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The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, v6 by Abraham Lincoln

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A recurrence to the paper will show you that I have not expressed the
opinion you suppose. I expressed the opinion that the Constitution
is different in its application in cases of rebellion or invasion,
involving the public safety, from what it is in times of profound
peace and public security; and this opinion I adhere to, simply
because, by the Constitution itself, things may be done in the one
case which may not be done in the other.

I dislike to waste a word on a merely personal point, but I must
respectfully assure you that you will find yourselves at fault should
you ever seek for evidence to prove your assumption that I "opposed
in discussions before the people the policy of the Mexican war."

You say: "Expunge from the Constitution this limitation upon the
power of Congress to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, and yet the
other guarantees of personal liberty would remain unchanged."
Doubtless, if this clause of the Constitution, improperly called, as
I think, a limitation upon the power of Congress, were expunged, the
other guarantees would remain the same; but the question is not how
those guarantees would stand with that clause out of the
Constitution, but how they stand with that clause remaining in it, in
case of rebellion or invasion involving the public safety. If the
liberty could be indulged of expunging that clause, letter and
spirit, I really think the constitutional argument would be with you.

My general view on this question was stated in the Albany response,
and hence I do not state it now. I only add that, as seems to me,
the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus is the great means through
which the guarantees of personal liberty are conserved and made
available in the last resort; and corroborative of this view is the
fact that Mr. Vallandigham, in the very case in question, under the
advice of able lawyers, saw not where else to go but to the habeas
corpus. But by the Constitution the benefit of the writ of habeas
corpus itself may be suspended when, in case of rebellion or
invasion, the public safety may require it.

You ask, in substance, whether I really claim that I may override all
the guaranteed rights of individuals, on the plea of conserving the
public safety when I may choose to say the public safety requires it.
This question, divested of the phraseology calculated to represent me
as struggling for an arbitrary personal prerogative, is either simply
a question who shall decide, or an affirmation that nobody shall
decide, what the public safety does require in cases of rebellion or
invasion.

The Constitution contemplates the question as likely to occur for
decision, but it does not expressly declare who is to decide it. By
necessary implication, when rebellion or invasion comes, the decision
is to be made from time to time; and I think the man whom, for the
time, the people have, under the Constitution, made the
commander-in-chief of their army and navy, is the man who holds the
power and bears the responsibility of making it. If he uses the
power justly, the same people will probably justify him; if he abuses
it, he is in their hands to be dealt with by all the modes they have
reserved to themselves in the Constitution.

The earnestness with which you insist that persons can only, in times
of rebellion, be lawfully dealt with in accordance with the rules for
criminal trials and punishments in times of peace, induces me to add
a word to what I said on that point in the Albany response.

You claim that men may, if they choose, embarrass those whose duty it
is to combat a giant rebellion, and then be dealt with in turn only
as if there were no rebellion. The Constitution itself rejects this
view. The military arrests and detentions which have been made,
including those of Mr. Vallandigham, which are not different in
principle from the others, have been for prevention, and not for
punishment--as injunctions to stay injury, as proceedings to keep the
peace; and hence, like proceedings in such cases and for like
reasons, they have not been accompanied with indictments, or trials
by juries, nor in a single case by any punishment whatever, beyond
what is purely incidental to the prevention. The original sentence
of imprisonment in Mr. Vallandigham's case was to prevent injury to
the military service only, and the modification of it was made as a
less disagreeable mode to him of securing the same prevention.

I am unable to perceive an insult to Ohio in the case of Mr.
Vallandigham. Quite surely nothing of the sort was or is intended.
I was wholly unaware that Mr. Vallandigham was, at the time of his
arrest, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor until
so informed by your reading to me the resolutions of the convention.
I am grateful to the State of Ohio for many things, especially for
the brave soldiers and officers she has given in the present national
trial to the armies of the Union.

You claim, as I understand, that according to my own position in the
Albany response, Mr. Vallandigham should be released; and this
because, as you claim, he has not damaged the military service by
discouraging enlistments, encouraging desertions, or otherwise; and
that if he had, he should have been turned over to the civil
authorities under the recent acts of Congress. I certainly do not
know that Mr. Vallandigham has specifically and by direct language
advised against enlistments and in favor of desertion and resistance
to drafting.

We all know that combinations, armed in some instances, to resist the
arrest of deserters began several months ago; that more recently the
like has appeared in resistance to the enrolment preparatory to a
draft; and that quite a number of assassinations have occurred from
the same animus. These had to be met by military force, and this
again has led to bloodshed and death. And now, under a sense of
responsibility more weighty and enduring than any which is merely
official, I solemnly declare my belief that this hindrance of the
military, including maiming and murder, is due to the course in which
Mr. Vallindigham has been engaged in a greater degree than to any
other cause; and it is due to him personally in a greater degree than
to any other one man.

These things have been notorious, known to all, and of course known
to Mr. Vallandigham. Perhaps I would not be wrong to say they
originated with his special friends and adherents. With perfect
knowledge of them, he has frequently if not constantly made speeches
in Congress and before popular assemblies; and if it can be shown
that, with these things staring him in the face he has ever uttered a
word of rebuke or counsel against them, it will be a fact greatly in
his favor with me, and one of which as yet I am totally ignorant.
When it is known that the whole burden of his speeches has been to
stir up men against the prosecution of the war, and that in the midst
of resistance to it he has not been known in any instance to counsel
against such resistance, it is next to impossible to repel the
inference that he has counseled directly in favor of it.

With all this before their eyes, the convention you represent have
nominated Mr. Vallandigham for governor of Ohio, and both they and
you have declared the purpose to sustain the national Union by all
constitutional means. But of course they and you in common reserve
to yourselves to decide what are constitutional means; and, unlike
the Albany meeting, you omit to state or intimate that in your
opinion an army is a constitutional means of saving the Union against
a rebellion, or even to intimate that you are conscious of an
existing rebellion being in progress with the avowed object of
destroying that very Union. At the same time your nominee for
governor, in whose behalf you appeal, is known to you and to the
world to declare against the use of an army to suppress the
rebellion. Your own attitude, therefore, encourages desertion,
resistance to the draft, and the like, because it teaches those who
incline to desert and to escape the draft to believe it is your
purpose to protect them, and to hope that you will become strong
enough to do so.

After a short personal intercourse with you, gentlemen of the
committee, I cannot say I think you desire this effect to follow your
attitude; but I assure your that both friends and enemies of the
Union look upon it in this light. It is a substantial hope, and by
consequence a real strength to the enemy. If it is a false hope, and
one which you would willingly dispel, I will make the way exceedingly
easy.

I send you duplicates of this letter in order that you, or a majority
of you, may, if you choose, indorse your names upon one of them and
return it thus indorsed to me with the understanding that those
signing are thereby committed to the following propositions and to
nothing else:

1. That there is now a rebellion in the United States, the object
and tendency of which is to destroy the National Union; and that, in
your opinion, an army and navy are constitutional means for
suppressing that rebellion;

2. That no one of you will do anything which, in his own judgment,
will tend to hinder the increase, or favor the decrease, or lessen
the efficiency of the army or navy while engaged in the effort to
suppress that rebellion; and

3. That each of you will, in his sphere, do all he can to have the
officers, soldiers, and seamen of the army and navy, while engaged in
the effort to suppress the rebellion, paid, fed, clad, and otherwise
well provided for and supported.

And with the further understanding that upon receiving the letter and
names thus indorsed, I will cause them to be published, which
publication shall be, within itself, a revocation of the order in
relation to Mr. Vallandigham. It will not escape observation that I
consent to the release of Mr. Vallandigham upon terms not embracing
any pledge from him or from others as to what he will or will not do.
I do this because he is not present to speak for himself, or to
authorize others to speak for him; and because I should expect that
on his returning he would not put himself practically in antagonism
with the position of his friends. But I do it chiefly because I
thereby prevail on other influential gentlemen of Ohio to so define
their position as to be of immense value to the army--thus more than
compensating for the consequences of any mistake in allowing Mr.
Vallandigham to return; so that, on the whole, the public safety will
not have suffered by it. Still, in regard to Mr. Vallandigham and
all others, I must hereafter, as heretofore, do so much as the public
safety may seem to require.

