Cabinet Discusses Florida Blockade

January 12, 1864

After the regular Tuesday Cabinet meeting, Navy Secretary Gideon Welles writes: “Only three of us at the Cabinet meeting, and no special business matters were brought.  Augustus Brandegee, a Member of Congress from Connecticut forward. I submitted to the President a dispatch from Commander Watson Smith at Pensacola relative to the disturbed condition of the people at Warrington. The port is blockaded, and the Rebels cut off from all shore supplies. In the mean time the Treasury agent has cut off the little communication that had been previously maintained by a few small dealers. The President requested me to consult with Chase, and any conclusion that we should come to he would affirm. Some little conversation followed as to the opening of additional ports. I remarked to the President that in my opinion it would be well to take some decisive and more general ground indicating progress towards peace. New Orleans being an open port, I asked, why might not the whole trans-Mississippi country above that place be thrown open to commerce? I told him my own convictions — and I had given the subject reflection — were favorable to the measure, and against the farther blockade of Red River and the country above that river on the west bank of the Mississippi. The President said the subject was worth considering and we must take it up.”

President Lincoln issues an “Order Fixing Wester Base of Union Pacific Railroad”: “In pursuance of the eleventh section of the act of congress entitled ‘An act to aid in the construction of a Railroad and Telegraph line from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean, and to secure to the Government the use of the same for Postal, Military, and other purposes’  Approved July 1, 1862, the point where the line of the Central Pacific Railroad crosses Arcade creek in the Sacramento valley is hereby fixed as the western base of the Sierra Nevada mountains.”

“The President’s reception this evening passed off very pleasantly, although not so largely attended as usual,” writes the New York Herald.  “President Lincoln appeared in excellent health.”  Benjamin Brown French, federal commissioner of buildings, writes in his diary: “Tuesday evening there was a reception at the White House and I had to be at it til nearly 11.  Mrs. French & Mrs. French went.  It was a sparse reception — the smallest I ever saw.  Why?  Can’t tell.  Mrs. Lincoln seemed disappointed.  Abraham was in his usual trim & usual good nature.”

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Published in: on January 12, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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