President Lincoln Rejects Cabinet Upheaval

September 10, 1862

A small delegation from New York City’s National War Committee visit White House to urge firing of Secretary of State William H. Seward and Postmaster General Montgomery Blair.  Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase writes in his diary: “At dinner, Mr Hamilton told me of the interview between the New-York Committee and the President.  The Committee urged a change of policy.  The President became vexed, and said, in substance, ‘It is plain enough what you want–you want to get Seward out of the Cabinet.  There is not one of you who would not see the country ruined, if you could turn out Seward.’”

The President writes General George B. McClellan, operating near Rockville, Maryland: “How does it look now?” – just as he had two days earlier.   General McClellan writes President Lincoln: “In reply to your dispatch of this morning I have the honor to state that Genl Pleasonton at Barnesville reports that a movement of the enemy last night is said to have been made across the Potomac from this side to the other side.  We shall know the truth of this rumor soon.  Pleasonton is watching all the fords as high as Conrad’s Ferry & has pickets out to the mouth of the Monocacy.  He has sent out this morning to occupy Sugar Loaf Mt. from which a large extent of country can be seen in all directions. Genl Burnside had his scouts out last night at Ridgeville & within (3) three miles of Newmarket.  No enemy seen with the exception of a few pickets.  They were told that Stuart’s cavalry (5000) five thousand in number occupied Newmarket, & that the main Rebel forces under Jackson were still at Frederick.  Burnside has sent a strong reconnaissance today to the mountain pass at Ridgeville.  I propose if the information I have rec’d proves reliable regarding the natural strength of this position, to occupy it with a sufficient force to resist an advance of the enemy in that direction.  I have scouts and spies pushed forward in every direction and shall soon be in possession of reliable & definite information.  The statements I get regarding the enemy’s forces that have crossed to this side range from eight (80) to one hundred & fifty (150) thousand.  I am perfectly certain that none of the enemy’s troops have crossed the Potomac within the last twenty four hours below the mouth of the Monocacy. I was informed last night by Genl Pleasonton that his information rendered it probable that Jackson’s force had advanced to Newmarket with Stuart’s cavalry at Urbanna.  In view of this I ordered the Army forward this morning to the line along the high ridge from Ridgeville, thro’ Damascus, Clarksburg &c.  But the information subsequently obtained from Genl Burnside’s scouts that the mass of the enemy was still at Frederick induced to suspend the movement of the right wing until I could verify the truth of the reports by means of Burnside’s reconnaissances in force today.  My extreme left advances to Poolesville this morning.  The work of re-organization & refitting is progressing very satisfactorily under the new heads of Staff Departments.  Despatch this instant rec’d from Genl Pleasonton dated Barnesville 1.30 says ‘my scouts occupy the ferry at the mouth of the Monocacy.  They found no enemy except a few pickets on the other side of the Monocacy.  The found no enemy except a  few pickets on the other side of the Monocacy.  At Licksville about (3) three miles from that stream it was reported there was a force of six thousand (6000) men.”

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Published in: on September 10, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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