I have the honor to be respectfully yours, etc.,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GOVERNOR PARKER.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, June 30, 1863. 10.55

GOVERNOR PARKER, Trenton, N.J.:

Your despatch of yesterday received. I really think the attitude of
the enemy's army in Pennsylvania presents us the best opportunity we
have had since the war began. I think you will not see the foe in
New Jersey. I beg you to be assured that no one out of my position
can know so well as if he were in it the difficulties and
involvements of replacing General McClellan in command, and this
aside from any imputations upon him.

Please accept my sincere thanks for what you have done and are doing
to get troops forward.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO A. K. McCLURE.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON CITY, June 30, 1863.

A. K. McCLURE, Philadelphia:

Do we gain anything by opening one leak to stop another? Do we gain
anything by quieting one merely to open another, and probably a
larger one?

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL COUCH.
[Cipher]
WASHINGTON CITY, June 30, 1863. 3.23 P.M.

MAJOR-GENERAL COUCH, Harrisburg, Pa.:

I judge by absence of news that the enemy is not crossing or pressing
up to the Susquehanna. Please tell me what you know of his
movements.

A. LINCOLN

TO GENERAL D. HUNTER.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
June 30, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL HUNTER.

MY DEAR GENERAL:--I have just received your letter of the 25th of
June.

I assure you, and you may feel authorized in stating, that the recent
change of commanders in the Department of the South was made for no
reasons which convey any imputation upon your known energy,
efficiency, and patriotism; but for causes which seemed sufficient,
while they were in no degree incompatible with the respect and esteem
in which I have always held you as a man and an officer.

I cannot, by giving my consent to a publication of whose details I
know nothing, assume the responsibility of whatever you may write.
In this matter your own sense of military propriety must be your
guide, and the regulations of the service your rule of conduct.

I am very truly your friend,
A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL BURNSIDE.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D. C., July 3, 1863

MAJOR-GENERAL BURNSIDE, Cincinnati, Ohio:

Private Downey, of the Twentieth or Twenty-sixth Kentucky Infantry,
is said to have been sentenced to be shot for desertion to-day. If
so, respite the execution until I can see the record.

A. LINCOLN.

REASSURING SON IN COLLEGE

TELEGRAM TO ROBERT T, LINCOLN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, July 3,1863.

ROBERT T. LINCOLN, Esq., Cambridge, Mass.:
Don't he uneasy. Your mother very slightly hurt by her fall.

A.L.
Please send at once.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEWS FROM GETTYSBURG.

WASHINGTON,

July 4, 10.30 A.M.

The President announces to the country that news from the Army of the
Potomac, up to 10 P.M. of the 3d, is such as to cover that army with
the highest honor, to promise a great success to the cause of the
Union, and to claim the condolence of all for the many gallant
fallen; and that for this he especially desires that on this day He
whose will, not ours, should ever be done be everywhere remembered
and reverenced with profoundest gratitude.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL FRENCH.
[Cipher]
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D. C., July 5, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL FRENCH, Fredericktown, Md.:

I see your despatch about destruction of pontoons. Cannot the enemy
ford the river?

A. LINCOLN.

CONTINUED FAILURE TO PURSUE ENEMY

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL H. W. HALLECK.

SOLDIERS' HOME, WASHINGTON, JULY 6 1863.7 P.M.,

MAJOR-GENERAL HALLECK:

I left the telegraph office a good deal dissatisfied. You know I did
not like the phrase--in Orders, No. 68, I believe--"Drive the
invaders from our soil." Since that, I see a despatch from General
French, saying the enemy is crossing his wounded over the river in
flats, without saying why he does not stop it, or even intimating a
thought that it ought to be stopped. Still later, another despatch
from General Pleasonton, by direction of General Meade, to General
French, stating that the main army is halted because it is believed
the rebels are concentrating "on the road towards Hagerstown, beyond
Fairfield," and is not to move until it is ascertained that the
rebels intend to evacuate Cumberland Valley.

These things appear to me to be connected with a purpose to cover
Baltimore and Washington and to get the enemy across the river again
without a further collision, and they do not appear connected with a
purpose to prevent his crossing and to destroy him. I do fear the
former purpose is acted upon and the latter rejected.

If you are satisfied the latter purpose is entertained, and is
judiciously pursued, I am content. If you are not so satisfied,
please look to it.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

RESPONSE TO A SERENADE,

JULY 7, 1863.

FELLOW-CITIZENS:--I am very glad indeed to see you to-night, and yet
I will not say I thank you for this call; but I do most sincerely
thank Almighty God for the occasion on which you have called. How
long ago is it Eighty-odd years since, on the Fourth of July, for the
first time in the history of the world, a nation, by its
representatives, assembled and declared as a self-evident truth "that
all men are created equal." That was the birthday of the United
States of America. Since then the Fourth of July has had several
very peculiar recognitions. The two men most distinguished in the
framing and support of the Declaration were Thomas Jefferson and John
Adams, the one having penned it, and the other sustained it the most
forcibly in debate--the only two of the fifty-five who signed it and
were elected Presidents of the United States. Precisely fifty years
after they put their hands to the paper, it pleased Almighty God to
take both from this stage of action. This was indeed an
extraordinary and remarkable event in our history. Another
President, five years after, was called from this stage of existence
on the same day and month of the year; and now on this last Fourth of
July just passed, when we have a gigantic rebellion, at the bottom of
which is an effort to overthrow the principle that all men were
created equal, we have the surrender of a most powerful position and
army on that very day. And not only so, but in the succession of
battles in Pennsylvania, near to us, through three days, so rapidly
fought that they might be called one great battle, on the first,
second, and third of the month of July; and on the fourth the cohorts
of those who opposed the Declaration that all men are created equal,
"turned tail" and run.

Gentlemen, this is a glorious theme, and the occasion for a speech,
but I am not prepared to make one worthy of the occasion. I would
like to speak in terms of praise due to the many brave officers and
soldiers who have fought in the cause of the Union and liberties of
their country from the beginning of the war. These are trying
occasions, not only in success, but for the want of success. I
dislike to mention the name of one single officer, lest I might do
wrong to those I might forget. Recent events bring up glorious
names, and particularly prominent ones; but these I will not mention.
Having said this much, I will now take the music.

SURRENDER OF VICKSBURG TO GENERAL GRANT

TELEGRAM FROM GENERAL HALLECK
TO GENERAL G. C. MEADE.

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 7, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL MEADE, Army of the Potomac:

I have received from the President the following note, which I
respectfully communicate:

"We have certain information that Vicksburg surrendered to General
Grant on the Fourth of July. Now if General Meade can complete his
work, so gloriously prosecuted this far, by the literal or
substantial destruction of Lee's army, the rebellion will be over.

"Yours truly,
"A. LINCOLN."

H. W. HALLECK.
General-in-Chief.

TELEGRAM FROM GENERAL HALLECK
TO GENERAL G. C. MEADE.

WASHINGTON, D. C., July 8, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL MEADE, Frederick, Md.:

There is reliable information that the enemy is crossing at
Williamsport. The opportunity to attack his divided forces should
not be lost. The President is urgent and anxious that your army
should move against him by forced marches.

H. W. HALLECK,
Genera1-in-Chief

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL THOMAS.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, July 8, 1863.12.30 P.M.

