Union Army in Virginia Retreats

October 11, 1863

General George C. Meade writes President Lincoln: “I am falling back to the Rappahannock. The enemy are either, moving to my right and rear or moving down on my flank. I cannot tell which as their movements are not developed. I am prepared for either contingency.’  President Lincoln responds a few hours later: “How is it now?”


From Pittsburgh, James Scovel telegraphs news of the Republican election victory in Pennsylvania: Andrew “Curtin men have twenty five thousand majority. Pennsylvania stands by you. keeping step with Maine & California to the music of the Union.”


Actress, Charlotte Cushman, who appeared at benefits for the U.S. Sanitary Commission, visits the White House in the evening – escorted by Secretary of State William H. Seward.


Mary A. Livermore, the driving force before the Sanitary Commission in Chicago, writes President Lincoln requesting an original copy of the Emancipation Proclamation for auction: “The patriotic women of the Northwestern States will hold a grand Fair in Chicago, on the last week of Oct., and the first of Nov., to raise funds for the Sanitary Commission of the Northwest, whose head-quarters are in Chicago. This Commission labors especially for the sick and wounded soldiers of the Southwestern States, of whose bravery, and persistent endurance, we are all justly proud. I enclose you circulars, which will explain to you our entire plan, and show you the magnitude of the enterprise, by which we confidently hope to realize from $25,000 to $50.000.

The greatest enthusiasm prevails in reference to this Fair which is now only two weeks distant. There are very few women in Northern Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Iowa that are not laboring for it, more or less. Artists, east and West are painting pictures for it, manufacturers are making elegant specimens of their handiwork for the occasion, dealers and traders tradesmen are donating the choicest of their wares, while women are surpassing their ordinary ingenuity and taste in devising beautiful articles for sale, or decorations for the walls of the four spacious halls we are to occupy.

The Executive Committee have been urgently requested to solicit from Mrs. Lincoln and yourself some donation to this great Fair — not so much for the value of the gift, as for the eclat which this circumstance would give to the Fair. It has been suggested to us from various quarters that the most acceptable donation you could possibly make, would be the original manuscript of the Proclamation of emancipation, and I have been instructed to ask for this, if it is at all consistent with what is proper, for you to donate it.3 There would be great competition among buyers to obtain possession of it, and to say nothing of the interest that would attach to such a gift, it would prove pecuniarily of great value. We should take pains to have such an arrangement made as would place the document permanently in either the State or the Chicago Historical Society.

There would seem great appropriateness in this gift to Chicago, or Illinois, for the benefit of our Western soldiers, coming as it would from a Western President. We hope it may be possible for you to donate it to us.

But if it be not possible, then allow us to ask for some other simple gift, from Mrs. Lincoln and yourself — sufficient to show that you are cognizant of our efforts and are interested in them. Our Fair opens on Wed Tuesday, Oct. 27th, in little more than two weeks.

Published in: on October 11, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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