White House Receives Reports About Upcoming Election

November 2, 1864

Three Illinois state officials – William Butler, J K Dubois, and Ozias M Hatch – telegraph President Lincoln about the soldier vote in the state: “On twenty fourth (24) inst Gov [Richard] Yates telegraphed Secretary of War asking issue of order for furloughing of Ills troops in Camps of Distribution & Rendezvous & U S Hospitals in this Dept.1 The order as to hospitals are properly carried out. General Hooker in pursuance of order of War Dept ordered on twenty sixth (26) Oct that all Illinois soldiers in Camps of Distribution & Rendezvous should be furloughed Maj J J Hefferman Commanding Camp Butler received this order on twenty seventh (27) October & failed to obey it & from influences unknown to us War Dept through Breck4 A A G has revoked Hookers dispatches to Hefferman yesterday including drafted men Subs & recruits while Vincent A A G telegraphs Dubois that it is impracticable to furlough recruits, the necessity for furloughing all troops except Substitutes at Camp Butler is known to be greater now than now than when Dubois teleghed you before.”

From nearly Missouri, Republican official William Avery writes presidential assistant John G. Nicolay about the always confusing and cantankerous politics of the state “Yours of the 29th ult was received last night.

In respect to the Congressional election in the 1st district, I have to say that matters are a good deal muddled. The contest between Knox and Johnson is waged with great bitterness. The partisans of each loudly assert that their candidate will be elected. But I have not yet been able to determine in my own mind which will be successful. The Copperhead candidate is regarded as out of the question. He excites no enthusiasm and the meetings in his behalf are small, chilly affairs.

The German element, will I think, give as a general thing, its support to the Union National candidates. Price’s raid is regarded as having helped our cause.

You will see by the German newspaper, which I sent you, yesterday, that we now have an organ through which we can reach the German mind.

The congressional quarrel absorbs some of the attention of our friends here than I wish it did. I am doing the best I can for the national ticket, but find great difficulty in getting what I write before the public. Whether it is a repugnance to “Old Abe” or my bungling manner of presenting his cause, keeps my communications from the press, I leave you to judge. I have done something in the way of printing on my own hook.

The peculiarities of the canvass here would be ridiculous, if not fraught with so much danger to the country Fletcher, for instance, the radical candidate for Governor, is entirely in the hands of Frank Blair’s chief fugleman, who also is Johnson’s prime agent. The Union newspaper, which assails both Knox and Blow favor Johnson. The more respectable portion of the Claybanks, except the office holders, will vote for Knox, who is the Democrat’s candidate.

This is a brief statement of the political condition here. There can be no harmony.

A group of Missouri Radicals writes President Lincoln: “In various ways the intimation has reached this city, that Maj. Gen. Rosecrans is to be relieved from the command of the Department of the Missouri. Assuming such to be the case, we would address you in regard to the matter of the appointment of his successor; and as the wishes of the Radical Union men of Missouri as to the command of this Department seem not heretofore to have been considered, we make another effort to be heard on that subject, in the hope of better results.

We suppose that, at this advanced stage of the Presidential canvass, we need hardly tell you that outside of the ranks of the Radicals you have very few supporters in Missouri. If this State casts its Electoral vote for you, — as we hope and believe it will, you will owe it to the Radicals: if it should not do so, you may thank the Conservatives, to whose counsels you have in times past listened, and who, professing to be your friends, now desert you at the pinch. The majority of the Conservative leaders are for McClellan,1 and of course the majority of that faction follow their leaders. In our opinion, you will not receive five hundred Conservative votes in Missouri.

From Iowa, Congressman Josiah Grinnell write: “The State of Iowa will give you from 35 to 40 thousand majority. We are at work early and late. I write to say that your devoted friends expect that you will make Gov. Chaise [sic] Chief Justice. On that subject I trust there will be no question.”

President Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton meet with New York election commissioners.   New York Republican boss Thurlow Weed writes President Lincoln: “Major Richardson, our Agent to collect Sailors votes on the Blockading Ships, has just returned from a not successful enterprize, though he is a most thorough man.

It is fortunate that the Adversary did not move in that direction. The Sailors are nearly all against us, for a simple but potent reason — their Grog has been stopped!

The Officers generally were right, though the Commander of one of the finest vessels was hostile and abusive.

Major Richardson secured only about 500 Votes. I have rec’d your telegram of November first ordering me to suspend the execution of Private P Carroll until further orders

From New York, Thurlow Weed and Henry J. Raymond write President Lincoln: “If possible please telegraph Genl [James A.] Dix to postpone execution of Patrick Carrol fixed for Friday for ten or fifteen days.”   President Lincoln had already acted. From New York, General John A. Dix writes President Lincoln: “I have rec’d your telegram of November first ordering me to suspend the execution of Private P Carroll until further orders.”

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