1862: “Personal Wish That All Men Everywhere Could Be Free”

Executive Mansion

Washington, August 22, 1862.

Hon. Horace Greely:

Dear Sir

I have just read yours of the 19th address to myself through the New-York Tribune. If there be in it any statements, or assumptions of fact, which I may know to be erroneous, I do not, now and here, controvert them. If there be in it any inferences which I may believe to be falsely drawn, I do not now and here, argue against them. If there be perceptible in it an impatient and dictatorial tone, I waive it in deference to an old friend, whose heart I have always supposed to be right.

As to the policy I “seem to pursuing” as you say, I have not meant to leave any one in doubt. Continue reading

1862: “Treated As Outlaws”

WAR DEPT., ADIT. AND INSP. GENERAL’S OFFICE,

GENERAL ORDERS, NO. 60

Richmond, August 21, 1862

  1. Whereas, Major-General Hunter, recently in command of the enemy’s forces on the coast of South Carolina, and Brigadier-General Phelps, a military commander in the State of Louisiana, have organized and armed negro slaves for military service against their masters, citizens of this Confederacy; and whereas, the Government of the United States has refused to answer an inquiry whether said conduct of its officers has met its sanction, and has thus left to this Government no other means of repressing said crimes and outrages than the adoption of such measure of retaliation as shall serve to prevent their repetition:

Continue reading

1862: “Willing To Exterminate Us”

August 9, 1862

We went to Anna Brown’s funeral this morning, a most sad and touching service. We begin to feel anxious and a little depressed. We hear nothing from Jackson, he is lost again. It is true that always means that some great move is on hand. The most malignant spirit pervades the Lincoln government. If their plans could be carried out, they would be quite willing to exterminate us. The paper this evening says the rejoicing of yesterday were premature. McClellan has retired again from Malvern Hill. It was merely a reconnaissance, they say. Continue reading

1862: “I Must Save This Government If Possible”

Private

Executive Mansion,

Washington, July 26, 1862.

Hon Reverdy Johnson

My Dear Sir.

Yours of the 16th. by the hand of Governor Shepley is received. It seems the Union feeling in Louisiana is being crushed out by the course of General Phelps. Please pardon me for believing that is a false pretense. The people of Louisiana – all intelligent people every where – know full well, that I never had a wish to touch the foundations of their society, or any right of theirs. With perfect knowledge of this, they forced a necessity upon me to send armies among them, and it is their own fault, not mine, that they are so annoyed by the presence of General Phelps. They also know the remedy – know how to be cured of General Phelps. Remove the necessity of his presence… They very well know the way to avert all this is simply to take their place in the Union upon the old terms. If they will not do this, should they not receive harder blows rather than lighter ones? Continue reading

1862: “We Are Spartans”

July 18, 1862

General Huger sent to inspect ordnance. Sent to Coventry?

Jackson gone into the enemy’s country. Joe Johnston and Wade Hampton to follow.

Think of Rice – Mr. Senator Rice – who sent us the buffalo robes. I see from his place in the Senate – speaks of us as savages who put powder and whiskey in the soliders’ canteens to make them mad with ferocity in the fight. No – never. We admire coolness here – because we lack it. We do not need to be fired by drink to be brave. My classcial lore is small indeed. I faintly remember something of the Spartans who marched to the music of lutes – no drum and fife was needed to fillip their fainting spirits. In that one thing we are Spartans. The powder we cannot spare from one musket. Alas we have so little of it, and we need so much Continue reading