President Lincoln Congratulates Sheridan for Shenandoah Valley Victory

September 20, 1864

General Philip Sheridan defeats Confederates at the hard-fought Third Battle of Winchester.   President Lincoln writes Sheridan: “Have just heard of your great victory. God bless you all, officers and men. Strongly inclined to come up and see you.” Sheridan had written General Ulysses S. Grant: “`I have the honor to report that I attacked the forces of Genl Early over the Berryville Pike at the crossing of Opequan Creek, and after a most stubborn and sanguinary engagement.”

Navy Secretary Gideon Welles writes in his diary: “At Cabinet-meeting. Met Fessenden on my way, who said he had called in but the President told him there was ‘no business.’ This is the announcement three out of four days of meeting. Sometimes matters are brought forward notwithstanding. I found the Post-master-General and the Attorney-General with the President. In a few minutes Fessenden returned, and shortly after Stanton came in. It was easy to perceive that the latter was full,–that he had something on the brain,–and I concluded he had additional tidings from Sheridan. But, the President being called out just as he entered, Stanton went and seated himself by Fessenden and conversed in an undertone. He had remarked as he came in that he had sent for Mr. Seward. When Seward arrived, Stanton unfolded and read a telegram, stating two steamers had been captured on Lake Erie by Rebels from Canada. This he said was a matter that immediately concerned the State and Navy Departments. He inquired what naval force we had there. I told him I apprehended more than we were authorized to have by treaty stipulations. He inquired what the treaty was; said he knew nothing about that. Seward explained. Stanton wanted to know where the Michigan was. I told him she had lain at Johnson’s Island most of the summer to aid the army and guard the prisoners and my impression was that she was still there. As usual, he was excited, and as usual, a little annoyed that I viewed the matter cooly. He soon left, and Seward also, each in agreeing to let me know as soon as they had farther information. On my return to the Department I telegraphed to Commodore Rodgers in New York to hold himself in readiness to obey any orders, and also to Admiral Paulding to have on hundred picked men and officers ready to proceed on immediate service if required. I then called on Stanton, who agreed to furnish transportation for these men and four guns to Buffalo, if the occasion needed them,–and he was confident it would,–thought they had better be sent at all events, officers, men and guns.”

New York Times Editor Henry Raymond writes Indiana Congressman Schuyler Colfax: “I have spent the best part of four weeks at Washington, trying to get the Government to help elect itself..but to no purpose.”   Raymond’s political ally, Thurlow Weed, writes Secretary of State William H. Seward: “I had very important communication this morning — one which, if relied upon will secure Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and probably Pennsylvania. But it requires every attention.

If possible, hold back any decision by the President, upon a Law of Congress, until I can see some confidential men. Perhaps he will send [John] Nicholay [sic]here, or some one in whom he confides.

The person I am in communication with is from Illinois.

I have, also, just seen Sherman, who will set about the other matter. If he fails I know a man who will not fail.

If I go to Vermont I will say so by Telegraph, and then I must see somebody from Washington when I return.

Gov. [Andrew] Curtin went Home last evening. He is not ready to do much. I am to write him about this State when I get Home.

President Lincoln writes Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton: “Let Mallison, the bogus proclamation man, be discharged.” Francis A. Mallison had collaborated with Joseph Howard in the bogus proclamation fraud in May.

Published in: on September 20, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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