Friday, July 27, 2012

Mr. Lincoln reads preliminary Emancipation Proclamation to his Cabinet

On Tuesday July 22, 1862, the president read his draft of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation at the day's Cabinet meeting. He proposed the proclamation to become effective on January 1, 1863. Among other suggestions was Secretary Seward's suggestion that the president wait until a military victory to release the idea to the public. Secretary Salmon Chase pressed the president to remove General McClellan from command.

The president sent an executive order calling to military commanders to seize property in the states of the rebellion for military purposes, employ persons of African descent and pay them reasonable wages, and to keep an accounting of all items taken for proper compensation.

The president was saddened by the news of the death of former U.S. President Martin Van Buren.


Friday, July 20, 2012

President Lincoln informally announces his intentions to free the slaves

On July 13, while riding in a carriage to attend the funeral of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton's infant son, James, Mr. Lincoln presented his thoughts on a proclamation to free the slaves. In the conversation with Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, the president spoke of the delicacy of the proclamation, its timing and importance. It is the first time the president had shared his thought on the subject to someone in his Cabinet.

He has a meeting with General Dix. The president encouraged General Dix to be in charge of the prisoner exchange program.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The President Visits General McClellan at Harrison's Landing, Virginia

President Lincoln and a military advisor boarded the ship U.S.S. Ariel to visit General George McClellan and his men. They docked at Harrison's Landing, Virginia. McClellan has just completed the Peninsula Campaign which in the president's mind had been a complete failure.

Mr. Lincoln said the trip was to elevate the president's spirits and in turn, hopefully also raise the spirits of the soldiers in the Union Army. A three hour troop review was received boisterously by the men in blue. He also met with General Ambrose Burnside for dinner aboard the steamer "Alice Price".

Following the three day trip, the president returned to Washington City. Upon his return to the capital, the president named General Henry Halleck General in Chief. It was a position General McClellan had vigorously sought.

Mr. Lincoln met with representatives of the Border States and suggested they consider a release of their slaves upon the government paying them compensation for their loss of property. He also signed legislation creating a national award of valor to be known as the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Friday, July 6, 2012

President Lincoln calls in more troops

President Lincoln sent a call out to the governors of 17 states asking them to fill their quotas. Mr. Lincoln estimated that the call for troops would bring in an estimated 300,000 more soldiers for the Union Army.

On the subject of fugitive blacks, Mr. Lincoln recommended to Secretary Stanton that they not be sent back to their masters. The president said instead they should be given work and paid a reasonable wage.

He also approved the Morrill Land Grant Act providing for public lands to be donated to states for use as colleges to teach agriculture and mechanical arts.

He also spent time with military casualties being transported to the Soldier's Home following their action in the Peninsula Campaign.