President Beset by Military and Civilian Demands

January 15, 1862

President Lincoln makes one of his periodic trips to the Washington Navy Yard to test weapons – this time “Captain Diller’s gunpowder.”  Secretary of the Interior John Palmer Usher seeks the removal of convicted prisoner from the Washington jail and asks President Lincoln to sign an order to that effect.   Indiana Governor Oliver Morton writes the President to protest the appointment of a major general in the army.   Another general writes via Secretary of State William H. Seward to volunteer to lead an all-black Union army of “contrabands.

General  Samuel Curtis responds to President Lincoln regarding problems in Missouri: “In my interview with Governor Gamble, and in reference to persons charging him with selfish and ambitious motives, and doubts as to his fidelity, the Governor expressed his regrets, and evinced generous sentiments of loyalty. . . . I think with you that Governor Gamble is loyal, and I do not see any occasion for us to differ, except it may be as to some measures. . . . He goes for you and our country and some of your measures. I go for all. . . . There may be frauds, such as you name, but I doubt it. No assessment committee could commit such a fraud as you name with impunity. . . . On matters concerning the degree and direction of force against rebels, I am appealed to as the supposed head of military power in this vicinity. On complaints of too much severity, the Governor and Your Excellency are appealed to, and we do not, therefore, . . . always see both sides. As to banishments, the Governor goes further than I. . . . As to the cases named by Mr. Rollins, I will examine, and write to him. They must stand on their own merits, not on his; but I shall have due deference to his opinion as to the safety of the release. As I intimated in a former letter, I only fear some conflict with the Governor in regard to Enrolled Militia and regular volunteers. I command the volunteers, but the Enrolled Militia, it is claimed, can only be commanded by the Governor. . . .”

Published in: on January 15, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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