President Sick but Maintains Correspondence

July 22, 1863

President Lincoln is sick for much of the day.  On July 23, he writes General Robert Schenck, commander of Union forces in Maryland: “Returning to the Executive Room yesterday, I was mortified to find you were gone, leaving no word of explanation. I went down stairs, as I understood, on a perfect understanding with you that you would remain till my return. I got this impression distinctly from “Edward”  whom I believe you know. Possibly I misunderstood him. I had been very unwell in the morning, and had scarcely tasted food during the day, till the time you saw me go down. I beg you will not believe I have treated you with intentional discourtesy.”

California journalist Noah Brooks writes: “The President says that the changes and promotions in the Army of the Potomac cost him more anxiety than the campaigns.  He also says — and he ought to know — that the ratio of men to Generals in that army, is now just 800 men to each General.  this is partly owing to the fact that many of the regiments are such only in name — their ranks having been decimated, and the remnants are being consolidated ore recruited.”

President Lincoln writes General Oliver O. Howard: “Your letter of the 18th. is received.  I was deeply mortified by the escape of Lee across the Potomac, because the substantial destruction was perfectly easy – believed that Gen. Meade and his noble army had expended all the skill, and toil, and blood, up to the ripe harvest, and then let the crop go to waste.  Perhaps my mortification was heightened because I had always believed–making my belief a hobby possibly–that the main rebel army going North to the Potomac, could never return, if well attended to; and because I was so greatly flattered in this belief, by the operations at Gettysburg.  A few days having passed, I am now profoundly grateful for what was done, without criticism for what was not done.  Gen. Meade has my confidence as a brave and skillful officer, and a true man.

President Lincoln writes Agriculture Commissioner Isaac Newton: “I know not what the law is as to compensation of the Chief Chemest for the Agricultural Department; but I certainly think $2500, per year, is, on general principles, a moderate compensation for the services of one having Dr. Wetherill’s high scientific reputation.”

Published in: on July 22, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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