Union Troops to Relieve East Tennessee

September 28, 1863

Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase writes in his diary regarding transfer of troops to General Rosecrans: “Thus in five days the men who, as the President was ready to bet, could not be got to Washington, would be already past that point on their way to Rosecrans, while their advance had reached the Ohio River.”

Navy Secretary Gideon Welles writes in his diary: “The President read to Seward and myself a detailed confidential dispatch from Chattanooga very derogatory to [Generals] Crittenden and McCook, who wilted when every energy and resource should have been put forth, disappointed from the battle-field, returned to Chattanooga, and – went to sleep.  The officers who did their duty are dissatisfied.  We had their statements last week, which this confidential dispatch confirms.  It makes some, but not a very satisfactory, excuse for Rosecrans, in whom the President has clearly lost confidence.  He said he was urged to change all the officers, but thought he should limit his acts to Crittenden and McCook; said it would not do to send one of our generals from the East.  I expressed a doubt if he had any one suitable for that command or the equal of Thomas, if a change was to be made.  There was no one in the army who, from what I had seen and know of him, was os fitted for that command as General Thomas.  Rosecrans had stood well with the country until this time, but Thomas was a capable general, had undoubted merit, and was a favorite with the men.  Seward thought the whole three – Rosecrans, Crittenden, and McCook – should be removed.”

President Lincoln writes General Ambrose E. Burnside to try to bridge disagreements between Union commanders: “You can perhaps communicate with Gen. Rosecrans more rapidly by sending telegrams to him at Chattanooga.  Think of it.  I send a like despatch to him.”  In another telegram wrote: “We are sending you two small corps, one under General Howard, and one under General Slocum, and the whole under General Hooker. Unfortunately the relations between Generals Hooker and Slocum are not such as to promise good, if their present relative positions remain.  Therefore let me beg, — almost enjoin upon you — that on their reaching you, you will make a transposition by which Gen. Slocum with his corps, may pass from under the command of Gen. Hooker, and Gen. Hooker, in turn, receive some other equal force. It is important for this to be done, though we could not well arrange it here.”

Presidential aide John Hay writes in his diary: “The Missouri Radicals are here, staying at Willard’s.  They are making up their case with a great deal of care and have not yet waited upon the President Hawkins Taylor is very anxious for the President to meet them on a friendly basis.  He says he had been in Missouri the past season & knows the state of affairs: that these people are really the President’s friends: that the Conservatives are only waiting a favorable opportunity to pronounce against him: that these radicals will certainly carry the state in the next election: and that to use their own expression ‘It is for the President to decide whether he will ride in their wagon or not.’  I had previously been a good deal impressed with the fact that the Blairs were not the safest guides about Missouri matters, and that the surest reliance could be placed on men who were passionately devoted to the principle which the Republican party represents and upholds.  The ‘Mo Repn’ devoted to the interest of the Conservatives in Missouri and of the Copperheads in Illinois, seems to me a significant indication of the ultimate tendencies of those people.  In that sense I have spoken to the President several times & have urged others to speak to him.  He gets the greater part of his information from the Blairs & the Bates people who do not seem to me entirely impartial.  Noble fellows they are though I have no sympathy with the radical abuse of them.  They stood by Freedom in a dark hour and cannot be excommunicated now by any eleventh hour converts.

President Lincoln writes military manufacturer Horatio Ames: “If you will, on or before the first day of March 1864, within the state of Connecticut, or at any point nearer this city, produce fifteen guns, each of capacity to carry a missile of at least one hundred pounds weight, and notify me thereof, I will cause some person or persons to examine and test said guns; and if, upon such examination and test, it shall be the opinion of such person or persons, that said guns, or any of them, are, on the whole better guns, than any of like calibre heretofore, or now, in use in the United States, I will on account of the United States, accept said guns, or so many thereof as shall be so favorably reported on, and advise that you be paid for all so accepted, at the rate of Eighty five cents per pound, avoirdupois weight, of said guns so accepted; it being understood that I have no public money at my control, with which I could make such payment absolutely.

Published in: on September 28, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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