President Lincoln “Loafs”

April 24, 1864

Presidential aide John Hay writes in his diary: “Today, the President, loafing into my room, picked up a paper and read the Richmond Examiner’s recent attack on Jeff. Davis. It amused him. ‘Why,’ said he, ‘the Examiner seems abt as fond of Jeff as the [New York] World is of me.’” President Lincoln also met with General Ambrose Burnside.

General Henry W. Halleck writes General William T. Sherman: “Newspaper stories about quarrels between the President, secretary of War, General Grant, and myself, and my resigned are all ‘bosh.’ Not a word of truth in them.

There has not been the slightest difficulty, misunderstanding, or even difference of opinion between any of the parties, so far as I know, and the relations between Grant and myself are not only friendly and pleasant, but cordial.

I have never had the slightest intention of resigning, so long as my services can be useful to the country. These malicious stories generally originate in such secesh journals as the [New York] Herald and World. Of course my position here, both as General-in-Chief and as Chief of Staff, has been and is a disagreeable one, from which I can receive no credit, but sufficient abuse to satisfy any ordinary ambition.

To this, however, I have become utterly callous. Grant very wisely keeps away from Washington, and out of reach of the rascally politicians and shoddy contractors who infest every department of the Government and abuse everybody who will not grind their axes.

Banks’ operations in the West are about what should have been expected from a general so utterly destitute of military education and military capacity. It seems but little better than murder to give important commands to such men as Banks, Butler, McClernand, Sigel and Lew. Wallace, and yet it seems impossible to prevent it.

If Banks and Steele fail to occupy the line of Red River and the troops are withdrawn as General Grant contemplated, I fear that we shall have serious trouble in Louisiana and Arkansas, and that the navigation of the Mississippi will be greatly disturbed, if not suspended.

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

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