GENERAL LORENZO THOMAS, Harrisburg, Pa.:

Your despatch of this morning to the Secretary of War is before me.
The forces you speak of will be of no imaginable service if they
cannot go forward with a little more expedition. Lee is now passing
the Potomac faster than the forces you mention are passing Carlisle.
Forces now beyond Carlisle to be joined by regiments still at
Harrisburg, and the united force again to join Pierce somewhere, and
the whole to move down the Cumberland Valley, will in my
unprofessional opinion be quite as likely to capture the "man in the
moon" as any part of Lee's army.

A. LINCOLN.

NEWS OF GRANT'S CAPTURE OF VICKSBURG

TELEGRAM TO E. D. SMITH.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D.C., July 8, 1863.

E. DELAFIELD SMITH, New York:

Your kind despatch in behalf of self and friends is gratefully
received. Capture of Vicksburg confirmed by despatch from General
Grant himself.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO F. F. LOWE.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D.C., July 8, 1863.

HON. F. F. LOWE, San Francisco, Cal.:

There is no doubt that General Meade, now commanding the Army of the
Potomac, beat Lee at Gettysburg, Pa., at the end of a three days'
battle, and that the latter is now crossing the Potomac at
Williamsport over the swollen stream and with poor means of
crossing, and closely pressed by Meade. We also have despatches
rendering it entirely certain that Vicksburg surrendered to General
Grant on the glorious old 4th.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO L. SWETT AND P. F. LOWE.
[Cipher.]
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON CITY, D.C., July 9, 1863.

HON. LEONARD SWETT, HON. F. F. LOWE, San Francisco, Cal.:

Consult together and do not have a riot, or great difficulty about
delivering possession.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO J. K. DUBOIS.

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 11,1863. 9 A.M.

HON. J. K. DUBOIS, Springfield, Ill.:

It is certain that, after three days' fighting at Gettysburg, Lee
withdrew and made for the Potomac, that he found the river so swollen
as to prevent his crossing; that he is still this side, near
Hagerstown and Williamsport, preparing to defend himself; and that
Meade is close upon him, and preparing to attack him, heavy
skirmishing having occurred nearly all day yesterday.

I am more than satisfied with what has happened north of the Potomac
so far, and am anxious and hopeful for what is to come.

A. LINCOLN.

[Nothing came! Lee was allowed to escape again and the war went on
for another two years. D.W.]

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL SCHENCK.
[Cipher.]
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON CITY, July 11, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL SCHENCK, Baltimore, Md.:

How many rebel prisoners captured within Maryland and Pennsylvania
have reached Baltimore within this month of July?

A. LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
July 13, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL GRANT:

MY DEAR GENERAL:--I do not remember that you and I ever met
personally. I write this now as a grateful acknowledgment of the
almost inestimable service you have done the Country. I write to say
a word further. When you first reached the vicinity of Vicksburg, I
thought you should do what you finally did--march the troops across
the neck, run the batteries with the transports, and thus go below;
and I never had any faith except a general hope that you knew better
than I, that the Yazoo Pass expedition and the like could succeed.
When you dropped below, and took Port Gibson, Grand Gulf, and
vicinity, I thought you should go down the river and join General
Banks; and when you turned northward, east of the Big Black, I feared
it was a mistake. I now wish to make the personal acknowledgment
that you were right and I was wrong.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL J. M. SCHOFIELD.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, July 13, 1863.

GENERAL SCHOFIELD. St. Louis, Mo.:

I regret to learn of the arrest of the Democrat editor. I fear this
loses you the middle position I desired you to occupy. I have not
learned which of the two letters I wrote you it was that the Democrat
published, but I care very little for the publication of any letter I
have written. Please spare me the trouble this is likely to bring.

A. LINCOLN.

SON IN COLLEGE DOES NOT WRITE HIS PARENTS

TELEGRAM TO R. T. LINCOLN.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON D.C., July 14, 1863.

ROBERT T. LINCOLN: New York, Fifth Avenue Hotel:

Why do I hear no more of you?

A. LINCOLN.

INTIMATION OF ARMISTICE PROPOSALS

FROM JAMES R. GILMORE
TO GOVERNOR VANCE OF NORTH CAROLINA,
WITH THE PRESIDENT'S INDORSEMENT.

PRESIDENT'S ROOM, WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON,

July [15?] 1864.

HIS EXCELLENCY ZEBULON B. VANCE.

MY DEAR SIR:--My former business partner, Mr. Frederic Kidder, of
Boston, has forwarded to me a letter he has recently received from
his brother, Edward Kidder, of Wilmington, in which (Edward Kidder)
says that he has had an interview with you in which you expressed an
anxiety for any peace compatible with honor; that you regard slavery
as already dead, and the establishment of the Confederacy as
hopeless; and that you should exert all your influence to bring about
any reunion that would admit the South on terms of perfect equality
with the North.

On receipt of this letter I lost no time in laying it before the
President of the United States, who expressed great gratification at
hearing such sentiments from you, one of the most influential and
honored of the Southern governors, and he desires me to say that he
fully shares your anxiety for the restoration of peace between the
States and for a reunion of all the States on the basis of the
abolition of slavery--the bone we are fighting over--and the full
reinstatement of every Confederate citizen in all the rights of
citizenship in our common country. These points conceded, the
President authorizes me to say that he will be glad to receive
overtures from any man, or body of men, who have authority to control
the armies of the Confederacy; and that he and the United States
Congress will be found very liberal on all collateral points that may
come up in the settlement.

His views on the collateral points that may naturally arise, the
President desires me to say he will communicate to you through me if
you should suggest the personal interview that Mr. Edward Kidder
recommends in his letter to his brother. In that case you will
please forward to me, through Mr. Kidder, your official permit, as
Governor of North Carolina, to enter and leave the State, and to
remain in it in safety during the pendency of these negotiations,
which, I suppose, should be conducted in entire secrecy until they
assume an official character. With high consideration, I am,

Sincerely yours,

JAMES R. GILMORE.

[Indorsement.]
This letter has been written in my presence, has been read by me, and
has my entire approval.
A.L.

PROCLAMATION FOR THANKSGIVING, JULY 15, 1863
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

A Proclamation.

It has pleased Almighty God to hearken to the supplications and
prayers of an afflicted people, and to vouchsafe to the army and navy
of the United States victories on land and on the sea so signal and
so effective as to furnish reasonable grounds for augmented
confidence that the Union of these States will be maintained, their
Constitution preserved, and their peace and prosperity permanently
restored. But these victories have been accorded not without
sacrifices of life, limb, health, and liberty, incurred by brave,
loyal, and patriotic citizens. Domestic affliction in every part of
the country follows in the train of these fearful bereavements. It
is meet and right to recognize and confess the presence of the
Almighty Father, and the power of His hand equally in these triumphs
and in these sorrows.

Now, therefore, be it known that I do set apart Thursday, the 6th day
of August next, to be observed as a day for national thanksgiving,
praise, and prayer, and I invite the people of the United States to
assemble on that occasion in their customary places of worship, and,
in the forms approved by their own consciences, render the homage due
to the Divine Majesty for the wonderful things He has done in the
nation's behalf, and invoke the influence of His Holy Spirit to
subdue the anger which has produced and so long sustained a needless
and cruel rebellion, to change the hearts of the insurgents, to guide
the counsels of the Government with wisdom adequate to so great a
national emergency, and to visit with tender care and consolation
throughout the length and breadth of our land all those who, through
the vicissitudes of marches, voyages, battles, and sieges have been,
brought to suffer in mind, body, or estate, and finally to lead the
whole nation through the paths of repentance and submission to the
Divine Will back to the perfect enjoyment of union and fraternal
peace.

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 fifteenth day of July, in the
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of
the independence of the United States of America the eighty-eighth.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

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

TELEGRAM TO L. SWETT.
[Cipher.]
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON CITY, July 15, 1863.

HON. L SWETT, San Francisco, Cal.:

Many persons are telegraphing me from California, begging me for the
peace of the State to suspend the military enforcement of the writ of
possession in the Almaden case, while you are the single one who
urges the contrary. You know I would like to oblige you, but it
seems to me my duty in this case is the other way.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO SIMON CAMERON.
[Cipher.]
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON CITY, JULY 15, 1863.

