Congressman Blair Returns to Army after Attacks on Secretary Chase on House Floor

April 27, 1864

General Francis P. Blair, Jr., had alternated between commission as major general and stints in Congress. Historian Frederick Blue wrote his biography of Secretary of State Salmon P. Chase: “Several of Chase’s Ohio friends in Congress, including James M. Ashley, Riddle, and Rufus Spalding, confronted Lincoln and demanded a repudiation of the Blair speech, but the president explained that he had issued the commission before he knew anything of the speech; moreover, he would let the appointment stand and would make no public disavowal of Blair’s actions even though he disapproved of them, nor would he issue any expression of confidence in Chase. Having endured Chase’s disloyalty for so long, Lincoln no doubt felt little remorse as he watched the secretary suffer under Blair abuse. Furthermore, to repudiate Blair might anger moderates in the party. For the president, it was an ongoing struggle to try to satisfy all Republican factions.”

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Published in: on April 27, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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