President Lincoln Urges Help for Nashville Residents

May 4, 1864

President Lincoln writes General William T. Sherman: “I have an imploring appeal in behalf of the citizens who say your order No. 8 will compel them to go North of Nashville. This is in no sense, an order; nor is it even a request that you will do any thing which in the least, shall be a drawback upon your military operations, but any thing you can do consistently with those operations, for those suffering people, I shall be glad of…”

Sherman replied: “`We have worked hard with the best talent of the country & it is demonstrated that the railroad cannot supply the army & the people too. one or the other must quit & the army don’t intend to unless Joe Johnston makes us. The issues to citizens have been enormous & the same weight of corn or oats would have saved thousands of the mules whose carcasses now corduroy the roads and which we need so much. We have paid back to East Tenn. ten for one of provisions taken in war. I will not change my order and I beg of you to be satisfied that the clamor is partly a humbug & for effect, & to test it I advise you to tell the bearers of the appeal to hurry to Kentucky & make up a caravan of cattle & wagons & to come over by Cumberland Gap and Somerset to relieve their suffering friends on foot as they used to do before a railroad was built. Tell them they have no time to lose. We can relieve all actual suffering by each company or regiment giving of their savings. Every man who is willing to fight and work gets all rations & all who won’t fight or work should go away and we offer them free transportation.” Sherman’s army begins march to Atlanta.

President Lincoln writes Secretary of the TreasurySalmon P. Chase: “In consequence of a call Mr. [journalist Henry] Villard makes on, me, having a note from you to him, I am induced to say I have no wish for the publication of the correspondence between yourself and me in relation to the Pomeroy Circular–in fact, rather prefer to avoid an unnecessary exhibition–yet you are at liberty, without in the least offending me, to allow the publication, if you choose.”

Historian Allan Nevins wrote in Fremont, Pathmarker of the West: “On May 4, 1864, a group of radical Republicans who were known to favor the choice of Fremont sent out an invitation to a mas convention in Cleveland, to meet May 31st for the purpose of forestalling the action of the regular Republicans. The signers did not constitute an impressive group. Representing only eleven states, they included no names more distinguished than those of B. Gratz Brown, Friedrich Kapp, Emil Preetorius, and James Redpath. However, their call was shortly reinforced by one emanating from a number of minor state officials in New York, and one sent out by a considerable number of Abolitionists.”

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Published in: on May 4, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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