Lincoln Recognizes German-American Contribution to War Effort

January 15, 1862

“I am so much better this morning that I am going before the Joint Committee. If I escape alive I will report when I get through,” wrote General George B. McClellan about his long-delayed appearance before the congressional committee. “I think Halleck is a little premature but that Buell will check his feint until the proper time arrives.”

Lincoln aide John G. Nicolay wrote: “We had another public reception here at the Executive Mansion last night, at which there was a very considerable crowd notwithstanding it was a cold and disagreeable night, I think that during the last ten days more visitors have come to the city than during any four weeks before…I suppose they [White House receptions] are both novel and pleasant to the hundreds of mere passers-by who linger a day or two to ‘do’ Washington; but for us who have to suffer the infliction once a week they get to be intolerable bores.”

President Lincoln understood that politics, even ethnic politics, could not be divorced from military concerns. He wrote General Henry W. Halleck, commanding in Missouri: “The Germans are true and patriotic, and so far as they have got cross in Missouri it is upon mistake and misunderstanding. Without a knowledge of its contents Governor Koerner, of Illinois, will hand you this letter. He is an educated and talent German gentleman, as true a man as lives. With his assistance you can set everything right with the Germans. I write this without his knowledge, asking him at the same time, by letter, to deliver it. My clear judgment is that, with reference to the German element in your command, you should have Governor Koerner with you; and if agreeable to you and him. I will make him a brigadier-general, so that he can afford to so give his time. He does not wish to command in the field, though he has more military knowledge than many who do. If he goes into the place he will simply be an efficient, zealous, and unselfish assistant to you. I say all this upon intimate personal acquaintance with Governor Koerner.”

Published in: on January 15, 2012 at 12:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

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