Military and Civilian Affairs Continue to Trouble President Lincoln

October 1, 1863

President Lincoln tries to calm civilian and military quarrels in Missouri.  The day after he met with Missouri Radicals, President Lincoln writes General John M. Schofield, Union military commander in Missouri: “There is no organized military force in avowed opposition to the general government, now in Missouri; and if any such shall reappear, your duty in regard to it will be too plain to require any special instruction.  Still the condition of things, both there and elsewhere, is such as to render it indispensable to maintain for a time, the United States Military establishment in that State, as well as to rely upon it for a fair contribution of support to that establishment generally.:

Your immediate duty, in regard to Missouri, now is to advance the efficiency of that establishment, and to so use it, as far as practicable, to compel the excited people there to leave one another alone.

Under your recent order, which I have approved, you will only arrest individuals, and suppress assemblies, or newspapers, when they may be working palpable injury to the Military in your charge; and, in no other case will you interfere with the expression of opinion in any form, or allow it to be interfere with the expression of opinion in any form, or allow it to be interfered with violently by others.  In this, you have a discretion to exercise with great caution, calmness, and forebearance.

With the matters of removing the inhabitants of certain counties en masse; and of removing certain individuals from time to time, who are supposed to be mischievous, I am not now interfering, but I am leaving to your own discretion

Nor am I interfering with what may still seem to you to be necessary restrictions upon trade and intercourse.

I think proper, however, to enjoin upon you the following:

Allow no part of the Military under your command, to be engaged in either returning fugitive slaves, or in forcing, or enticing slaves from their homes; and, so far as practicable, enforce the same forbearance upon the people.

Report to me your opinion upon the availability for good, of the enrolled militia of the State.

Allow no one to enlist colored troops, except upon orders from you, or from here through you.

Allow no one to assume the functions of confiscating property, under the law of congress, or other wise, except upon orders from here.

At elections, see that those, and only those are allowed to vote, who are entitled to do so, by the laws of Missouri, including as of those laws, the restriction laid by the Missouri convention upon those who may have participated in the rebellion.

So far as practicable you will, by means of your military force, expel guerrillas, marauders, and murderers, and all who are known to harbor, aid, or abet them.  But, in like manner, you will repress assumptions of unauthorized individuals to perform the same service; because under pretence of doing this, they become marauders and murderers themselves.  To now restore peace, let the military obey orders; and those not of the military, leave each other alone; thus not breaking the peace themselves.

In giving the above directions, it is not intended to restrain you in other expedient and necessary matters not falling within their range

Schofield telegraphed President Lincoln regarding his desire to relieve General James G Blunt of command of the Army of the Frontier: “I will send the papers in Gen Blunts case and defer action until I know your pleasure regarding it.  I desire if possible to diminish and not to increase your difficulty this was why one reason why I informed Gen Halleck what I thought it necessary to do.”

Missouri Governor Hamilton Gamble also writes President Lincoln – in his usual peremptory manner: “The present condition of affairs in Missouri renders it necessary that there should be a perfect understanding between the Federal and State authorities

Since I have undertaken the administration of the State Government there has been an unhesitating compliance with every call of the Federal authorities, and I have exhausted the resources of the State in maintaining the supremacy of the Federal Government

There has been no attempt to evade or violate any law of the United States. Notwithstanding such has been the course of the State Government a party has sprung up in Missouri, which openly and loudly proclaims the purpose to overturn the Provisional State Government by violence: and this party has secret organizations in many portions of the state, and embraces a large number of men who at the time the Provisional Government was established were either known as secessionists or were too timid to take any position for the defence of the Union

While it is the duty of the Federal Government under the Constitution of the United States to protect each state from domestic violence, it is clearly the duty of the administration of the Federal Government to discountenance every combination of men who conspire to overthrow the State Government by violence

If these Anarchists are allowed to initiate their measures of violence in this State, their revolutionary spirit will probably extend to other states and produce a conflagration which it will be impossible for the Federal Government to extinguish

I therefore demand of you Mr President that you shall order the General commanding this department to maintain by all the force under his control the integrity of the State Government, and to suppress in its incipiency every combination designed to subvert its authority and to take such measures as may be necessary to this end.

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Published in: on October 1, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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