HON. SIMON CAMERON, Harrisburg, Pa.:

Your despatch of yesterday received. Lee was already across the
river when you sent it. I would give much to be relieved of the
impression that Meade, Couch, Smith, and all since the battle at
Gettysburg, have striven only to get Lee over the river without
another fight. Please tell me, if you know, who was the one corps
commander who was for fighting in the council of war on Sunday night.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO J. O. BROADHEAD.

WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 15, 1863.

J. O. BROADHEAD, St. Louis, Mo.:

The effect on political position of McKee's arrest will not be
relieved any by its not having been made with that purpose.

A. LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL LANE.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
July 17 1863.

HON. S. H. LANE.

MY DEAR SIR:--Governor Carney has not asked to [have] General Blunt
removed, or interfered with, in his military operations. He has
asked that he, the Governor, be allowed to commission officers for
troops raised in Kansas, as other governors of loyal States do; and I
think he is right in this.

He has asked that General Blunt shall not take persons charged with
civil crimes out of the hands of the courts and turn them over to
mobs to be hung; and I think he is right in this also. He has asked
that General Ewing's department be extended to include all Kansas;
and I have not determined whether this is right or not.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GOVERNOR MORTON.

WASHINGTON, D. C., July 18, 1863.

GOVERNOR O. P. MORTON, Indianapolis:

What do you remember about the case of John O. Brown, convicted of
mutinous conduct and sentenced to death? What do you desire about
it?

A. LINCOLN.

TO GOVERNOR PARKER

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON

July 20, 1863.

HIS EXCELLENCY JOEL PARKER, Governor of New Jersey.

DEAR SIR:--Yours of the 15th has been received, and considered by the
Secretary of War and myself. I was pained to be informed this
morning by the Provost-Marshal-General that New Jersey is now behind
twelve thousand, irrespective of the draft. I did not have time to
ascertain by what rules this was made out; and I shall be very glad
if it shall, by any means, prove to be incorrect. He also tells me
that eight thousand will be about the quota of New Jersey on the
first draft; and the Secretary of War says the first draft in that
State would not be made for some time in any event. As every man
obtained otherwise lessens the draft so much, and this may supersede
it altogether, I hope you will push forward your volunteer regiments
as fast as possible.

It is a very delicate matter to postpone the draft in one State,
because of the argument it furnishes others to have postponement
also. If we could have a reason in one case which would be good if
presented in all cases, we could act upon it.

I will thank you, therefore, to inform me, if you can, by what day,
at the earliest, you can promise to have ready to be mustered into
the United States service the eight thousand men.

If you can make a reliable promise (I mean one which you can rely on
yourself) of this sort, it will be of great value, if the day is not
too remote.

I beg you to be assured I wish to avoid the difficulties you dread as
much as yourself.

Your obedient servant,

A. LINCOLN

TO GENERAL SCHOFIELD.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON D.C.
JULY 20, 1863

MAJOR GENERAL JOHN M. SCHOFIELD.

MY DEAR GENERAL:--I have received and read your letter of the 14th of
July.

I think the suggestion you make, of discontinuing proceedings against
Mr. McKee, a very proper one. While I admit that there is an
apparent impropriety in the publication of the letter mentioned,
without my consent or yours, it is still a case where no evil could
result, and which I am entirely willing to overlook.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL J. M. SCHOFIELD

WASHINGTON, D.C. JULY 22, 1863

MAJOR GENERAL SCHOFIELD, St. Louis, Mo.:

The following despatch has been placed in my hands. Please look to
the subject of it.

LEXINGTON, Mo., JULY 21, 1863
HON. S C. POMEROY:
Under Orders No.63 the sheriff is arresting slaves of rebels inside
our lines, and returning them in great numbers. Can he do it?
Answer. GOULD.

A. LINCOLN

TO POSTMASTER-GENERAL BLAIR

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
JULY 24, 1863.

HON. POSTMASTER-GENERAL

SIR:-Yesterday little indorsements of mine went to you in two cases
of postmasterships sought for widows whose husbands have fallen in
the battles of this war. These cases occurring on the same day
brought me to reflect more attentively than I had before done, as to
what is fairly due from us herein the dispensing of patronage toward
the men who, by fighting our battles, bear the chief burden of
serving our country. My conclusion is that, other claims and
qualifications being equal, they have the better right and this is
especially applicable to the disabled and the soldier, deceased
soldier's family.

Your obedient servant,

A. LINCOLN

TO SECRETARY OF THE NAVY.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
July 25, 1863.

HON. SECRETARY OF THE NAVY.

SIR:--Certain matters have come to my notice, and considered by me,
which induce me to believe that it will conduce to the public
interest for you to add to the general instructions given to our
naval commanders in relation to contraband trade propositions
substantially as follows, to wit:

First. You will avoid the reality, and as far as possible the
appearance, of using any neutral port to watch neutral vessels and
then to dart out and seize them on their departure.

NOTE.--Complaint is made that this has been practiced at the port of
St Thomas, which practice, if it exists, is disapproved and must
cease.

Second. You will not in any case detain the crew of a captured
neutral vessel or any other subject of a neutral power on board such
vessel, as prisoners of war or otherwise, except the small number
necessary as witnesses in the prize court.

NOTE.-The practice here forbidden is also charged to exist, which, if
true, is disapproved and must cease.

My dear sir, it is not intended to be insinuated that you have been
remiss in the performance of the arduous and responsible duties of
your department, which, I take pleasure in affirming, has in your
hands been conducted with admirable success. Yet, while your
subordinates are almost of necessity brought into angry collision
with the subjects of foreign states, the representatives of those
states and yourself do not come into immediate contact for the
purpose of keeping the peace, in spite of such collisions. At that
point there is an ultimate and heavy responsibility upon me.

What I propose is in strict accordance with international law, and is
therefore unobjectionable; whilst, if it does no other good, it will
contribute to sustain a considerable portion of the present British
ministry in their places, who, if displaced, are sure to be replaced
by others more unfavorable to us.

Your obedient servant,

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

LETTER TO GOVERNOR PARKER.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,

July 25, 1863.

HIS EXCELLENCY GOVERNOR JOEL PARKER.

SIR:--Yours of the 21st is received, and I have taken time and
considered and discussed the subject with the Secretary of War and
Provost-Marshal General, in order, if possible, to make you a more
favorable answer than I finally find myself able to do.

It is a vital point with us to not have a special stipulation with
the governor of any one State, because it would breed trouble in
many, if not all, other States; and my idea was when I wrote you, as
it still is, to get a point of time to which we could wait, on the
reason that we were not ready ourselves to proceed, and which might
enable you to raise the quota of your State, in whole, or in large
part, without the draft. The points of time you fix are much farther
off than I had hoped. We might have got along in the way I have
indicated for twenty, or possibly thirty, days. As it stands, the
best I can say is that every volunteer you will present us within
thirty days from this date, fit and ready to be mustered into the
United States service, on the usual terms, shall be pro tanto an
abatement of your quota of the draft. That quota I can now state at
eight thousand seven hundred and eighty-three (8783). No draft from
New Jersey, other than for the above quota, will be made before an
additional draft, common to [all] the States, shall be required; and
I may add that if we get well through with this draft, I entertain a
strong hope that any further one may never be needed. This
expression of hope, however, must not be construed into a promise.

As to conducting the draft by townships, I find it would require such
a waste of labor already done, and such an additional amount of it,
and such a loss of time, as to make it, I fear, inadmissible.

Your obedient servant,

A. LINCOLN.

P. S.--Since writing the above, getting additional information, I am
enabled to say that the draft may be made in subdistricts, as the
enrolment has been made, or is in process of making. This will
amount practically to drafting by townships, as the enrollment
subdistricts are generally about the extent of townships.
A.L.

