Friday, May 25, 2012

Mr. Lincoln voids General Hunter's Order No. 11 -- freeing the slaves

President Lincoln acted swiftly in nullifying the May 9 orders of General Hunter's order to fee the slaves in his department. Mr. Lincoln said "neither General Hunter, nor any other commander, or person, has been authorized by the government of the United States, to make proclamations declaring the slaves of any state free."

The president. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and Commander Dahlgren inspected the camps and soldiers at Fredericksburg, Virginia. There was great excitement among the troops to have Mr. Lincoln visit them. Upon his return, he spent much of his time at the telegraph office monitoring messages concerning the troubling movements of General Banks.

The president was happy to learn from Secretary of the Treasury Salmon Chase that General McDowell had begun movement of his 20,000 as ordered.

Friday, May 18, 2012

President Lincoln establishes the Department of Agriculture

Mr. Lincoln signed the bill this week establishing a non-Cabinet level Department of Agriculture. Prior to this week, the agriculture division was under the Secretary of the Interior.

As for myself, I was embroiled in a disagreement that ended in a libel suit I filed earlier this year against New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley. Greeley had printed editorials criticizing my work as federal marshal of the District of Columbia. Greeley had been indicted by the grand jury in March, hearings had been scheduled and postponed. Greeley was trying to settle the matter out of court, claiming the editorials were written in his absence and that he had not read hem until after they appeared in his newspaper.

Friday, May 11, 2012

President Lincoln travels to Fortress Monroe

The president, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, and Secretary of the Treasury Samuel Chase left for Fortress Monroe. Upon arrival, arrangements were made for the president to tour the ironclad ship, the Moniter.

The President was unhappy that General George McClellan had not captured Norfolk. So he sent General Wool instead. Wool talked of going in through Willoughby Point. The president and Secretary Stanton went out in a boat and scouted for other possible invasion sites closer to the target. Mr. Lincoln even went ashore to check it out further. General Wool, who had earlier promised the president he would take Norfolk within 48 hours, lived up to his promise by taking Norfolk with no fight at all -- the Confederates had abandoned the city prior to his arrival. The "victory" preserved the naval yard for the Union.

Friday, May 4, 2012

James Holenshade demonstrates a breech loading cannon

President Lincoln and others were at the Naval Yard yesterday to watch Mr. James C. C. Holenshade of Cincinnati, Ohio demonstrate his invention, a breech loading cannon. Mary Lincoln and several others witnessed the trials of the gun which was reported in the New York Herald as having "proceeded in a satisfactory manner."

Earlier in the week, the president had criticized General George McClellan, telling his military leader "your call for Parrott guns from Washington alarms me -- chiefly because it argues indefinite procrastination. Is anything to be done?"

Today he received news that Yorktown, Virginia had been abandoned by the Confederates.