Washington Calm before the Storm of Battle in Northern Virginia

May 1, 1863

An approaching confrontation between Union and Confederate forces in North Virginia preoccupies President Lincoln, who writes to Pennsylvania Governor Andrew G. Curtin who is worried about a possible invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania: “The whole disposable force at Baltimore & elsewhere in reach have already been sent after the enemy which alarms you. The worst thing the enemy could do for himself would be to weaken himself before Hooker, & therefore it is safe to believe he is not doing it; and the best thing he could do for himself, would be to get us so scared as to bring part of Hooker’s force away, and that is just what he is trying to do. I will telegraph you in the morning about calling out the militia.”

During this period Mr. Lincoln is quoted by the Washington Chronicle as responding to individuals who wanted to be granted Union passes to Richmond: “Well, I would be very happy to oblige you, if my passes were respected; but the fact is, sir, I have, within the past two years given passes to 250,000 men to go to Richmond, and not one has got there yet.”

Former Democratic Congressman Clement Vallandigham gives speech at Democratic rally in Mt. Vernon, Ohio .  Four days later, he will be arrested on order of General Ambrose Burnside.

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Published in: on May 1, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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