President Lincoln Concerned With Military Matters

May 1, 1862

While Union forces land in New Orleans, President Lincoln responds to the Senate regarding the status of General Charles Stones, arrested in the wake of the Union defeat at Balls Bluff the previous October: “In answer to the Resolution of the Senate 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 incompatable 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at the time of his arrest and since, the officers to constitute a court-martial, and for witnesses, could not be withdrawn from duty without serious injury to the service.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 defence will be afforded him by the War Department.

General George B. McClellan writes President Lincoln regarding a big siege gun for the Peninsula campaign in Virginia: “I asked for the Parrott from Washington for the reason that some expected had been two weeks nearly on the way & could not be heard from.  They arrive last night.  My arrangements had been made for them & I thought time might be saved by getting others from Washington.  My object was to hasten not procrastinate.  All is being done that human labor can accomplish.”

President Lincoln writes Union General Henry W. Halleck in Tennessee: “I am pressed by the Missouri members of Congress to give General [John] 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.”  Schofield would play a prominent role in Missouri over the next two years.

Published in: on May 1, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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