Friday, April 26, 2013

West Virginia statehood is approved

On April 20, after a long wait, the citizens of western Virginia were granted statehood, to take affect on June 20, 1863.

The Senate and House had passed the legislation. The Senate bill was passed in July of 1862. The House bill was finally passed in December of 1862. President Lincoln had signed the statehood bill on December 31, 1862. But the citizens still had to ratify the legislation due to the addition of the Willey Amendment addressing gradual emancipation of slavery. The citizens had overwhelmingly ratified the changes by a public vote, and now the citizens awaited Mr. Lincoln's approval.

I stood proudly beside the president when he made the announcement.  I had been born in Summit Point, Virginia and raised in Mill Creek (now Bunker Hill), Virginia. Both were now part of the newly formed and now newly approved state of West Virginia.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The president may have returned to meet with General Hooker

Mr. Lincoln met with Washington Mayor Richard Wallach and members of the school authority. The group was asking the president's support for offering scholarships to the service academies for students of the public schools in the District of Columbia.

Troubled by the news that Charleston, South Carolina, had still not fallen, President Lincoln implored Read Admiral Samuel DuPont and General David Hunter to stay the course and continue to pursue the objective of victory in Charleston.

The president had entered into a contract with Bernard Kock for the immigration of persons of African extraction to the Republic of Haiti. On April 16 the president cancelled that contract.

President Lincoln and General Henry Halleck left Washington for the day on April 19, returning late in the same evening. There was speculation that he had returned to Aguia Creek to meet again with General Joseph Hooker.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mr. Lincoln gets a surprise kiss from a princess

While at General Hooker's headquarters, from April 5 to April 10, the president was embarrassed by an incident in camp.  A member of General Hooker's staff, General Daniel Sickles had an Austrian prince on his staff. The prince's wife was in attendance, and kiss the president  during the reception line. Reporter Noah Brooks, who was apart of the official presidential party, reported on the scene as follows: "As soon as he could collect himself and recover from his astonishment, the President thanked the lady, with evident discomposure, whereupon some of the party made haste to explain that Princess Salm-Salm had laid wager with one of the officers that she would kiss the President."

The president reviewed four infantry corps of about 60,000 men. He rode horseback to visit troops who were convalescing. The presidential party return to Washington aboard the "Carrie Martin" arriving around midnight on April 10.

The president learned on April 12 from a dispatch from Rear Admiral Samuel F. DuPont that the siege of Charleston had failed.


Friday, April 5, 2013

The presidential party calls on General Hooker

Mr. Lincoln agrees to meet with General Joseph Hooker at the mouth of the Aquia Creek on the morning of 5 April. The presidential party included Mrs. Lincoln, their son Tad, Attorney General Edward Bates, California journalist Noah Brooks, Dr. Henry, and Captain Medorem Crawford.  They  left the Naval Yard in Washington around 5 p.m.on April 4 and traveled on board the steamer "Carrie Martin" stopping near Indian Head Maryland due to a snow squall. They celebrated Tad's 10th birthday aboard the ship.

The presidential party arrived at the mouth of the creek at 10 a.m. and took a special train to Falmouth, Virginia and to General Hooker's headquarters. While there they reviewed about 10,000 Union cavalry soldiers. Mrs. Lincoln spent her first night sleeping in a tent, quite a daunting experience, no doubt for herself. Her son, Tad, at the same time, was loving every minute of his soldering experience.

 President Lincoln has set April 30, 1863 as a national day of humiliation, sating and prayer.

Philadelphia artist Martin was commissioned to paint a full-length formal portrait of President Lincoln and his two sons.