Cabinet Meetings Discusses Mississippi River Trade

September 4, 1863

Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase writes in his diary: “At the meeting of the Cabinet (so-called) to-day, Mr. Bates stated that the restrictions on trade created a great deal of inconvenience; that he thought the River should now be free to trade as in times of peace except at points occupied by our troops, and that care should be taken that supplies did not reach rebels.  He admitted that some few thousands of dollars worth of goods would get to them under the system he proposed, but he thought this evil would be trivial compared with the evils of restriction.  I stated briefly the law and the executive action on the subject and that the change proposed by Mr. Bates was disapproved by Generals Banks and Grant.  I added that I had been revising the Regulations, and hoped soon to have them complete; that they had been modified in favor of trade as far as the improved condition of affairs will allow, but wd. not, I feared, meet the sanction of the Generals, whose views had wishes were entitled to the greatest consideration.  Mr. Stanton stated that a letter had been recently received from General Grant in which he proposed to prohibit all trade except in certain articles through Post-Sutlers; that he did not agree with General Grant in this view, believing that the sutlers should be confined to furnishing supplies to the Army, and that all trade with citizens should be under the Regulations of the Treasury Department.  After some observations from the Treasury Department.  After some observations from the President and others the subject was dropped.

The President then called the attention of Mr. Stanton to the order prohibiting the export of arms, and after some conversation, it was agreed that all arms imported into the country should be allowed to be exported to the place from which they were shipped….

President Lincoln issues an Order Concerning Export of War Materiel: “Ordered, That the Executive Order, dated November 21st., 1862, prohibiting the exportation from the United States of arms, ammunition or munitions of war, under which the commandants of Departments were, by Order of the Secretary of War, dated May 13, 1863, directed to prohibit the purchase and sale for exportation from the United States of all horses and mules within their respective commands, and to take and appropriate to the use of the United States any horses, mules and live stock designed for exportation, be so far modified that any arms heretofore imported into the United States may be re-exported to the place of original shipment, and that any live stock raised in any State or Territory bounded by the Pacific Ocean may be exported from any port of such State or Territory.”

President Lincoln writes his wife in Vermont: “The Secretary of War tells me he has telegraphed Gen. Doubleday to await further orders. We are all well, and have nothing new.”

Published in: on September 4, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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