President Lincoln Intervenes in Irish Brigade

February 12, 1863

President Lincoln writes General-in-Chief Henry W.  Halleck: “Gen. [Thomas W.] Meagher, now with me, says the Irish Brigade has had no promotion; and that Col. Robert Nugent &; Col. Patrick Kelly, both of that Brigade have fairly earned promotion. They both hold commissions as Captains in the regular army. Please examine their records with reference to the question of promoting one or both of them.”   Meagher had been an Irish nationalist before his arrest and deportation to Australia.   He was instrumental in the formation and recruitment for the “Irish Brigade” of Irish-Americans.

President Lincoln writes General William Rosecrans who had written the previous day: “The enemy will direct all its operations to intercept our connection. To prevent this it is absolutely necessary to patrol the rivers. Information in possession of the commanding General and post Commanders must be promptly acted upon. It is, therefore, absolutely necessary to have the gunboats which co-operate in that work directed to report to, and receive instructions from, the general commanding, or, in his absence, the commanders along the river districts. The officers commanding gunboats express a willingness to co-operate with the department, but in order to make their aid effective and prompt, such arrangements should be made.” President Lincoln writes Rosecrans: “Your despatch about ‘River Patrolling’  received. I have called the Sec. of Navy, Sec. of War, and General-in-Chief, together and submitted it to them, who promise to do their very best in the case. I can not take it into my own hands without producing inextracable confusion.”

Assistant Secretary of the Navy Gustavus V. Fox writes Admiral Samuel F. DuPont about plans to capture Charleston, South Carolina: “The President sent for me to-day and read Foster’s despatch of the 2d stating that the Navy would be ready for the attack in about two weeks.  We are very anxious but shall not press you.  The President remarked to me several times ‘I should be very anxious about this job if you did not feel so sure of your people being successful.”

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Published in: on February 12, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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