President Lincoln Thanks Ohio Soldiers

June 11, 1864

President Lincoln addressed soldiers of One Hundred Thirtieth Ohio Regiment: “Soldiers, I understand you have just come from Ohio—come to help us in this the nation’s day of trials, and also of its hopes. I thank you for your promptness in responding to the call for troops. Your services were never needed more than now. I know not where you are going. You may stay here and take the places of others who will be sent to the front; or you may go there yourselves.” He added: “Wherever you go I know you will do your best. Again I thank you. Good-by.” The New York Tribune reported: “The 130th Ohio, 100-day troops, having in its ranks lawyers, clergymen, some of the best men in the State—many of them taxed upon a hundred thousand dollars and upward, voted yesterday unanimously to go to the front and fight, and then marched to the White House to see and hear Mr. Lincoln.”

President Lincoln meets with Attorney General Edward Bates, who later writes in his diary: “ I laid before the Prest my correspondence with Genl. Wallace (com[mandin]g. The Middle Dept. relating to his confiscation orders, no 30 and 33 – I told the Prest that the orders were not only without law, but flatly against law and against his orders; and that the Genl’s letter of justification was wor[s]e than the orders, in that it avowed the illegal act, knowingly done, and defended it, upon grounds the most absurd.”

“I told him that the General was putting weapons in the hands of the enemies of the adm[inistratio]n., by assuming arbitrary and illegal powers, without a pretence of military necessity – That, regretting any conflict of jurisdiction, I must and would protect my office and myself, and, to that end, if Genl Wallace’s proceeding be not stopped, I wd. Leave of record, in the office, my solemn protest against the military usurpation.

New York businessman James R. Gilmore, a persistent advocate for a negotiated peace, writes President Lincoln: “Since I met you, I have been lecturing for the Soldier’s Aid Societies, in most of the large towns in New Hampshire, and Mass. and have seen, and talked unto, “the people”. They all say: “We like Mr Lincoln, but do not like his Cabinet. He means well, but is not “up” with public sentiment. Fremont is.”– Fremont’s name is a tower of strength with the Radicals. I am sorry for it, but it is so. A change in your Cabinet, just now, would be a “tub thrown to the whale.” It would conciliate the Radicals, and “squelch” Fremont.

Understand me, I do not say this to advise you, I only wish you may know how the New-England people feel. I think the salvation of the country depends on your reëlection, and I would do all I can to ensure it. The radical element is an important one, for nearly every New-England and Western Republican is now a Radical.

I have no authority to speak for the Tribune, but I know its managers, on this, think as I do — that it is important to conciliate the loyal Radicals.

The kindness and courtesy you have shown me embolden me to say this, but I trust you will pardon me, if I have spoken too freely.

I have written Col Jacquess — one letter to Chattanooga, and one to care of Generals Rosecrans and Thomas. As yet, I have no answer, but I expect one on my return to Boston — in a few days

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Published in: on June 11, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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