To GENERAL G. G. MEADE.
(Private.)

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
July 27, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL MEADE:

I have not thrown General Hooker away; and therefore I would like to
know whether it would be agreeable to you, all things considered, for
him to take a corps under you, if he himself is willing to do so.
Write me in perfect freedom, with the assurance that I will not
subject you to any embarrassment by making your letter or its
contents known to any one. I wish to know your wishes before I
decide whether to break the subject to him. Do not lean a hair's
breadth against your own feelings, or your judgment of the public
service, on the idea of gratifying me.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL A. B. BURNSIDE.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, July 27, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL BURNSIDE, Cincinnati, O.:

Let me explain. In General Grant's first despatch after the fall of
Vicksburg, he said, among other things, he would send the Ninth Corps
to you. Thinking it would be pleasant to you, I asked the Secretary
of War to telegraph you the news. For some reasons never mentioned
to us by General Grant, they have not been sent, though we have seen
outside intimations that they took part in the expedition against
Jackson. General Grant is a copious worker and fighter, but a very
meager writer or telegrapher. No doubt he changed his purpose in
regard to the Ninth Corps for some sufficient reason, but has
forgotten to notify us of it.

A. LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL H. W. HALLECK.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
July 29, 1863

MAJOR-GENERAL HALLECK:

Seeing General Meade's despatch of yesterday to yourself causes me to
fear that he supposes the Government here is demanding of him to
bring on a general engagement with Lee as soon as possible. I am
claiming no such thing of him. In fact, my judgment is against it;
which judgment, of course, I will yield if yours and his are the
contrary. If he could not safely engage Lee at Williamsport, it
seems absurd to suppose he can safely engage him now, when he has
scarcely more than two thirds of the force he had at Williamsport,
while it must be that Lee has been reinforced. True, I desired
General Meade to pursue Lee across the Potomac, hoping, as has proved
true, that he would thereby clear the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad,
and get some advantages by harassing him on his retreat. These being
past, I am unwilling he should now get into a general engagement on
the impression that we here are pressing him, and I shall be glad for
you to so inform him, unless your own judgment is against it.

Yours truly,
A. LINCOLN.

H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.

TO SECRETARY STANTON.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
July 29, 1863

HON. SECRETARY OF WAR.

SIR:--Can we not renew the effort to organize a force to go to
western Texas?

Please consult with the general-in-chief on the subject.

If the Governor of New Jersey shall furnish any new regiments, might
not they be put into such an expedition? Please think of it.

I believe no local object is now more desirable.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

ORDER OF RETALIATION.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
July 30, 1863.

It is the duty of every government to give protection to its
citizens, of whatever class, color, or condition, and especially to
those who are duly organized as soldiers in the public service. The
law of nations and the usages and customs of war, as carried on by
civilized powers, permit no distinction as to color in the treatment
of prisoners of war as public enemies. To sell or enslave any
captured person, on account of his color and for no offense against
the laws of war, is a relapse into barbarism, and a crime against the
civilization of the age.

The Government of the United States will give the same protection to
all its soldiers; and if the enemy shall sell or enslave any one
because of his color, the offense shall be punished by retaliation
upon the enemy's prisoners in our possession.

It is therefore ordered that for every soldier of the United States
killed in violation of the laws of war, a rebel soldier shall be
executed; and for every one enslaved by the enemy or sold into
slavery, a rebel soldier shall be placed at hard labor on the public
works, and continued at such labor until the other shall be released
and receive the treatment due to a prisoner of war.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL S. A. HURLBUT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
July 31, 1863.

MY DEAR GENERAL HURLBUT:

Your letter by Mr. Dana was duly received. I now learn that your
resignation has reached the War Department. I also learn that an
active command has been assigned you by General Grant. The Secretary
of War and General Halleck are very partial to you, as you know I
also am. We all wish you to reconsider the question of resigning;
not that we would wish to retain you greatly against your wish and
interest, but that your decision may be at least a very well-
considered one.

I understand that Senator [William K.] Sebastian, of Arkansas, thinks
of offering to resume his place in the Senate. Of course the Senate,
and not I, would decide whether to admit or reject him. Still I
should feel great interest in the question. It may be so presented
as to be one of the very greatest national importance; and it may be
otherwise so presented as to be of no more than temporary personal
consequence to him.

The Emancipation Proclamation applies to Arkansas. I think it is
valid in law, and will be so held by the courts. I think I shall not
retract or repudiate it. Those who shall have tasted actual freedom
I believe can never be slaves or quasi-slaves again. For the rest, I
believe some plan substantially being gradual emancipation would be
better for both white and black. The Missouri plan recently
adopted, I do not object to on account of the time for ending the
institution; but I am sorry the beginning should have been postponed
for seven years, leaving all that time to agitate for the repeal of
the whole thing. It should begin at once, giving at least the
new-born a vested interest in freedom which could not be taken away.
If Senator Sebastian could come with something of this sort from
Arkansas, I, at least, should take great interest in his case; and I
believe a single individual will have scarcely done the world so
great a service. See him if you can, and read this to him; but
charge him not to make it public for the present. Write me again.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM FROM GOVERNOR SEYMOUR.
ALBANY, August 1, 1863. Recvd 2 P.M.

TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:

I ask that the draft be suspended in this State until I can send you
a communication I am preparing.

HORATIO SEYMOUR.

TELEGRAM TO GOVERNOR SEYMOUR

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 1, 1863. 4 P.M.

HIS EXCELLENCY GOVERNOR SEYMOUR, Albany, N.Y.:

By what day may I expect your communication to reach me? Are you
anxious about any part except the city and vicinity?

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL FOSTER.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, August 3, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL FOSTER (or whoever may be in command of the military
department with headquarters at Fort Monroe, Va.):

If Dr. Wright, on trial at Norfolk, has been or shall be convicted,
send me a transcript of his trial and conviction, and do not let
execution be done upon him until my further order.

A. LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL N. P. BANKS.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
August 5,1863.

MY DEAR GENERAL BANKS:

While I very well know what I would be glad for Louisiana to do, it
is quite a different thing for me to assume direction of the matter.
I would be glad for her to make a new constitution, recognizing the
emancipation proclamation, and adopting emancipation in those parts
of the State to which the proclamation does not apply. And while she
is at it, I think it would not be objectionable for her to adopt some
practical system by which the two races could gradually live
themselves out of their old relation to each other, and both come out
better prepared for the new. Education for young blacks should be
included in the plan. After all, the power or element of "contract"
may be sufficient for this probationary period, and by its simplicity
and flexibility may be the better.

As an antislavery man, I have a motive to desire emancipation which
proslavery men do not have but even they have strong enough reason to
thus place themselves again under the shield of the Union, and to
thus perpetually hedge against the recurrence of the scenes through
which we are now passing.

Governor Shepley has informed me that Mr. Durant is now taking a
registry, with a view to the election of a constitutional convention
in Louisiana. This, to me, appears proper. If such convention were
to ask my views, I could present little else than what I now say to
you. I think the thing should be pushed forward, so that, if
possible, its mature work may reach here by the meeting of Congress.

For my own part, I think I shall not, in any event, retract the
emancipation proclamation: nor, as executive, ever return to slavery
any person who is free by the terms of that proclamation, or by any
of the acts of Congress.

If Louisiana shall send members to Congress, their admission to seats
will depend, as you know, upon the respective Houses, and not upon
the President.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TO GOVERNOR SEYMOUR.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
August 7, 1863.

HIS EXCELLENCY HORATIO SEYMOUR, Governor of New York:

Your communication of the 3rd instant has been received and
attentively considered.

I cannot consent to suspend the draft in New York, as you request,
because, among other reasons, time is too important.

