLELLAN:

Would it derange or embarrass your operations if I were to appoint
Captain Charles Griffin a brigadier-general of volunteers? Please
answer.

A. LINCOLN.

MESSAGE TO THE SENATE, MAY 1, 1862.

TO THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate [of April 22] in relation
to Brigadier-General Stone, I have the honor to state that he was
arrested and imprisoned under my general authority, and upon evidence
which whether he be guilty or innocent, required, as appears to me,
such proceedings to be had against him for the public safety. I
deem it incompatible with the public interest, as also, perhaps,
unjust to General Stone, to make a more particular statement of the
evidence.

He has not been tried because, in the state of military operations at
the time of his arrest and since, the officers to constitute a court
martial and for witnesses could not be withdrawn from duty without
serious injury to the service. He will be allowed a trial without
any unnecessary delay; the charges and specifications will be
furnished him in due season, and every facility for his defense will
be afforded him by the War Department.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN,
WASHINGTON, MAY 1, 1862

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL McCLELLAN

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, MAY 1, 1862

MAJOR-GENERAL McCLELLAN:

Your call for Parrott guns from Washington alarms me, chiefly because
it argues indefinite procrastination. Is anything to be done?

A LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL H. W. HALLECK.

WAR DEPARTMENT, MAY 1, 1862

MAJOR-GENERAL HALLECK, Pittsburgh Landing, Tennessee:

I am pressed by the Missouri members of Congress to give General
Schofield independent command in Missouri. They insist that for want
of this their local troubles gradually grow worse. I have forborne,
so far, for fear of interfering with and embarrassing your
operations. Please answer telling me whether anything, and what, I
can do for them without injuriously interfering with you.

A. LINCOLN.

RESPONSE TO EVANGELICAL LUTHERANS, MAY 6, 1862

GENTLEMEN:--I welcome here the representatives of the Evangelical
Lutherans of the United States. I accept with gratitude their
assurances of the sympathy and support of that enlightened,
influential, and loyal class of my fellow citizens in an important
crisis which involves, in my judgment, not only the civil and
religious liberties of our own dear land, but in a large degree the
civil and religious liberties of mankind in many countries and
through many ages. You well know, gentlemen, and the world knows,
how reluctantly I accepted this issue of battle forced upon me on my
advent to this place by the internal enemies of our country. You all
know, the world knows, the forces and the resources the public agents
have brought into employment to sustain a government against which
there has been brought not one complaint of real injury committed
against society at home or abroad. You all may recollect that in
taking up the sword thus forced into our hands this government
appealed to the prayers of the pious and the good, and declared that
it placed its whole dependence on the favor of God. I now humbly and
reverently, in your presence, reiterate the acknowledgment of that
dependence, not doubting that, if it shall please the Divine Being
who determines the destinies of nations, this shall remain a united
people, and that they will, humbly seeking the divine guidance, make
their prolonged national existence a source of new benefits to
themselves and their successors, and to all classes and conditions of
mankind.

TELEGRAM TO FLAG-OFFICER L. M. GOLDSBOROUGH.

FORT MONROE, VIRGINIA, MAY 7, 1862

FLAG-OFFICER GOLDSBOROUGH.

SIR:--Major-General McClellan telegraphs that he has ascertained by a
reconnaissance that the battery at Jamestown has been abandoned, and
he again requests that gunboats may be sent up the James River.

If you have tolerable confidence that you can successfully contend
with the Merrimac without the help of the Galena and two accompanying
gunboats, send the Galena and two gunboats up the James River at
once. Please report your action on this to me at once. I shall be
found either at General Wool's headquarters or on board the Miami.

Your obedient servant,

A. LINCOLN.

FURTHER REPRIMAND OF McCLELLAN

TO GENERAL G. B. McCLELLAN.

FORT MONROE, VIRGINIA, May 9, 1862

MAJOR-GENERAL McCLELLAN:

MY DEAR SIR:--I have just assisted the Secretary of War in framing
part of a despatch to you relating to army corps, which despatch, of
course, will have reached you long before this will. I wish to say a
few words to you privately on this subject. I ordered the army corps
organization not only on the unanimous opinion of the twelve generals
whom you had selected and assigned as generals of divisions, but also
on the unanimous opinion of every military man I could get an opinion
from, and every modern military book, yourself only excepted. Of
course, I did not on my own judgment pretend to understand the
subject. I now think it indispensable for you to know how your
struggle against it is received in quarters which we cannot entirely
disregard. It is looked upon as merely an effort to pamper one or
two pets, and to persecute and degrade their supposed rivals. I have
had no word from Sumner, Heintzleman, or Keyes the commanders of
these corps are, of course, the three highest officers with you; but
I am constantly told that you have no consultation or communication
with them; that you consult and communicate with nobody but General
Fitz John Porter, and perhaps General Franklin. I do not say these
complaints are true or just; but at all events, it is proper you
should know of their existence. Do the commanders of corps disobey
your orders in anything?

When you relieved General Hamilton of his command the other day, you
thereby lost the confidence of at least one of your best friends in
the Senate. And here let me say, not as applicable to you
personally, that Senators and Representatives speak of me in their
places without question, and that officers of the army must cease
addressing insulting letters to them for taking no greater liberty
with them.

But to return. Are you strong enough--are you strong enough even
with my help--to set your foot upon the necks of Sumner, Heintzelman,
and Keyes all at once? This is a practical and very serious question
to you?

The success of your army and the cause of the country are the same,
and, of course, I only desire the good of the cause.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TO FLAG-OFFICER L. M. GOLDSBOROUGH,

FORT MONROE, VIRGINIA, May 10, 1862

FLAG-OFFICER GOLDSBOROUGH.

MY DEAR SIR:--I send you this copy of your report of yesterday for
the purpose of saying to you in writing that you are quite right in
supposing the movement made by you and therein reported was made in
accordance with my wishes verbally expressed to you in advance. I
avail myself of the occasion to thank you for your courtesy and all
your conduct, so far as known to me, during my brief visit here.

Yours very truly,
A. LINCOLN.

PROCLAMATION RAISING THE BLOCKADE OF CERTAIN PORTS.
May 12, 1862.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

A Proclamation.

Whereas, by my proclamation of the 19th of April, one thousand eight
hundred and sixty-one, it was declared that the ports of certain
States, including those of Beaufort, in the State of North Carolina,
Port Royal, in the State of South Carolina, and New Orleans, in the
State of Louisiana, were, for reasons therein set forth, intended to
be placed under blockade; and whereas the said ports of Beaufort,
Port Royal, and New Orleans have since been blockaded; but as the
blockade of the same ports may now be safely relaxed with advantage
to the interests of commerce:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the
United States, pursuant to the authority in me vested by the fifth
section of the act of Congress approved on the 13th of July last,
entitled "An act further to provide for the collection of duties on
imports, and for other purposes," do hereby declare that the blockade
of the said ports of Beaufort, Port Royal, and New Orleans shall so
far cease and determine, from and after the first day of June next,
that commercial intercourse with those ports, except as to persons,
things, and information contraband of war, may from that time be
carried on, subject to the laws of the United States, and to the
limitations and in pursuance of the regulations which are prescribed
by the Secretary of the Treasury in his order of this date, which is
appended to this proclamation.

In witness 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 twelfth day of May, in the year
of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, and of the
independence of the United States the eighty-sixth.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

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