Busy Saturday on Military Matters

April 23, 1864

President Lincoln orders the reinstatement of Congressman Frank P. Blair, Jr. as a Union Army general. Lincoln writes Secretary of War Edwin Stanton: “According to our understanding with Major General Frank P. Blair, at the time he took his seat in Congress last winter, he now asks to withdraw his resignation as major general, then tendered, and be sent to the field. Let this be done. Let the order sending him be such as shown me to-day by the Adjutant General, only dropping from it the names of Maguire and Tompkins.” Blair had written Stanton: “I respectfully request to withdraw my resignation as major general of the United States volunteers, tendered on the 12th day of January, 1864.”

Earlier in the day, Blair had strongly attacked Chase and his conduct of Treasury Department affairs – partly in response to attacks that Chase’s congressional allies had made on Blair: ““These dogs have been set on me by their master, and since I have whipped them back into their kennels I mean to hold their master for this outrage and not the curs who have been set upon me.” Blair’s enemies had descended on the White House after his speech but President Lincoln refused to abandon the embattled Blair family.

President Lincoln writes to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton: “The foregoing proposition of the Governors is accepted, and the Secretary of War is directed to carry it into execution.” The previous day, Stanton had sent a memo in long with a letter from the governors and a telegram from General Grant, as follows:

‘An estimate has been made of the probable expense of the force mentioned in the foregoing proposition and it is believed that its cost to the United States will amount to $25,000,000. The views of General Grant are indicated in the telegram a copy of which is annexed and which is a response to my enquiry as to whether he would desire the acceptance of 100 000 men as at first proposed by the Governors. In view of the importance of the ensuing campaign and the judgement of General Grant that the troops offered may be of ‘vast importance’ I am in favor accepting the offer. The present estimates are inadequate to meet the expense and additional appropriation will be required.’

‘To the President                                                                                          Washington City,

of the United States:                                                                                     April 21st 1864.

I. The Governors of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin offer to the President infantry troops for the approaching campaign, as follows:

Ohio                            `           30,000

Indiana                                    20,000

Illinois                                     20,000

Iowa                                           10,000

Wisconsin                                  5,000

II. The term of service to be one hundred days, reckoning from the date of muster into the service of the United States, unless sooner discharged.

III. The troops to be mustered in to the service of the United States by regiments, when the regiments are filled up, according to the regulations, to the minimum strength–the regiments to be organized according to the regulations of the War Department. The whole number to be furnished within twenty days from date of notice of the acceptance of this proposition.

Iv. The troops to be clothed, armed, equipped, subsisted, transported, and paid as other United States infantry volunteers, and to serve in fortifications, or wherever their services may be required, within or without their respective States.

V. No bounty to be paid the troops, nor the service charged or credited or credited on any draft.

VI. The draft for three years’ service to go on in any State or district where the quota is not filled up; but if any officer or soldier in this special service should be drafted, he shall be credited for the service rendered.

President Lincoln had been postponing a trip to visit General Benjamin F. Butler:   Butler writes Assistant Secretary of the Navy Gustavus V. Fox: “I think you can do more good to the service by coming here for twenty-four hours than anywhere else. Please breakfast with me to-morrow morning at 9 a.m. Perhaps you can bring the President with you.” President Lincoln writes Fox: “I do not think I can go. Shall be glad if Captain Fox does.”   Assistant Secretary John Hay accompanies Fox to the meeting in Virginia.

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Published in: on April 23, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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