Cabinet Meeting Diverted by President Lincoln’s Stories

January 5, 1864 

Navy Secretary Gideon Welles writes in his diary of the regular Tuesday cabinet meeting: “Congress reassembled after a fortnight’s vacation, or rather were to have assembled but there was not a quorum in either house.  At the Cabinet council only a portion were present.  The President in discussion narrated some stories, very apt, exhibiting wisdom and sense.  He requested me to read an article in the NorthAmerican Review [by James Russell Lowell], just received, on the policy of the Administration, which he thought very excellent, except that it gave him over-much credit.”

Lowell H. Harrison wrote in  Lincoln of Kentucky that Governor Thomas E. “Bramlette telegraphed Lincoln on January 5, 1864, after Maj. Gen. John G. Foster had ordered all organized military forces in Kentucky to move to Knoxville. This would remove the troops raised specifically for the defense of the state, as authorized by an act of Congress.  That act gave the president power to move the troops, and Bramlette demanded that Lincoln rescind Foster’s order.  Lincoln responded the next day that nothing was known about the order except that he assumed that it came from General Grant, whose judgment ‘would be the highest incentive to me to make such order. Nor can I understand how doing so is bad faith or dishonor; nor yet how it exposed Kentucky to ruin.’  He was sure ‘Grant would not permit it, if it so appeared to him.’

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Published in: on January 5, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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