Improvements in Political Situation in Ohio and Military Situation in Tennessee

October 4, 1863

As Ohio elections approach, presidential aide John Hay, traveling to Illinois for his sister’s wedding, writes President Lincoln regarding Ohio politics: “An accident detained me in Columbus today and gave me an opportunity of seeing Brough.

He requests me to apologize for his seeming rudeness in not answering your letter, and hopes that the verbal reply sent by Govr. Dennison was entirely satisfactory.

He says they will carry Ohio by at least 25,000 votes, independent of the soldiers who will indefinitely increase it.  The Vallandigam men have given up the fight here.

Brough is much more anxious about [Pennsylvania Governor Andrew] Curtin than about himself.

Brough thinks that as yet in the Keystone State

The prospect is rather uncertain;

The fifth act is near, and we only wait,

Impatient, the rise of the Curtin.

A hazy joke, with which I close.

Hay writes in his diary that former Ohio Governor William Dennins “said that people at large were beginning to appreciate the importance of this struggle as the fore runner of the Presidential contest; that he had conversed much with leading men in different localities and he found a widespread and constantly increasing concurrence of sentment in favor of the reelection of Mr. Lincoln.  He requested me to say as much to him: That throughout the West so far as he knew the feeling was quietly assuming the same aspect: in New York it seemed to be the same.”

President Lincoln writes General William Rosecrans regarding the military situation in East Tennessee: “Yours of yesterday received.  If we can hold Chattanooga, and East Tennessee, I think the rebellion must dwindle and die.  I think and Burnside can do this; and hence doing so if your main object.  Of course, to greatly damage, or destroy, the enemy in your front would be a greater object, because it would include the former, and more; but it is not so certainly within your power.  I understand the main body of the enemy is very near you–so near that you could ‘board at home’ so to speak, and menace or attack him any day. Would not the doing of this, be your best mode of counteracting his raids on your communications?  But this is not an order.  I intend doing something like what you suggest, whenever the case shall appear ripe enough to have it accepted in the true understanding, rather than as confession of weakness and fear.”

From Springfield, Lincoln’s neighbor and political ally Jesse K. Dubois writes (using his usual colorful spelling) to President Lincoln regarding charges against his son, William, who had already been discharged from his volunteer service but had not yet been discharged from the regular army in which he held a commission: “William is at home here sick and I do not know when he will be well Sometimes I am Discouraged. But the immediate obgect of my now writing is this. I see that by a letter to him from Natchez that some sort of a commission down there reccommends that he pay a Sutler $1000 and be Discharged the service. Now you remember that I told you there was some trouble and related to you how I understood it was, and you were still kind enough to accept his Resignation It seems that after he left and has been out of the volunteer service since 18th July and at home sick and after I had seen his Col (Busey) who told me that there was not evidence against him the above award is made, Now mony is something but honor is more, and neither William nor I feel like being disgraced especally when we are not Guilty. Please stop this for me. As I believe Religiously this matter is a stab at me and not at him. But Grant is willing to further the designs of my enemes here, in any and all ways, And it is a very easy matter to make out a case when the party implicated is a thousand miles off at home sick I trust his fate as safely in your hands as you would Robert’s in mine if situations were reversed.”  William’s resignation was finally accepted in December after Dubois took his case repeatedly to presidential secretary John G. Nicolay.

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