By the figures you send, which I presume are correct, the twelve
districts represented fall into two classes of eight and four
respectively. The disparity of the quotas for the draft in these two
classes is certainly very striking, being the difference between an
average of 2200 in one class and 4864 in the other. Assuming that
the districts are equal one to another in entire population, as
required by the plan on which they were made, this disparity is such
as to require attention. Much of it, however, I suppose will be
accounted for by the fact that so many more persons fit for soldiers
are in the city than are in the country who have too recently arrived
from other parts of the United States and from Europe to be either
included in the census of 1860, or to have voted in 1862. Still,
making due allowance for this, I am yet unwilling to stand upon it as
an entirely sufficient explanation of the great disparity.

I shall direct the draft to proceed in all the districts, drawing,
however, at first from each of the four districts--to wit, the
Second, Fourth, Sixth, and Eighth--only, 2200 being the average quota
of the other class. After this drawing, these four districts, and
also the Seventeenth and Twenty-ninth, shall be carefully re-
enrolled; and, if you please, agents of yours may witness every step
of the process. Any deficiency which may appear by the new enrolment
will be supplied by a special draft for that object, allowing due
credit for volunteers who may be obtained from these districts
respectively during the interval; and at all points, so far as
consistent with practical convenience, due credits shall be given for
volunteers, and your Excellency shall be notified of the time fixed
for commencing the draft in each district.

I do not object to abide a decision of the United States Supreme
Court, or of the judges thereof, on the constitutionality of the
draft law. In fact, I should be willing to facilitate the obtaining
of it. But I cannot consent to lose the time while it is being
obtained. We are contending with an enemy who, as I understand,
drives every able-bodied man he can reach into his ranks, very much
as a butcher drives bullocks into the slaughter-pen. No time is
wasted, no argument is used. This produces an army which will soon
turn upon our now victorious soldiers already in the field, if they
shall not be sustained by recruits as they should be. It produces an
army with a rapidity not to be matched on our side if we first waste
time to re-experiment with the volunteer system, already deemed by
Congress, and palpably, in fact, so far exhausted as to be
inadequate; and then more time to obtain a court decision as to
whether a law is constitutional, which requires a part of those not
now in the service to go to the aid of those who are already in it;
and still more time to determine with absolute certainty that we get
those who are to go in the precisely legal proportion to those who
are not to go. My purpose is to be in my action just and
constitutional, and yet practical, in performing the important duty
with which I am charged, of maintaining the unity and the free
principles of our common country.

Your obedient servant,

A. LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL U.S. GRANT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION WASHINGTON,
August 9, 1863.

MY DEAR GENERAL GRANT:

I see by a despatch of yours that you incline quite strongly toward
an expedition against Mobile. This would appear tempting to me also,
were it not that in view of recent events in Mexico I am greatly
impressed with the importance of re-establishing the national
authority in western Texas as soon as possible. I am not making an
order, however; that I leave, for the present at least, to the
general-in-chief.

A word upon another subject: General Thomas has gone again to the
Mississippi Valley, with the view of raising colored troops. I have
no reason to doubt that you are doing what you reasonably can upon
the same subject. I believe it is a resource which if vigorously
applied now will soon close the contest. It works doubly, weakening
the enemy and strengthening us. We were not fully ripe for it until
the river was opened. Now, I think at least one hundred thousand can
and ought to be rapidly organized along its shores, relieving all
white troops to serve elsewhere. Mr. Dana understands you as
believing that the Emancipation Proclamation has helped some in your
military operations. I am very glad if this is so.

Did you receive a short letter from me dated the 13th of July?

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL W. S. ROSECRANS.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
August 10, 1863.

MY DEAR GENERAL ROSECRANS:

Yours of the 1st was received two days ago. I think you must have
inferred more than General Halleck has intended, as to any
dissatisfaction of mine with you. I am sure you, as a reasonable
man, would not have been wounded could you have heard all my words
and seen all my thoughts in regard to you. I have not abated in my
kind feeling for and confidence in you. I have seen most of your
despatches to General Halleck--probably all of them. After Grant
invested Vicksburg I was very anxious lest Johnston should overwhelm
him from the outside, and when it appeared certain that part of
Bragg's force had gone and was going to Johnston, it did seem to me
it was exactly the proper time for you to attack Bragg with what
force he had left. In all kindness let me say it so seems to me yet.
Finding from your despatches to General Halleck that your judgment
was different, and being very anxious for Grant, I, on one occasion,
told General Halleck I thought he should direct you to decide at once
to immediately attack Bragg or to stand on the defensive and send
part of your force to Grant. He replied he had already so directed
in substance. Soon after, despatches from Grant abated my anxiety
for him, and in proportion abated my anxiety about any movement of
yours. When afterward, however, I saw a despatch of yours arguing
that the right time for you to attack Bragg was not before, but would
be after, the fall of Vicksburg, it impressed me very strangely, and
I think I so stated to the Secretary of War and General Halleck. It
seemed no other than the proposition that you could better fight
Bragg when Johnston should be at liberty to return and assist him
than you could before he could so return to his assistance.

Since Grant has been entirely relieved by the fall of Vicksburg, by
which Johnston is also relieved, it has seemed to me that your chance
for a stroke has been considerably diminished, and I have not been
pressing you directly or indirectly. True, I am very anxious for
East Tennessee to be occupied by us; but I see and appreciate the
difficulties you mention. The question occurs, Can the thing be done
at all? Does preparation advance at all? Do you not consume
supplies as fast as you get them forward? Have you more animals to-
day than you had at the battle of Stone's River? And yet have not
more been furnished you since then than your entire present stock? I
ask the same questions as to your mounted force.

Do not misunderstand: I am not casting blame upon you; I rather think
by great exertion you can get to East Tennessee; but a very important
question is, Can you stay there? I make no order in the case--that I
leave to General Halleck and yourself.

And now be assured once more that I think of you in all kindness and
confidence, and that I am not watching you with an evil eye.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TO GOVERNOR SEYMOUR.

EXECUTIVE MANSION WASHINGTON,
August 11.1863.

HIS EXCELLENCY HORATIO SEYMOUR,
Governor of New York:

Yours of the 8th, with Judge-Advocate-General Waterbury's report, was
received to-day.

Asking you to remember that I consider time as being very important,
both to the general cause of the country and to the soldiers in the
field, I beg to remind you that I waited, at your request, from the
1st until the 6th inst., to receive your communication dated the 3d.
In view of its great length, and the known time and apparent care
taken in its preparation, I did not doubt that it contained your full
case as you desired to present it. It contained the figures for
twelve districts, omitting the other nineteen, as I suppose, because
you found nothing to complain of as to them. I answered accordingly.
In doing so I laid down the principle to which I purpose adhering,
which is to proceed with the draft, at the same time employing
infallible means to avoid any great wrong. With the communication
received to-day you send figures for twenty-eight districts,
including the twelve sent before, and still omitting three, for which
I suppose the enrolments are not yet received. In looking over the
fuller list of twenty-eight districts, I find that the quotas for
sixteen of them are above 2000 and below 2700, while, of the rest,
six are above 2700 and six are below 2000. Applying the principle
to these new facts, the Fifth and Seventh districts must be added to
the four in which the quotas have already been reduced to 2200 for
the first draft; and with these four others just be added to those to
be re-enrolled. The correct case will then stand: the quotas of the
Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth districts fixed at
2200 for the first draft. The Provost-Marshal-General informs me
that the drawing is already completed in the Sixteenth, Seventeenth,
Eighteenth, Twenty-second, Twenty-fourth, Twenty-sixth, Twenty-
seventh, Twenty-eighth, Twenty-ninth, and Thirtieth districts. In
the others, except the three outstanding, the drawing will be made
upon the quotas as now fixed. After the first draft, the Second,
Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Sixteenth, Seventeenth,
Twenty-first, Twenty-fifth, Twenty-ninth, and Thirty-first will be
enrolled for the purpose and in the manner stated in my letter of the
7th inst. The same principle will be applied to the now outstanding
districts when they shall come in. No part of my former letter is
repudiated by reason of not being restated in this, or for any other
cause.

