Cabinet Discusses New Draft Call for 200,000 Men

March 15, 1864

Navy Secretary Gideon Welles writes in his diary:“At the Cabinet the principal subject was the issue of a new proclamation, calling for a new draft of 200,000 men in consequence of the Navy draft and other demands.  There are about 800,000 men in the field, among them some sailors drawn into the army by improper legislation, and the reckless, grasping policy of the army managers, who think less of the general welfare than of narrow and selfish professional display.  It did not seem to me that the call was necessary or even expedient, but I perceived it had been determined upon by Halleck, Seward, and Stanton, and that the President had yield his acquiescence, and opposition was useless.”

President Lincoln telegraphs General to Ulysses S. Grant: “Gen. McPherson having been assigned to the command of Department, could not Gen. Frank Blair without difficulty or detriment to the service, be assigned to command the corps he commanded a while last autumn.”

Lincoln writes a general memo concerning General Daniel Sickles: “Major General Sickles is making a tour for me from here by way of Cairo, New-Orleans, and returning by the Gulf and Ocean; and all Land and Naval officers and employees, are directed to furnish reasonable transportation and other reasonable facilities to himself and personal Staff, not inconsistent with the public service.”  Sickles never actually made the tour.

After meeting with 13-year-old drummer boy, President Lincoln writes Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton: “Please see the gallant Drummer-boy, Robert H. Hendershot , whose history is briefly written on the fine drum presented him which he now carries. He must have a chance, and if you can find any situation suitable to him, I shall be obliged.”  Young Hendershot had distinguished himself at the Battle of Fredericksburg in December 1862.

President Lincoln writes newly-elected Louisiana Governor Michael Hahn: “Until further order, you are hereby invested with the powers exercised hitherto by the Military Governor of Louisiana.”

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