In preparations for the upcoming Republican National Convention, Mr. Lincoln asked me to speak on his behalf among the fourteen counties of the 8th circuit of Illinois. This was familiar territory for me for I had been an attorney on the 8th Circuit for a dozen years. I was pleased to have been asked. I was not going to let a little bruising from my recent carriage accident stand in my way.
The president also indicated to me that he preferred dropping Hannibal Hamlin from the vice-presidential slot in favor of Andrew Johnson, the military governor of Tennessee. Although Tennessee had seceded, Johnson was a staunch Union man. Mr. Lincoln felt Johnson's name on the ticket would enhance his chance for re-election -- which was certainly not a forgone conclusion. But the president also thought he should leave that decision up to the convention delegates.
The only thing that dampened spirits going into the convention was the horrible news that General Grant had lost 7,000 men in one hour in the trenches at Cold Harbor near Richmond. It didn't help to also hear the news that General Lee had only lost 1,500 over that same time period.