President Lincoln Confers About Military Options for Army of the Potomac

July 16, 1863

Historian Edward Miller wrote in Lincoln’s Abolitionist General: “General David “Hunter was present in Lincoln’s office on 16 July (ten days after Lee, relatively unmolested, crossed the Potomac River into Virginia), when the president and a number of generals discussed the military situation.   While it is not clear what Hunter’s contribution to the discussion of options might have been, it is know that Brig. Gen. James S. Wadsworth, who had commanded a division at Gettysburg, commented to Hunter: “General, there are a good many officers of the regular army who have not yet lost the West Point idea of Southern superiority.  That sometimes accounts for an otherwise unaccountable slowness of attack.’   There can be little doubt that Hunter agreed with this observation.”

President Lincoln meets with Kansas Governor Thomas Carney.  Five days later, he will write Carney: “The day after you were with me I wrote a note to the Sec. of War, asking him to place you on the same ground, with all other governors of loyal States as to the appointment of military officers. In reply to this he verbally told me, when I next met him, that he had never placed you on any other ground—that the forces in regard to which you and Gen. Blunt have a controversy, were raised on special authority from the War Department, given before you were governor, and that the officers were commissioned by him (the Sec. of War) according to the original authority; and that he never had required you to commission officers nominated by Gen. [James G.] Blunt. The like of this has been done in some other States, as I remember. As to leaving no part of Kansas in Blunt’s Department, the thing should not be hastily done. He, with his command, is now in the field South of Kansas; and while I do not know how much what you now desire, might interfere with his supplies, it is very certain that he can not now be interfering with you.”

It is my purpose to take care that he shall not any more, take persons charged with civil crimes, out of the custody of the courts and turn them over to mobs to be hanged.

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Published in: on July 16, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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