President Lincoln Meets with General Joseph Hooker

June 23, 1863

Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles writes in his diary: “Neither Seward nor Stanton was at the Cabinet-meeting.  Mr. Bates has left for Missouri.  The President was with General Hooker at the War Department when we met, but soon came in.  His countenance was sad and careworn, and impressed me painfully.  Nothing of special interest was submitted.  The accustomed rumor in regard to impending military operations continues.”

“On June 23, the day Robert E. Lee dispatched his fateful orders to Stuart, Joe Hooker made a trip to Washington, less than twenty miles east of his Fairfax headquarters,” wrote historian Richard Wheeler.  “At the War Department the general met with Lincoln, Stanton, and Halleck.  Lincoln was in one of his sadder mods, and Hooker himself was a troubled man, still scratching for definite information on Lee’s intentions, still harboring the false belief that his own army was outnumbered, and still hoping to be allowed to move upon Richmond.” Wheeler added: “Hooker lingered in the city long enough to get drunk; and he was drunk, it was said, while attending to the army’s business at Fairfax next day.  He wired the War Department that he was reacting to the situation as best he could…”

In a note to Adjutant General Joseph Holt, President Lincoln writes of the projected execution of Vermont soldier James G. Lyon for cowardice: “Sentence commuted to imprisonment at hard labor during the war.”

President Lincoln writes Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton regarding Philadelphia Congressman William D. Kelley, a strong administration supporter: “You remember that Hon. W.D. Kelley and others are engaged in raising or trying to raise some colored regiments in Philadelphia. The bearer of this, Wilton M. Herpert [Milton L. Hupert?], is a friend of Judge Kelley as appears by the letter of the latter. He is a private in the 112th Penn. and has been disappointed in a reasonable expectation of one of the smaller offices. He now wants to be a Lieutenant in one of the colored regiments. If Judge Kelley will say in writing he wishes to so have him, I am willing for him to be discharged from his present position and be so appointed. If you approve, so endorse and let him carry this letter to Kelley.”

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Published in: on June 23, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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