President Lincoln Confers with General-in-Chief Ulysses S. Grant

March 24, 1864

Presidential aide John Hay returns to Washington after several months away on presidential business in the South: “I Arrived at Washington this morning finding [John G.] Nicolay in be at 7 oclock in the morning.  We talked over matters for a little while & I got some ideas of the situation from him.

After breakfast I talked with the President. There was no special necessity of presenting my papers as I found he thoroughly understood the state of affairs in Florida and did not seem in the least annoyed by the newspaper falsehoods about the matter.  Gen. Halleck, I learn has continually given out that the expedition was the Presidents & not his {Halleck’s).  So Fox tells me.  The President said he has not seen [General Quincy] Gillmores letters to Halleck but said he had learned from Stanton that they had nothing to bear out Halleck’s assertion.  I suppose Halleck is badly bilious about Grant.   Grant the prest. Says is Commander in Chief & Halleck is now nothing but a staff officer.  In fact says the President ‘when McClellan seemed incompetent to the work of handling an army & we sent for Halleck to take command he stipulated that it should be with the full power and responsibility of Commander in Chief.  He ran it on that basis till Pope’s defeat; but ever sine that event, He has shrunk from responsibility whenever it was possible.”

Hay writes that he spent the “evening talking with Secretary Chase.  He seems deeply interest just now in negro [voting], believing it to be the best thing for the slave sates& the surest safeguard against a rebel reaction after the war.  I mentioned my plan fo r a convention in Florida which he heartily approved.”

President Lincoln meanwhile spends the evening with General Ulysses S. Grant discussing military strategy.

Published in: on March 24, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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