President Lincoln Declines to Replace General Burnside

May 29, 1863

President Lincoln writes eight Springfield Republican officials: “Gentlemen Agree among yourselves upon any two of your own number, one of whom to be Quarter-Master, and the other to be Commissary, to serve at Springfield, Illinois, and send me their names, and I will appoint them.” They had complained about the performance of Lincoln’s brother-in-law, Ninian Edwards, as commissary.   George R. Weber was later appointed to replace Edwards.

Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton accompanied President Lincoln to the Washington Navy Yard to observe weapons testing.

President Lincoln writes General Ambrose E. Burnside, commanding in Ohio: “Your despatch of to-day received. When I shall wish to supersede you I will let you know. All the cabinet regretted the necessity of arresting, for instance, Vallandigham, some perhaps, doubting, that there was a real necessity for it—but, being done, all were for seeing you through with it.”   He is responding to the sensitive complaint from Burnside: ““A messenger from Govr. [Oliver] Morton came to me this morning in reference to the arrest, by the military authorities of a citizen of Indiana. I understood from him that my action . . . was not approved by a single member of your Cabinet.”  Burnside took this vote as a lack of confidence in him: “I should be glad to be relieved if the interest of the public service requires it, but at the same time I am willing to remain & assume the responsibility of carrying out the policy which has been inaugurated if it is approved.”

Published in: on May 29, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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