Tennessee Preoccupies President

September 15, 1864

Longtime political advisor Francis P. Blair, Sr. meets with President Lincoln. They discuss political conditions in Tennessee.   In response to an inquiry from President Lincoln, General James B. Steedman telegraphs: “Mrs McElrath is a talented and influential Lady, a bitter and dangerous Rebel and I am opposed to her returning to [her home in] East Tennessee at present, unless by your orders.” President Lincoln had written: “Mrs. McElrath, of East Tennessee is here saying she has been sent away by your order, and appealing to me to allow her to return to her home. I have told her I will if you say so. What say you?” About six weeks later, Lincoln learned: “Mrs McElrath (widow of Major McE. late of the rebel army) who recently had an interview with you at Washington, waited on . . . Brig Gen. S[amuel] P. Carter at Knoxville E.T. to take the oath of Amnesty.”

Presidential aide John G. Nicolay writes New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley: “In furtherance of the idea you suggested to me when in New York, I send you enclosed a copy of the letter of Col. Markland Special Mail Agent, who has under Mr. Blair’s instructions, made arrangements for the distribution of such newspapers, or other political matter, as the National Committee may determine to circulate in the Army of the Potomac. Will you please show it to Mr. Raymond and confer with him further on the subject?

“Your later letter, enclosing one from Col. Conkling was duly received, and show to the President. Col. Philips’ papers were specially referred by the President to the Secretary of War. Ours news from all quarters is very encouraging.

Army Colonel William R. Nevins writes President Lincoln: “I Beg leave to suggest for your consideration, that the Armies, and Navy, be Ordered to attack the enemy: on every side at once, in order to force them to Surrender.”

I find that the people in Chicago, and in the West, say that your relection depends–upon the taking of Richmond for god’s-sake hurry on the troops.

I am doing all in my power for you re election,, to save our union–

Published in: on September 15, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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