Lincoln Corresponds with Kentucky Governor on Troop Movements

January 17, 1864

President Lincoln writes Kentucky Governor  Thomas E. Bramlette: “Your letter of the 8th. is just received. To your question `May I not add Q.E.D.?’  I answer, `no’ because you omit the `premise’ in the law, that the President may, in his discretion, send these troops out of Kentucky and I take it that if he shall do so on the judgment of Gen. Grant, as to it’s propriety, it will be neither cruelty, bad faith or dishonor. When I telegraphed you, I knew, though I did not say so to you, that Gen. Grant was, about that time, with Gen. Foster at Knoxville, and could not be ignorant of or averse to the order which alarmed you. I see he has since passed through Kentucky, and I hope you have had a conference with him.”

Bramlette had written: ““I did not intend by any expression in my telegram, to impugn the motives of any one. I only intended . . . to express my conviction of the effect of the order. . . . My confidence in Genl Grant has been continuous. . . . I regard him as the first Genl of the age. . . . Had I believed that the order emanated from or was sanctioned by Genl Grant, my great confidence in him would have prevented me from telegraphing to you. I had reasons to believe that Genl Grant did not know of the order. . . . This order necessarily exposes his communications and supplies to destruction. . . . If this order was with the approbation of Genl Grant I will await the denouement before I venture a judgment of condemnation. Though I cannot now see any good in it, yet if it be his plan, I will await, with confidence the result, without forming any opposing judgment. . . .” Bramlette continued:

May I not add—Q.E.D.

In all candor and with the kindest feelings I ask what reliance can our people place upon any pledge of the Government and its functionaries, if this be not observed. . . . Kentucky loyalty cannot be driven from its secure lodgement in the hearts of the people, by any bad faith of others. We are in and of the Union and will live and die there. Rebel outrages cannot drive us, nor federal injustice divert us from the true line of patriotism.

Published in: on January 17, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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