Your obedient servant,

A. LINCOLN.

TO GENERAL J. A. McCLERNAND.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
August 12, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL McCLERNAND.

MY DEAR SIR:--Our friend William G. Greene has just presented a kind
letter in regard to yourself, addressed to me by our other friends
Yates, Hatch, and Dubois.

I doubt whether your present position is more painful to you than to
myself. Grateful for the patriotic stand so early taken by you in
this life-and-death struggle of the nation, I have done whatever has
appeared practicable to advance you and the public interest together.
No charges, with a view to a trial, have been preferred against you
by any one; nor do I suppose any will be. All there is, so far as I
have heard, is General Grant's statement of his reasons for relieving
you. And even this I have not seen or sought to see; because it is a
case, as appears to me, in which I could do nothing without doing
harm. General Grant and yourself have been conspicuous in our most
important successes; and for me to interfere and thus magnify a
breach between you could not but be of evil effect. Better leave it
where the law of the case has placed it. For me to force you back
upon General Grant would be forcing him to resign. I cannot give you
a new command, because we have no forces except such as already have
commanders.

I am constantly pressed by those who scold before they think, or
without thinking at all, to give commands respectively to Fremont,
McClellan, Butler, Sigel, Curtis, Hunter, Hooker, and perhaps others,
when, all else out of the way, I have no commands to give them. This
is now your case; which, as I have said, pains me not less than it
does you. My belief is that the permanent estimate of what a general
does in the field is fixed by the "cloud of witnesses" who have been
with him in the field, and that, relying on these, he who has the
right needs not to fear.

Your friend as ever,

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GOVERNOR SEYMOUR.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, AUGUST 16, 1863.

GOVERNOR SEYMOUR, New York:

Your despatch of this morning is just received, and I fear I do not
perfectly understand it.

My view of the principle is that every soldier obtained voluntarily
leaves one less to be obtained by draft. The only difficulty is in
applying the principle properly. Looking to time, as heretofore, I
am unwilling to give up a drafted man now, even for the certainty,
much less for the mere chance, of getting a volunteer hereafter.
Again, after the draft in any district, would it not make trouble to
take any drafted man out and put a volunteer in--for how shall it be
determined which drafted man is to have the privilege of thus going
out, to the exclusion of all the others? And even before the draft
in any district the quota must be fixed; and the draft must be
postponed indefinitely if every time a volunteer is offered the
officers must stop and reconstruct the quota. At least I fear there
might be this difficulty; but, at all events, let credits for
volunteers be given up to the last moment which will not produce
confusion or delay. That the principle of giving credits for
volunteers shall be applied by districts seems fair and proper,
though I do not know how far by present statistics it is practicable.
When for any cause a fair credit is not given at one time, it should
be given as soon thereafter as practicable. My purpose is to be just
and fair, and yet to not lose time.

A. LINCOLN

To J. H. HACKETT.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON
August 17, 1863.

JAMES H. HACKETT, Esq.

MY DEAR SIR:--Months ago I should have acknowledged the receipt of
your book and accompanying kind note; and I now have to beg your
pardon for not having done so.

For one of my age I have seen very little of the drama. The first
presentation of Falstaff I ever saw was yours here, last winter or
spring. Perhaps the best compliment I can pay is to say, as I truly
can, I am very anxious to see it again. Some of Shakespeare's plays
I have never read, while others I have gone over perhaps as
frequently as any un-professional reader. Among the latter are Lear,
Richard III., Henry VIII., Hamlet, and especially Macbeth. I think
nothing equals Macbeth. It is wonderful.

Unlike you gentlemen of the profession, I think the soliloquy in
Hamlet commencing "Oh, my offense is rank," surpasses that commencing
"To be or not to be." But pardon this small attempt at criticism. I
should like to hear you pronounce the opening speech of Richard III.
Will you not soon visit Washington again? If you do, please call and
let me make your personal acquaintance.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN

TO F. F. LOWE.

WASHINGTON, D. C.,
August 17, 1863.

HON. P. F. LOWE, San Francisco, Cal.:

There seems to be considerable misunderstanding about the recent
movement to take possession of the "New Almaden" mine. It has no
reference to any other mine or mines.

In regard to mines and miners generally, no change of policy by the
Government has been decided on, or even thought of, so far as I know.

The "New Almaden" mine was peculiar in this: that its occupants
claimed to be the legal owners of it on a Mexican grant, and went
into court on that claim. The case found its way into the Supreme
Court of the United States, and last term, in and by that court, the
claim of the occupants was decided to be utterly fraudulent.
Thereupon it was considered the duty of the Government by the
Secretary of the Interior, the Attorney-General, and myself to take
possession of the premises; and the Attorney-General carefully made
out the writ and I signed it. It was not obtained surreptitiously,
although I suppose General Halleck thought it had been, when he
telegraphed, simply because he thought possession was about being
taken by a military order, while he knew no such order had passed
through his hands as general-in-chief.

The writ was suspended, upon urgent representations from California,
simply to keep the peace. It never had any direct or indirect
reference to any mine, place, or person, except the "New Almaden"
mine and the persons connected with it.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL MEADE.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, August 21, 1863.

MAJOR-GENERAL MEADE, Warrenton, Va.:

At this late moment I am appealed to in behalf of William Thompson of
Company K, Third Maryland Volunteers, in Twelfth Army Corps, said to
be at Kelly's Ford, under sentence to be shot to-day as a deserter.
He is represented to me to be very young, with symptoms of insanity.
Please postpone the execution till further order.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO GENERAL SCHOFIELD.

WASHINGTON, D. C., August 22, 1863.

GENERAL SCHOFIELD, Saint Louis, Mo.:

Please send me if you can a transcript of the record in the case of
McQuin and Bell, convicted of murder by a military commission. I
telegraphed General Strong for it, but he does not answer.

A. LINCOLN.

TELEGRAM TO MRS. GRIMSLEY.

WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D. C., August 24, 1863.

MRS. ELIZABETH J. GRIMSLEY, Springfield, Ill.:

I mail the papers to you to-day appointing Johnny to the Naval
school.

A. LINCOLN

TO CRITICS OF EMANCIPATION

To J. C. CONKLING.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON,
August 26, 1863.

HON. JAMES C. CONKLING.

MY DEAR SIR:--Your letter inviting me to attend a mass meeting of
unconditional Union men, to be held at the capital of Illinois, on
the 3d day of September, has been received. It would be very
agreeable for me thus to meet my old friends at my own home, but I
cannot just now be absent from here so long as a visit there would
require.

The meeting is to be of all those who maintain unconditional devotion
to the Union, and I am sure that my old political friends will thank
me for tendering, as I do, the nation's gratitude to those other
noble men whom no partisan malice or partisan hope can make false to
the nation's life.

There are those who are dissatisfied with me. To such I would say:
You desire peace, and you blame me that we do not have it. But how
can we obtain it? There are but three conceivable ways:

First--to suppress the rebellion by force of arms. This I am trying
to do. Are you for it? If you are, so far we are agreed. If you
are not for it, a second way is to give up the Union. I am against
this. Are you for it? If you are you should say so plainly. If you
are not for force nor yet for dissolution, there only remains some
imaginable compromise.

I do not believe that any compromise embracing the maintenance of the
Union is now possible. All that I learn leads to a directly opposite
belief. The strength of the rebellion is its military, its army.
That army dominates all the country and all the people within its
range. Any offer of terms made by any man or men within that range,
in opposition to that army, is simply nothing for the present;
because such man or men have no power whatever to enforce their side
of a compromise, if one were made with them.

