Friday, March 28, 2014

The president continues to sit for Francis Carpenter's portrait

It took hours of time each week committed by the president to sit for portrait artist Francis Carpenter as he prepared his canvas rendering of the first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation to Lincoln's Cabinet.. Young Tad was no longer getting in the artist's way and in general, seemed to take a liking to the long term visitor at the Whited House. Tad was also excited to learn this week that a gift of a new pony was being sent to the White House.

In several meetings this week with Secretary of the Navy Giddeon Welles, it was determined that the Union Navy needed more sailors. By week's end, the president had signed an order for 12,000 of the army's men to be transferred to the navy.

The Lincolns hosted a splendid White House reception well attended by the general populous in spite of a snow storm. He also informed Congress of a new treaty with the Shawnee Indians.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Nevada becomes the 36th state of the Union

During this week in March, Mr. Lincoln abandoned attempts by Mr. Hay to sign up 10 percent of the population of Florida in an effort to seat a loyalist government there. Mr. Hay said loyalist to the Union had been persecute and had fled the state. Recently the Union had lost a battle in Olustee (February 20, 1864) attempting to cut of rebel supplies and in an attempt to recruit colored soldiers.

On March 21, Mr. Lincoln signed the legislation to allow Nevada to enter as the thirty-sixth stat of the Union.

Friday, March 14, 2014

President Lincoln meets General Grant

On March 8, following Congressional approval of the new rank of Lt. general for Ulysses S. Grant, the president and the new leader of the Union forces met for the first time. The following day, the president introduced Lt. General Grant to his cabinet. In his remarks the president said "the nation's appreciation of what you have done, and its reliance upon you for what remains to do,  in the existing great struggle, are now presented with this commission, constituting you Lt. General in the Army of the United States." At the meeting, Mr. Lincoln handed over command of 860,000 men and assigned him to the eastern theater.  Grant had preferred the west, but the president prevailed.

With Grant becoming the head of the army, Mr. Lincoln assigned General Halleck as Chief of Staff, while at the same time assigning General Sherman to command the military Division of Mississippi and General James. McPherson as commander of the Department and Army of Tennessee. The president also issued a draft order for the enlistment of an additional 200,000 men.

The president and his wife attended the last in the Edwin Booth series of plays at the Grover Theater, this time attending "Richard III".

Friday, March 7, 2014

The president sends appointment to Congress to raise Ulysses S. Grant to Lt. General

This week was a busy one at the White House.  The president appointed General Ulysses S. Grant as Lt. General and sent that to Congress. Members of Congress and their families attended a closed reception hosted by the Lincolns at the White House. The president and Mrs. Lincoln attended three plays, "Hamlet", "Fool's Revenge" and "Richelieu", all performed by Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth at Grover's Theater.

And speaking of Shakespeare. While Mr. Lincoln was sitting from Francis Carpenter's portrait, the president recited the soliloquy of the king in "Hamlet" from memory.

It was at this time also that the president, a long time advocate of the transcontinental railroad, established the starting point of the Union Pacific Railroad as being on the western boundary of the state of Iowa.