General George Meade Visits Cabinet Meeting

August 14, 1863

Navy Secretary Gideon Welles writes in his diary: “General Meade called at the Executive Mansion whilst the Cabinet was in session.  Most of the members, like myself had never met since they graduated until to-day.  He has a sharp visage and a narrow head.  Would do better as second in command than as General-in-Chief.  It is doubtless a good officer, but not a great and capable commander.  He gave some details of the battle of Gettysburg clearly and fluently.  Shows intelligence and activity, and on the whole I was as well or better pleased with him than I expected I should be, for I have had unfavorable impressions, prejudiced, perhaps, since the escape of Lee.  This interview confirms previous impressions of the calibre and capacity of the man.”

President Lincoln writes Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton: “The subscribers of this letter are most worthy & reliable gentlemen. They ask three things [regarding Rock Island, Illinois].

1st. That the City of Rock-Island, which is on the main land, Illinois side, may have consent of the U.S. to build a bridge across the Slough to Rock-Island, which Island belongs to the U.S.

2nd. That Capt. Ben. Harper be appointed Post-Quarter-Master; and William Baily Military Storekeeper.

3rd. That the Island be not thrown into a Military Department lying West of the River.

I submit the whole to the Secretary of War.

Presidential aide John Hay writes a friend: “The trash you read every day about wrangles in the Cabinet about measures of state policy looks very silly from an inside view, where Abraham Rex is the central figure continually.  I wish you could see as I do, that he is devilish near an autocrat in this Administration.”

President Lincoln writes his wife’s cousin, Elizabeth Grimsley back in Springfield: “My dear Cousin Lizzie I have, by the law, two classes of appointments to make to the Naval-School—ten of each, to the year. The first class, according to the law, must be of families of the meritorious Naval-Officers; while the other class does not have such restriction. You see at once that if I have a vacancy in the first class, I can not appoint Johnny to it; and I have intended for months, and still intend, to appoint him to the very first vacancy I can get in the other class.”

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Published in: on August 14, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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