President Lincoln Handles Kansas Complaints

July 17, 1863

President Lincoln writes Kansas Senator James H. Lane after meeting with Kansas Governor Thomas Carney the previous day: “Gov. Carney has not asked to [have]  Gen. [James G.] Blunt removed, or interfered with in his Military operations. He has asked that he, the Governor, be allowed to commission officers for troops raised in Kansas, as other governors of loyal states do; and I think he is right in this. He has asked that Gen. Blunt shall not take persons charged with civil crimes, out of the hands of the courts, and turn them over to mobs to be hung; and I think he is right in this also. He has asked that Gen. [Thomas] Ewing’s Department be extended to include all Kansas; and I have not determined whether this is right or not.”  President Lincoln writes Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton: “It is proper, on principle, that the Governor of Kansas, should stand on the same ground as other loyal governors, in giving original commissions, and in filling vacancies, for troops raised in his state; and I wish him to be so placed at once, unless you known some substantial reason to the contrary.”

The president writes Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton: “It is proper, on principle, that the Governor of Kansas, should stand on the same ground as other loyal governors, in giving original commissions, and in filling vacancies, for troops raised in his state; and I wish him to be so placed at once, unless you know some substantial reason to the contrary.”

Navy Secretary Gideon Welles writes in his diary: “At the Cabinet council Seward expressed great apprehension of a break-up of the British Ministry.  I see in the papers an intimation that should Roebucks’s motion for a recognition of the Confederacy prevail, Earl Russell would resign….

Some remarks on the great error of General [George] Meade in permitting Lee and the Rebel army with all their plunder to escape led the President to say he would not yet give up that officer.  ‘He has committed,’ said the President, ‘a terrible mistake, but we will try him farther.’  No one expressed his approval, but Seward said, ‘Excepting the escape of Lee, Meade has shown ability.’  It was evident that the retention of Meade had been decided.

In a conversation with General [James] Wadsworth, who called on me, I learned that at the council of the general officers, Meade was disposed to make an attack, and was supported by Wadsworth, Howard, and Pleasonton, but Sedgwick, Sykes, and the older regular officers dissented.  Meade, rightly disposed but timid and irresolute, hesitated and delayed until too late.  Want of decision and self-reliance in an emergency has cost him and the country dear, for had he fallen upon Lee it could hardly have been otherwise than the capture of most of the Rebel army.

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Published in: on July 17, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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