Signs of 1864 Presidential Campaign Emerge

October 2, 1863

The 1864 presidential campaign is beginning.  Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase writes in his diary of receiving a “letter from [Horace] Greeley,– proposed plan for collecting public sentiment in my favor as candidate for Prest. – told him that people must do as they pleased in this matter – I would not interfere.”

The freedom of the press to publish war news without censorship is also at issue.  Journalist Noah Brooks wrote: “Thus far all was well, when everybody was astounded on the night of the 2th by information from New York that the Evening Post had published full particulars of the reinforcement of [General William] Rosecrans by the Eleventh and Twelfth Army Corps, under Hooker….The newspaper men were in despair, Stanton raged like a lion, and the President, II am free to say, was very mad…The truth of the matter was that an occasional correspondent of the Post, who dabbles in stocks, was in Washington at the time, and, to buoy up the market, which was drooping, smuggled the news to New York by mail, and the senior poetical editor, who has usually nothing to do with the make-up of the paper, got hold of it and put it in, greatly to the dismay of the managing editor.”  Brooks wrote: “Lincoln believes in letting the newspapers publish all that will not benefit the enemy; he disapproves of many of the arbitrary edicts of the press of Secretary Stanton, and he is more free to converse upon matters pertaining to his Department than any of his Cabinet, though the rack of torture could not extort from him what he chooses to conceal; but he abhors the through of an ‘organ.’”

Missouri commander John Schofield telegraphs President Lincoln regarding continuing troubles in Missouri and Kansas: “I find upon full inquiry that the report from Leavenworth to the effect that Union families have been driven out of Missouri is a gross misrepresentation & exageration[.]  A few men who claim to be loyal but who have been engaged in murder, robbery & arson have been driven out[.]  Their leader is Jos. Barnes whom you pardoned at the request of Gov Gamble & who is now trying to overthrow the state Govt. This Barnes & others of like character manufactured the excitement in Leavenworth & the false report sent to you. It is a base attempt of my enemies to influence your action.”  President Lincoln writes Schofield: “I have just seen your despatch to Gen. [Henry W.]  Halleck about Gen. [James] Blunt. If possible, you better allow me to get through with a certain matter here, before adding to the difficulty of it. Meantime telegraph me the particulars of Gen. Blunt’s case.”

President Lincoln receives word from Assistant Secretary of War Thomas Scott about the transfer by rail of troops to relieve Union forces in Tennessee: “In reply to your inquiry, will say, have sent south fifteen trains troops with nine thousand four hundred seventy men from East, and thirteen hundred forty from Cairo– Total — ten thousand eight hundred ten, and one battery of Artillery.”

Ten trains had passed Nashville up to nine thirty (9.30) AM this morning, and all of them are at Bridgeport before this hour Everything that has reached this point has gone forward We are hoping to get another battery and about sixteen hundred men by midnight Will ship them before daylight Could handle them more rapidly if Eastern roads could let us have them –

Genl [Joseph]  Hooker left at eight this morning –  Genl Howard at four thirty (430) PM Eleventh Corps all gone, and part of Twelfth

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Published in: on October 2, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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