Friday, September 27, 2013

News of Chickamauga Creek is bad on two levels

The president received bad news concerning the battle at Chickamauga Creek, Tennessee where General Rosecrans was beaten badly. On receiving the news at the telegraph office, the president reacted with a rant very uncharacteristic and filled with words not normally heard by anyone. If the Confederate victory was not troubling enough news, the president also learned that his brother-ion-law, confederate general Ben Helm had been killed in the action.

Secretary of War Edwin Stanton woke Mr. Lincoln in the middle of the night and proposed that 23,000 men and nine batteries of artillery be sent to reinforce the Army of the Potomac at Chickamauga Creek. Mr. Lincoln endorsed the plan but doubted if they would arrive in time as Rosencrans men were trapped along the Tennessee River. Stanton pulled of a miracle of transportation, assigning the troops to the rails and delivering them tot he front within seven days, a trip covering a remarkable 1,159 miles.

In the mean time, Mr. Lincoln also sent General Joseph Hooker to relieve General Rosecrans.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Lincoln Cabinet approves suspension of writ of habeas corpus in military cases

The Cabinet met to discuss the possible suspension of habeas corpus in military matters. The judicial branch had actually been hindering the draft by using the writ. Judges had actually been throwing draft officials in jail to keep them from their duties of bring men into the service of the Union army. After much discussion, the Cabinet approved the suspension of the writ. The order for marshals to ignore the writs was finalized and announced on September 17.

The president also sent an urgent message to Governor Andrew Johnson of Tennessee to "do your utmost to get every man you can, black or white, under arms at the very earliest moment" and to "exercise such powers as may be necessary to enable the people of Tennessee to have a republican form of state government."

In his dispatch to General Halleck, the president reiterates his position on the Confederate Army, telling the general that the Army of the Potomac should have as its primary objective General Robert E. Lee's army and not Richmond.

Friday, September 13, 2013

President receives resignation letter from Union General Ambrose Burnside

President Lincoln is in receipt this week of a letter of resignation from General Ambrose Burnside. In his letter of resignation Burnside told President Lincoln that he would only remain as long as the president found it appropriate. Burnside suggested that President Lincoln "surround himself with men who have the confidence to lead the army and that he himself was not one of those men." The commander in chief refused to accept the resignation.

Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles reported on the state of the navy at the Cabinet meeting following his ten day tour of naval facilities and ships. His tour of Charleston harbor indicated "Sumter in ruins, its walls fallen in and a threatened assault on the city." But he did not expect immediate possession of the place because it was being defended with desperation, pride  and courage" that he compared to Don Quixote. He also reported that he had requested weekly updates from his naval commanders.

This week the president also sent over and approved authorization for Governor Johnson of Tennessee to being organizing a loyal state government as quickly as possible.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Criticism continues from Illinois faction

President Lincoln's frustration continues over dissatisfaction of his policies from some in Illinois. His reaction to the letter by James Conklin included the following: "You are dissatisfied with me about the Negro. You say you will not fight to free Negroes. Some of them seem willing to fight for you."

Mrs. Lincoln is spending this time visiting in Vermont. Her husband sent her a telegram as follows: "All well, and no news, except that General Burnside has Knoxville, Tennessee."

The president continues to be visited by wives and mother regarding their husbands and sons held in Confederate prisons. This week Dorcas Klaprath asked for release of her son from a hospital in which he was held as a prisoner. The president sought the help of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton on the matter, telling him to seek the satisfactory proof that the claim was legit and then make all haste to free the lad.