Confederates Under Jubal Early Cross Potomac River into Maryland

July 5, 1864

John W. Garrett, president of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, writes President Lincoln about General Jubal Early’s attack on Harper’s Ferry: “Our officers report that General [Franz] Sigel’s losses have been quite trifling and that his whole force is now in possession of Maryland Heights Our telegraph station is two (2) miles from that location and I have found it impossible tonight to obtain satisfactory information but little fighting has occurred during the day, being confined almost exclusively to the Sharpshooters on each side of the river. It is reported that an attack was expected this p. m. but no such movement has yet occurred It is added that Genl Sigel has abundance of supplies of all discriptions I have sent following telegram, but have yet no response: “To General F. Sigel — Sandy Hook, I trust you can preserve the remainder of the bridge. It is reported the rebels are destroying and burning the track West of Harper’s Ferry. Can you not prevent this? Twenty five hundred (2500) re-enforcements, with a battery, will reach you this evening. General Kelly has repulsed attack upon North And er, South Branch and Paterson Creek bridges. General Hunter is pressing rapidly forward from the West. I trust he will soon be in communication and aid you in overwhelming the enemy.”


William P. Fessenden, who recently replaced Salmon P. Chase as Secretary of the Treasury, attends his first meeting of the Lincoln Administration Cabinet. Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles: “Mr. Fessenden appeared at Cabinet-meeting as the successor of Mr. Chase. Although the regular day of meeting, all were specially notified, and all promptly attended. The President appeared more constrained and formal than usual. When Mr. Stanton came in, he was accompanied by a clerk, whom he seated at the President’s table. The subject of trade and especially trade in cotton with the Rebels, was the subject of general interest which the President desired to lay before us. He appeared to have no fixed purpose in his own mind. Alluded to a Mr. Atkinson who had called on him. Said that Mr. A. had impressed him with some very striking facts. The most prominent was, that although the Rebels sold less cotton they received about as much for it in consequence of high price as when they had more of the article. The President thought it might be well to take measures to secure the cotton, but was opposed to letting the Rebels have gold.

Seward was voluble but not clear and pointed. Fessenden had seen Atkinson, had interview with him, thought him intelligent. On the subject of trade with the Rebels was not posted. Stanton made extended, and in the main sensible and correct, remarks, being wholly opposed to fighting and trading at the same time with the Rebels, ground which I have uniformly taken, but have not always been supported. Blair made a few sensible remarks, as did Mr. Bates. Usher, thinking it apparently a duty to say something, talked without much point or force, on a subject he did not understand, nor to which he had given much attention. Mr. Bates made a legal suggestion. As Stanton had pretty clearly expressed my views, I did not care to multiply words farther than to say so, and to regret that a bill had passed the last moment of the session depriving the Mississippi Squadron of prize.

This was done, I understand, at the instigation of Chase, who could not have been aware of the effect of what he urged. The incidental remarks of some of the gentlemen on the subject of trade, and especially of restrictions on gold, struck me as the wretched remnants of error which I hope will go out with Mr. Chase. I also trust we shall get rid of his trade regulations, trading agents, and other mischievous machinery.

The subject of the arrest and trial of General Dix in New York for suspending the publication of the World and Journal of Commerce was brought forward. There was a little squeamishness with some on the subject. The President very frankly avowed the act to be his, and he thought the government should protect Dix. Seward was positive and bold on that.

President Lincoln issues a proclamation suspending the writ of habeas corpus: “Whereas, by a proclamation which was issued on the 15th. day of April, 1861, the President of the United States announced and declared that the laws of the United States had been for some time past and then were opposed and the execution thereof obstructed in certain States therein mentioned by the combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings or by the powers vested in the Marshals by law;

And whereas, immediately after the issuing of the said proclamation the land and naval forces of the United States were put into activity to suppress the said insurrection and rebellion;

And whereas, the Congress of the United States by an act approved on the 3d. day of March 1863, did enact that during the said rebellion, the President of the United States, whenever in his judgment the public safety may require it, is authorized to suspend the privilege of the write of Habeas Corpus in any case throughout the United States or in any part thereof;

And whereas the said insurrection and rebellion still continue, endangering the existence of the Constitution and Government of the United States;

And whereas the military forces of the United States are now actively engaged in suppressing the said insurrection and rebellion, in various parts of the States where the said rebellion has been successful in obstructing the laws and public authorities, especially in the States of Virginia and Georgia;

And whereas on the fifteenth day of September last, the President of the United States duly issued his proclamation, where he declared that the privilege of the write of Habeas Corpus should be suspended throughout the United States in the cases where, by the authority of the President of the United States, military, naval and civil officers of the United States or any of them hold persons  under their command or in their custody either as prisoners of war, spies, or aiders or abettors of the enemy; or officers, soldiers or seamen enrolled or drafted or mustered or enlisted in or belonging to the land or naval forces of the United States or as deserters therefrom or otherwise amenable to military law or the Rules and Articles of War or the rules or regulations prescribed for the military or naval services by authority of the President of the United States or for resisting a draft or for any other offence against the military or naval service;

And whereas many citizens of the States of Kentucky have joined the forces of the insurgents and such insurgents have on several occasions entered the said State of Kentucky in large force, and not without aid and comfort furnished by disaffected and disloyal citizens of the United States residing therein, have not only greatly disturbed the public peace but have overborne the civil authorities and made flagrant civil war, destroying property and life in various parts of that State; and whereas it has been made known to the President of the United States by the officers commanding the national armies, that combinations have been formed in the said State of Kentucky with a purpose of inciting rebel forces to renew the said operations of civil war within the said State, and thereby to embarrass the United States armies now operating in the said States of Virginia and Georgia and even to endanger their safety:

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the constitution and laws, do, hereby, declare that in my judgment the public safety especially requires that the suspension of the privilege of the write of Habeas Corpus so proclaimed in   the said proclamation of the 15th. of September, 1863, be made effectual and be duly enforced in and throughout the said State of Kentucky, and that martial law be fore the present established therein. I do, therefore, hereby require of the military officers in the said States that the privileges of the write of Habeas Corpus be effectually suspended within the said State according to the aforesaid proclamation, and that martial law be established therein, to take effect from the date of this proclamation,–the said suspension and establishment of martial lawto continue until this proclamation shall be revoked or modified, but not beyond the period when the said rebellion shall have been suppressed to come to an end. And I do hereby require and command, as well all military officers as all civil officers and authorities existing or found within the said State of Kentucky to take notice of this proclamation and to give full effect to the same.

The martial law herein proclaimed and the things in that respect herein ordered will not be deemed or taken to interfere with the holding of lawful elections, or with the proceedings of the constitutional legislature of Kentucky or with the administration of justice in the courts of law existing therein between citizens of the United States in suits of proceedings which do not affect the military operations or the constituted authorities of the Government of the United States.

In testimony, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this fifth day of July, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty four, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-ninth

Published in: on July 5, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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