Friday, September 28, 2012

The President issues his prelinary proclamation and suspends habeas corpus

On September 22, Mr. Lincoln presented his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation to his Cabinet. The following day the proclamation appeared in the newspapers. Reaction was very mixed. Cabinet member Montgomery Blair, Postmaster General, was particularly troubled that the announcement would alientate the border states and affect the upcoming election.

Two days later, Mr. Lincoln, in another quite controversial move, suspended the writ of habeas corpus. With his announcement concerning the writ, Mr. Lincoln said "all Rebels and Insurgents, the aiders and abetters, ... and all persons discouraging volunteer enlistments, resisting military drafts, or guilty of any disloyal practice" anywhere in the country would be arrested, with their writ suspended.

Meanwhile, the president was troubled that General McClellan had let General Lee's army escape back into the south following their actions at Sharpsburg, Maryland on September 17.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The two armies clash at Sharpsburg, Maryland

The President spent the week preparing his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.

McClellan had been privy to General Lee's orders found on the ground in Frederick, Maryland on September 13. The lost orders indicated that General Lee had split his army into several parts.  Upon receiving the orders, General McClellan said "Here is a paper which if I cannot whip Bobbie Lee, I will be willing to go home." Still, General McClellan was slow to purse.

President Lincoln continued to moniter the actions of General McClellan at South Mountain and Sharpsburg, Maryland. Fierce action at Sharpsburg on the 17th gave the Union a semblence of victory on the field.

Friday, September 14, 2012

General Lee invades Maryland

Word reaches the president that General Lee's army is approaching Maryland. Military and Cabinet meetings were held to discuss the issue at hand.  General McClellan reported that he had 80,000 men at his command in Washington City.

General Lee's forces forded the Potomac River just north of Leesburg on Friday September 12. Following his recent vicoty at Bull Run/Manassas, General Lee wanted to bring the action onto northern soil. The rebel soldiers sang "Maryland, My Maryland" in hopes that Marylanders would rally to support their cause.  Instead, Lee's men, about one-fourth barefoot and one-half who one newspaper described as "scarcrows", did not make a favorable impression on Marylanders.

In Washington, President Lincoln saw Lee's invasion as an opportunity to crush the Confederate army and end the war.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The president appoints General McClellan to defend Washington

Following the recent loss at the second battle of Bull Run?Manassas, Mr. Lincoln is pressured to relieve General George McClellan of command.  Instead, much to several Cabinet members dislike, the president appointed General McClellan to the defenses of Washington City.

As part of his new assignment, General McClellan assigned two new companies (Company D and K) of the 150th Pennsylvania to guard the Soldier's Home in Washington.  The Soldier's Home was where Mr. Lincoln spent most nights during the summer.

Lincoln's son, Tad, was a favorite of Company K. They prsented him with a uniform and a commission as a third lieutenant.  Tad often was found in lines with the soldiers and often took meals with them, eating the same rations the soldiers received.