Quiet Day at the White House

May 24, 1864

Nothing especial at the Cabinet,” writes Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles in his diary. “The condition and position of the armies canvassed. Chase was not present. He seldom attends of late.”

Presidential aide John Hay writes in his diary that Secretary of State William H. “Seward and [former Secretary of War Simon] Cameron spent evening with President. Seward has prepared the answer to Winter Davis’ guerilla Resn. and it will go up tomorrow. It seems perfectly satisfactory to the Prest. & Nicolay. I think it will subject the Admn. to a good deal of rancorous and foolish attack at this time. Davis’ Resn. though expressing the feelings of almost every American citizen was introduced from the worst motives; still these motives can not be gracefully explained by our government to France.”

Despatches from [Charles] Dana & [Ulysses] Grant show them making fine time. Warren has been behaving finely at the crossing of the North Anna. Things look better than it was rumoured with [Benjamin F.] Butler.”

President Lincoln writes Ohio Governor John Brough: “Yours to Sec. of War asking for something cheering. We have nothing bad from any where. I have just seen a despatch of Grant, of 11 P.M. May 23, on the North Anna, and partly accross it, which ends as follows: `Every thing looks exceedingly favorable for us.’ We have nothing later from him.”

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