Mr. Lincoln and General James Shields of Illinois met on January 8. Shields had challenged Mr. Lincoln to a duel back in 1842 when Lincoln criticized him in a letter to the newspaper. Shields was a crack shot with a pistol. Mr. Lincoln, who was challenged, got to choose the weapons. He chose broad swords. His long arms and tremendous strength gave Mr. Lincoln an obvious advantage. Shields backed down and cancelled the duel.
Later Mr. Lincoln commented that "If all the good things I have ever done are remembered as long and as well as my scrape with Shields, it is plain I shall not be forgotten."
On this day, Mr. Lincoln decided to replace Simon Cameron with Edwin Stanton as Secretary of War. He submitted Stanton's name to Congress. Cameron's war department had become extremely corrupt and inept. Mr. Lincoln proposed to Congress that Cameron be appointed minister to Russia.