To illustrate: Suppose refugees from the South and peace men of the
North get together in convention, and frame and proclaim a compromise
embracing a restoration of the Union. In what way can that
compromise be used to keep Lee's army out of Pennsylvania? Meade's
army can keep Lee's army out of Pennsylvania, and, I think, can
ultimately drive it out of existence. But no paper compromise to
which the controllers of Lee's army are not agreed can at all affect
that army. In an effort at such compromise we would waste time,
which the enemy would improve to our disadvantage; and that would be
all.

A compromise, to be effective, must be made either with those who
control the rebel army, or with the people, first liberated from the
domination of that army by the success of our own army. Now allow me
to assure you that no word or intimation from that rebel army, or
from any of the men controlling it, in relation to any peace
compromise, has ever come to my knowledge or belief. All charges and
insinuations to the contrary are deceptive and groundless. And I
promise you that if any such proposition shall hereafter come, it
shall not be rejected and kept a secret from you. I freely
acknowledge myself to be the servant of the people, according to the
bond of service, the United States Constitution, and that, as such, I
am responsible to them.

But, to be plain: You are dissatisfied with me about the negro.
Quite likely there is a difference of opinion between you and myself
upon that subject. I certainly wish that all men could be free,
while you, I suppose, do not. Yet, I have neither adopted nor
proposed any measure which is not consistent with even your view,
provided you are for the Union. I suggested compensated
emancipation; to which you replied you wished not to be taxed to buy
negroes. But I had not asked you to be taxed to buy negroes, except
in such way as to save you from greater taxation to save the Union
exclusively by other means.

You dislike the Emancipation Proclamation, and perhaps would have it
retracted. You say it is unconstitutional. I think differently. I
think the Constitution invests its commander-in-chief with the law of
war in time of war. The most that can be said, if so much, is, that
slaves are property. Is there, has there ever been, any question
that by the law of war, property, both of enemies and friends, may be
taken when needed? And is it not needed whenever it helps us and
hurts the enemy? Armies, the world over, destroy enemies' property
when they cannot use it, and even destroy their own to keep it from
the enemy. Civilized belligerents do all in their power to help
themselves or hurt the enemy, except a few things regarded as
barbarous or cruel. Among the exceptions are the massacre of
vanquished foes and non-combatants, male and female.

But the proclamation, as law, either is valid or is not valid. If it
is not valid it needs no retraction. If it is valid it cannot be
retracted, any more than the dead can be brought to life. Some of
you profess to think its retraction would operate favorably for the
Union, why better after the retraction than before the issue? There
was more than a year and a half of trial to suppress the rebellion
before the proclamation was issued, the last one hundred days of
which passed under an explicit notice that it was coming, unless
averted by those in revolt returning to their allegiance. The war
has certainly progressed as favorably for us since the issue of the
proclamation as before.

I know, as fully as one can know the opinions of others, that some of
the commanders of our armies in the field, who have given us our most
important victories, believe the emancipation policy and the use of
colored troops constitute the heaviest blows yet dealt to the
rebellion, and that at least one of those important successes could
not have been achieved when it was but for the aid of black soldiers.

Among the commanders who hold these views are some who have never had
any affinity with what is called "Abolitionism," or with "Republican
Party politics," but who hold them purely as military opinions. I
submit their opinions are entitled to some weight against the
objections often urged that emancipation and arming the blacks are
unwise as military measures, and were not adopted as such in good
faith.
You say that you will not fight to free negroes. Some of them seem
willing to fight for you; but no matter. Fight you, then,
exclusively, to save the Union. I issued the proclamation on purpose
to aid you in saving the Union. Whenever you shall have conquered
all resistance to the Union, if I shall urge you to continue
fighting, it will be an apt time then for you to declare you will not
fight to free negroes. I thought that in your struggle for the
Union, to whatever extent the negroes should cease helping the enemy,
to that extent it weakened the enemy in his resistance to you. Do
you think differently? I thought that whatever negroes can be got to
do as soldiers, leaves just so much less for white soldiers to do in
saving the Union. Does it appear otherwise to you? But negroes,
like other people, act upon motives. Why should they do anything for
us if we will do nothing for them? If they stake their lives for us
they must be prompted by the strongest motive, even the promise of
freedom. And the promise, being made, must be kept.

The signs look better. The Father of Waters again goes unvexed to
the sea. Thanks to the great Northwest for it; nor yet wholly to
them. Three hundred miles up they met New England, Empire, Keystone,
and Jersey, hewing their way right and left. The sunny South, too,
in more colors than one, also lent a helping hand. On the spot,
their part of the history was jotted down in black and white. The
job was a great national one, and let none be slighted who bore an
honorable part in it And while those who have cleared the great
river may well be proud, even that is not all. It is hard to say
that anything has been more bravely and well done than at Antietam,
Murfreesboro, Gettysburg, and on many fields of less note. Nor must
Uncle Sam's web-feet be forgotten. At all the watery margins they
have been present; not only on the deep sea, the broad bay, and the
rapid river, but also up the narrow, muddy bayou, and wherever the
ground was a little damp, they have been and made their tracks.
Thanks to all. For the great Republic--for the principle it lives by
and keeps alive--for man's vast future--thanks to all.

Peace does not appear so distant as it did. I hope it will come
soon, and come to stay, and so come as to be worth the keeping in all
future time. It will then have been proved that among freemen there
can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet, and that
they who take such appeal are sure to lose their case and pay the
cost. And there will be some black men who can remember that with
silent tongue, and clinched teeth, and steady eye, and well-poised
bayonet, they have helped mankind on to this great consummation;
while I fear there will be some white ones unable to forget that with
malignant heart and deceitful speech they have striven to hinder it.

Still, let us not be over-sanguine of a speedy, final triumph. Let
us be quite sober. Let us diligently apply the means, never doubting
that a just God, in His own good time, will give us the rightful
result.

Yours very truly,

A. LINCOLN.

TO JAMES CONKLING.
(Private.)
WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON CITY, D. C.,
August 27.1863.

HON. JAMES CONKLING.

MY DEAR CONKLING:--I cannot leave here now. Herewith is a letter
instead. You are one of the best public readers. I have but one
suggestion--read it very slowly. And now God bless you, and all good
Union men.

Yours as ever,

A. LINCOLN.

TO SECRETARY STANTON.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D. C.,
August 26, 1863.

HON. SECRETARY OF WAR
SIR:-In my correspondence with Governor Seymour in relation to the
draft, I have said to him, substantially, that credits shall be given
for volunteers up to the latest moment, before drawing in any
district, that can be done without producing confusion or delay. In
order to do this, let our mustering officers in New York and
elsewhere be at, once instructed that whenever they muster into our
service any number of volunteers, to at once make return to the War
Department, both by telegraph and mail, the date of the muster, the
number mustered, and the Congressional or enrolment district or
districts, of their residences, giving the numbers separately for
each district. Keep these returns diligently posted, and by them
give full credit on the quotas, if possible, on the last day before
the draft begins in any district.

Again, I have informed Governor Seymour that he shall be notified of
the time when the draft is to commence in each district in his State.
This is equally proper for all the States. In order to carry it out,
I propose that so soon as the day for commencing the draft in any
district is definitely determined, the governor of the State,
including the district, be notified thereof, both by telegraph and
mail, in form about as follows:

___________________________________

___________________________1863.

Governor of ___________________________________
_____________________________________

You are notified that the draft will commence in the____________
_______________________district, at _________ on the ___________
day _____________ 1863, at ________ A.M. of said day.

Please acknowledge receipt of this by telegraph and mail.
____________________________
____________________________

This notice may be given by the Provost-Marshal-General here, the
sub-provost-marshal-generals in the States, or perhaps by the
district provost-marshals.

Whenever we shall have so far proceeded in New York as to make the
re-enrolment specially promised there practicable, I wish that also
to go forward, and I wish Governor Seymour notified of it; so that if
he choose, he can place agents of his with ours to see the work
fairly done.

Yours truly,

A. LINCOLN.

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