Gettysburg Battle Discussed at White House

October 20, 1863

Navy Secretary Gideon Welles writes in his diary: “I met General Sickles at the President’s to-day.  When I went in, the President was asking if Hancock did not select the battle-ground at Gettysburg.  Sickles said he did not, but that General Howard and perhaps himself, were more entitled to that credit than any others.  He then detailed particulars, making himself, however, much more conspicuous than Howard, who was really used as a set-off.  The narrative was, in effect, that General Howard had taken possession of the heights and occupied on Wednesday, the 1st.  He, Sickles, arrived later, between five and six P.M., and liked the position.  General Meade arrived on the ground soon after, and was for abandoning the position and falling back.  A council was called; Meade was earnest; Sickles left, but wrote Meade his decided opinion in favor of maintaining the position, which was finally agreed to against Meade’s judgment.”

Of the Cabinet meeting, Welles writes: “There was little of interest to-day at the Cabinet. Seward, Chase, and Stanton were absent.  Stanton, I am told, has gone to Tennessee.”

President Lincoln tells Attorney General Edward Bates that he “no friends in Missouri.”

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Published in: on October 20, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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