Friday, October 25, 2013

Areas in Maryland cause concern as slaves are bring taken as USCT recruits

This week the president addressed concerns over recruitment of Negroes in Maryland. Mr. Lincoln had approved their enlistment and government payment to plantation owners who allowed their slaves to enter the Union army. However, it seemed that over zealous recruiters were actually taking USCT soldiers  onto plantations and "recruiting" slaves without their consent or the consent of their owners. The situation got ugly when a plantation owner shot and killed a USCT recruiter, Lt. Ebin White, which frightened the people and produced confusion in the Patuxent Rover region.

When approached about the upcoming presidential election, Mr. Lincoln responded that "as second term would be a great honor and a great labor, which together, perhaps I would not decline, if tendered.

Friday, October 18, 2013

General Ulysses S. Grant takes command

With the federal army at Chickamauga in crisis due to the lack of food supplies, Secretary of State William Stanton personally carried orders to Ulysses S. Grant from the president calling for him to take command of the Military Division of the Mississippi and replace General Rosecrans with General George Thomas.

In addition, General Grant reopened the blocked rail lines and established what became known as the "Cracker Railroad" providing much needed supplies to the federal army.

A visitor to the White House happened to call the president "two faced" in a confrontation this week. Mr. Lincoln responded with a chuckle. "Sir. Do you think if I had two faces I would wear this one?" Enough said on that matter.

The Lincoln's, including son Tad, attended a benefit performance of the play "Macbeth" at the Grover's Theater. The performance raised over $2000 for the Sanitary Commission to tend to the needs of soldiers.

The president ended the week by calling up another 300,000 volunteers.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The president attends a grand event at the newly remodelled Grover's Theater

On October 6, the president and Mrs. Lincoln along with Secretary of State William Seward and their families attended the Grand Reopening of the Grover's New National Theater in Washington. The event drew almost two thousand people more than the capacity of the theater, and that number had to be turned away. The presidential party stayed throughout the evening, and reportedly thoroughly enjoyed the performance of Shakespeare's Othello."

The Lincoln frequented the theaters often. I was not in favor of that activity as I thought the theater offered an unsafe environment for the president. But as was the case many times before, Mr.Lincoln listened to my advice, but did not take it.

The president approved the visit of a Southern woman, Mrs. Thomas Clemsin, daughter of statesman John C. Calhoun, to visit her son, who was held prisoners at Johnson's Island, near Sandusky, Ohio.

Friday, October 4, 2013

A message of temprance is delivered to the White House

The Sons of the Temperance Society met with Mr. Lincoln in the Eat Room on September 29. The organization tried to convince President Lincoln that alcohol consumption was the reason for our recent battle defeats. The president pointed out that he had read that the rebel soldiers not only drank more than the Union boys but that their whiskey was of inferior quality.

The president listened, though it was hardly any message he needed to hear. Mr. Lincoln did not imbibe. He did take the occasion to remind me of my love for alcohol and my need to curb my bad habit. By this time I was still drinking several pitchers of whiskey on average each and every single day. I listened, but was probably not going to make any major changes due to the Temperance Society or the president's urging.

Mr. Lincoln set the date of thanksgiving by proclamation on October 3 as the last Thursday in November.