President Lincoln Thanks General Philip Sheridan for Battle Victory

October 22, 1864

President Lincoln telegraphs General Philip H. Sheridan regarding his recent defeat of Confederates at Cedar Creek : “With great pleasure I tend to you and your brave army, the thanks of the Nation, and my own personal admiration and gratitude for the month’s operations in the Shenandoah Valley; and especially for the splendid work of October 19, 1864.”

President Lincoln writes William B. Campbell regarding affairs in Tennessee: “I presume that the conducting of a Presidential election in Tennessee in strict accordance with the old code of the State is not now a possibility. It is scarcely necessary to add that if any election shall be held, and any votes shall be case in the State of Tennessee for President and Vice President of the United States, it will belong, not to the military agents, nor yet to the Executive Department, but exclusively to another department of the Government, to determine whether they are entitled to be counted, in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States. Except it be to give protection against violence, I decline to interfere in any way with any presidential election.”

Politics mixing with judicial promotion in some letters to President Lincoln.   Senator John Sherman writes from Iowa: “In a conversation with Judge [Samuel F. ]Miller of the Supreme Court last evening he authorised me to say to you that he preferred the appointment of Gov. Chase as Chief Justice to any one named — and that he knew Judge [Samuel F.] Field concurred in this

He said he felt some delicacy in writing you as last winter he concurred in authorizing Judge Davis to say for him that the appointment of Judge Swayne would be acceptable — but subsequent reflection satisfied him that the public service would be best promoted by the selection of Gov Chase — As the hearty concurrence of the newly appointed Judges is vitally important I deem it proper to inform you of these facts — and I can assure you with great confidence that the profession in the States west of the Mississippi generally agree that Chase will bring more Judicial Strength to the Bench — and than any one named– I telegraphed you from Chicago in consequence of very decided opinions expressed there — in favor of Chase. With no personal preference between Chase & Swayne it is my firm conviction that Chase will reflect higher honor in the exalted position of Chief Justice than Judge Swayne & his appointment could be justified by obvious political reasons.

Allow me to say that Iowa is all right on the “main question” & will give you a greater majority than any man ever had in this State

Supreme Court Justice David Davis, who had been instrumental in Lincoln’s election as president, writes from his sick bed to President Lincoln: “I have been confined to my bed for three weeks which will account for my employing someone else to write for me. Chief Justice Taney is dead and of course you are thinking of his successor.1 I feel deeply and earnestly on the subject and have seen no reason to change my views since last Winter. I think now as then, that Judge Swayne ought to have the place; he is an able man and has been a practicing Lawyer all his life. Although of decided political views he has never been an active partisan. No regular partisan ought to be elevated to such a place Judic[i]al life should be kept as free as possible from party politics. To place a mere partisan in such a position weakens an administration and lessons the respect that should attach to the decisions of the Court. My earnestness on this subject must be my apology for addressing you in my weak state. If I was well I would go to Washington in person and solicit an interview.”

On a distinctly non-judicial matter, President Lincoln writes that Judge “James Hughes of Indiana is a worthy gentleman and a friend, whom I wish to oblige. He desires to trade in southern products, and all officers of the Army and Navy and other agents of the government will afford him such protection and such facilities of transportation, and otherwise in such business as can be consistently done with the regulations of trade and with the public service– ”

Published in: on October 22, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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