President Lincoln Works Through 67 Courtmartial Cases

April 14, 1864

President Lincoln spent much of the day working through courtmartial cases with Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt. On one case he wrote: “Pardon—proof being insufficient, except for short absence without leave.” On another he wrote: “This man is pardoned, and hereby ordered to be discharged from the service.”

Union League activist Henry C. Lea meets with President Lincoln. Four days later, he writes Lincoln: “Enclosed you will find two little pamphlets which I wrote a few weeks since for the “Union League” of Phila– At our interview on Friday evening, I was much gratified to find from your remarks that in one of them — “The Will of the People” — I had to some extent correctly appreciated the motives which have guided your policy.– It appeared to me to present a line of arguement likely to be effective before the people, & I confess to surprise that it should not have been long since brought more prominently into notice to repel the attacks of radicals & Copperheads.–

To prevent misconstruction, perhaps I should add that I am a man of independent position, with nothing to ask at your hands, except the preservation of our institutions.–

My colleague, Mr Miller, desires to join with me in thanking you for the courtesy & despatch which enabled us to accomplish our mission so promptly.–

Ohio lawyer Hezekiah S. Bundy, a prominent Republican, writes President Lincoln regarding the upcoming Republican political convention: “Permit one of your friends and the elector for the 11th Ohio District in 1860 to address you a word without perhaps imparting any information or suggestion worthy attention on your part. You no doubt are aware that great effort is being made to postpone the meeting of the National C. ostensibly to observe the working of the army to put down the rebellion but really to consumate plans to defeat you in the nomination The union men with us are Almost a unit for you, and the army is with us so far as I am advised and my knowledge is somewhat extensive in that direction Having a number of personal friends & relations in the service in different departments whose opportunities are good for knowing the sentiment of the army I think I speak advisedly in relation to it I think there is more danger from a diversion in favor of Freemont if McClellan is your opponent (and of which there can be no doubt) than from any other source. In view of this matter can you not with safety to the interests of the service give Freemont an important command somewhere? It will not do to give McClellan a command any where because the Vallandigham3 peace men will take him as their man in the end and the war democrats of the peace party prefer him to any one else on the score of policy I think we will be able to give you the entire delegation from this state at Baltimore– I propose making Ex Gov Dennison one of the delegates at and I know he is for you–

I hope that we may have several important victories in the field before the Balto Convention if so there will be no question as to the result of the deliberations of that body. I think there cannot be much doubt at any rate

Captain Charles Garretson to Abraham Lincoln to protest his dismissal from the army: “On the 5th of March last I was dismissed the service of the Government on the charge of disloyalty, which I beg leave to assure your Exellency is totally false and groundless, as I am prepared to prove, and herewith have the honor to submit as series of letters from distinguished officers and gentlemen with whom I have associated during the past three years, expressing the estimation in which I have been held, and testifying to the manner in which I have performed my duty during that time.”

I entered the service as a Volunteer in April, 1861, passed from the position of Private to that of Qr. Masters Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Acting Regtl. Qr. Master, of the 16th Penn’a. Vols., returned with my Regiment at the expiration of the three Months Service, immediately aided in the organization of the 76th Penn’a Vols., accompanied it as Regimental Qr. Master, via Fortress Monroe, to Hilton Head, S. C., as a part of Genl. Sherman’s forces, was shortly after our arrival there appointed Post Qr. Master, and in June, 1862, at the request of Col. Shaffer, Chief Qr. Master, Dept. of the South, was promoted Captain and Asst. Qr. Master of Vols., was placed in charge of the Depot, and continued in that position until June, 1863, when, my health having failed, I was ordered north on sick leave, upon the expiration of which I was assigned to duty in the Depot of Washington, first in the land transportation office, and afterwards in that of the Rail Road transportation, 209 G Street, which office I had charge of when dismissed.

I have always been a firm and faithful supporter of my Government, both by actions and words, and have done every thing in my power to aid the Administration and the Service in every measure presented, to crush this cursed rebellion, and challenge a single word, action, or deed of mine to the contrary, while by a faithful, earnest, and continued performance of my duties as a Soldier I have tried to give the best possible evidence of the truthfulness of this Statement, and feeling the consciousness of my own innocence, and that a great injustice has been done me, I am satisfied that my case needs but an examination at your hands to secure the revocation of the order, or at least a hearing before some military court of inquiry.

Published in: on April 14, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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