Worries about Missouri and Tennessee as 1864 Presidential Campaign Stirs

October 28, 1863

President Lincoln continues to attempt to quiet the volatile political situation in Missouri.     Presidential aide John Hay writes: “The President today wrote a letter to [General John M.] Schofield in relation [to] his alleged arming of returned rebels in Missouri, in which he said that the government here had done the same thing frequently.  He orders Schofield to give attention to the matter, if things are wrong, right them; protect the polls from any interference by either citizens or soldiers.”  Lincoln writes Schofield, commander of Missouri: “There have recently reached the War Department, and thence been laid before me, from Missouri, three communications, all similar in import, and identical in object.  One of them, addressed to nobody, and without place or date, but having the signature of (apparently) the writer, is a letter of eight closely written foolscap pages.  The other two are written by a different person, at St. Joseph, Mo., and of the dates, respectively, October 12th and 13th. 1863, and each inclosing a large number of affidavits.  The general statements of the whole are, that the Federal and State authorities are arming the disloyal, and disarming the loyal, and that the latter will all be killed, or driven out of the State, unless there shall be a change.  In particular, no loyal man, who has been disarmed, is named; but the affidavits show by name, forty two persons, as disloyal, who have been armed.  They are as follows…

The remarkable fact, that the actual evil is yet only anticipated–inferred–induces me to suppose I understand the case.  But I do not state my impression, because I might be mistaken; and because your duty and mine is plain in any event.  The locality of nearly all this, seems to be St. Joseph, and Buchanan County.  I wish you to give special attention to this region, particularly on election day.  Prevent violence from whatever quarter; and see that the soldiers themselves, do no wrong.

President Lincoln writes Tennessee Military Governor Andrew Johnson: If not too inconvenient, please come at once, and have a personal consultation with me.”  On November 2, Johnson responds: “Since your dispatch of the twenty eighth (28) ulto I have been trying every way to start for Washington but it has been impossible.”

Published in: on October 28, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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