Friday, December 15, 2017

Major-General Darius N. Couch to Major-General Henry W. Halleck, June 30, 1863 – Received 5:50 p.m.

HARRISBURG, PA., June 30, 1863,                       
(Received 5.30 p.m.)
Maj. Gen. H W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief:

As telegraphed previously, part of the rebel forces, if not all, have fallen back toward Chambersburg, passing Shippensburg last night in great haste. I expect every moment to hear that my cavalry, under General Smith, has reoccupied Carlisle. My latest information is that Early, with his 8,000 men, went toward Gettysburg or Hanover, saying they expected to fight a great battle there. At Carlisle they said they were not going to be outflanked by Hooker.

D. N. COUCH,          
Major-General.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 27, Part 3 (Serial No. 45), p. 434

Major-General George G. Meade to Major-General Henry W. Halleck, July 2, 1863 – 8 p.m.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
July 2, 1863 8 p.m. (Received July 3, 5.15 p.m.)
Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief:

The enemy attacked me about 4 p.m. this day, and, after one of the severest contests of the war, was repulsed at all points. We have suffered considerably in killed and wounded. Among the former are Brigadier-Generals Paul and Zook, and among the wounded, Generals Sickles, Barlow, Graham, and Warren, slightly. We have taken a large number of prisoners. I shall remain in my present position to-morrow, but am not prepared to say, until better advised of the condition of the army, whether my operations will be of an offensive or defensive character.

GEO. G. MEADE,    
Major-General.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 27, Part 1 (Serial No. 43), p. 72

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Major-General George G. Meade to Major-General Henry W. Halleck, July 3, 1863 – 8:35 p.m.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,            
Near Gettysburg, July 3, 1863 8.35 p.m.  
(Received July 4, 6.10 a.m.)
Major-General HALLECK,
General-in-Chief:

The enemy opened at 1 p.m. from about 150 guns, concentrated upon my left and center, continuing without intermission for about three hours, at the expiration of which time he assaulted my left center twice, being upon both occasions handsomely repulsed, with severe loss to him, leaving in our hands nearly 3,000 prisoners; among the prisoners, Brigadier-General Armistead and many colonels and officers of lesser rank. The enemy left many dead upon the field and a large number of wounded in our hands.

The loss upon our side has been considerable. Major-General Hancock and Brigadier-General Gibbon were wounded. After the repelling of the assault, indications leading to the belief that the enemy might be withdrawing, an armed reconnaissance was pushed forward from the left, and the enemy found to be in force. At the present hour all is quiet. My cavalry have been engaged all day on both flanks of the enemy, harassing and vigorously attacking him with great success, notwithstanding they encountered superior numbers, both of cavalry and infantry. The army is in fine spirits.

GEO. G. MEADE,    
Major-General, Commanding.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 27, Part 1 (Serial No. 43), p. 74-5

Abraham Lincoln, July 4, 1863 – 10 a.m.

WAR DEPARTMENT,         
Washington, July 4, 1863 10 a.m.

The President announces to the country that news from the Army of the Potomac, up to 10 p.m. of the 3d, is such as to cover that army with the highest honor; to promise a great success to the cause of the Union, and to claim the condolence of all for the many gallant fallen; and that for this he especially desires that on this day, he, whose will, not ours, shou1d ever be done, be everywhere remembered and ever reverenced with profoundest gratitude.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 27, Part 3 (Serial No. 45), p. 515

Edwin M. Stanton to Major-General John A. Dix, July 4, 1863 – 5 p.m.

WAR DEPARTMENT,         
Washington, D.C., July 4, 1863 5 p.m.
Major-General Dix,
Fort Monroe:

Advices just received represent Meade's victory complete, and that Lee commenced retreating toward Chambersburg at 3 o clock this morning. Whether he ever gets to Richmond may depend much upon your success in breaking his communication.

 EDWIN M. STANTON.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 27, Part 3 (Serial No. 45), p. 529

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Edwin M. Stanton to Major-General Benjamin F. Kelley, July 5, 1863 – Received 10:30 p.m.


WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, July 5, 1863.  
(Received 10.30 p.m.)
Brigadier-General KELLEY, Clarksburg:

I have seen your dispatch to the Adjutant-General, and regret to hear you talk about "some days" to concentrate, when minutes are precious. The instructions and information given by the General-in-Chief this evening will show what an opportunity you have, by rapid and vigorous motion, to inflict a heavy blow upon the enemy. It will be a matter of deep regret if, by tardy movement, you let the chance escape. There should be no rest, night or day. Why are you still at Clarksburg?

EDWIN M. STANTON,       
Secretary of War.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 27, Part 3 (Serial No. 45), p. 550

Major-General Alfred Pleasonton to Major-General William H. French, July 5, 1863 – Received 11 a.m.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, July 5, 1863.   
(Received 11 a.m.)
Major-General FRENCH:

GENERAL: Major-General Meade desires me to say that, in consequence of a large body of the enemy being concentrated in the road toward Hagerstown, beyond Fairfield, he has suspended his operations for the present. Indications go to show that he intends evacuating the Cumberland Valley, but it is not yet positively ascertained. Until so ascertained, the general does not feel justified in leaving here and moving down toward you.

I am, general, yours, &c.,
A. PLEASONTON,  
Major-general.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 27, Part 3 (Serial No. 45), p. 534

Abraham Lincoln to Major-General Henry W. Halleck, July 6, 1863 – 7 p.m.

SOLDIERS’ HOME,
[Washington,] July 6, 1863 7 p.m.
Major-General HALLECK:

I left the telegraph office a good deal dissatisfied. You know I did not like the phrase, in Orders, No. 68, I believe, “Drive the invaders from our soil.” Since that, I see a dispatch from General French, saying the enemy is crossing his wounded over the river in flats, without saying why he does not stop it, or even intimating a thought that it ought to be stopped. Still later, another dispatch from General Pleasonton, by direction of General Meade, to General French, stating that the main army is halted because it is believed the rebels are concentrating “on the road toward Hagerstown, beyond Fairfield,” and is not to move until it is ascertained that the rebels intend to evacuate Cumberland Valley.

These things all appear to me to be connected with a purpose to cover Baltimore and Washington, and to get the enemy across the river again without a further collision, and they do not appear connected with a purpose to prevent his crossing and to destroy him. I do fear the former purpose is acted upon and the latter is rejected.

If you are satisfied the latter purpose is entertained and is judiciously pursued, I am content. If you are not so satisfied, please look to it.

Yours, truly,
A. LINCOLN.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 27, Part 3 (Serial No. 45), p. 567

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Major-General Henry W. Halleck to Major-General George G. Meade, July 7, 1863

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 7, 1863.
Major-General MEADE,
Frederick, Md.:

I have seen your dispatch to General Couch of 4.40 p.m. You are perfectly right. Push forward, and fight Lee before he can cross the Potomac.

H. W. HALLECK,    
General-in-Chief.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 27, Part 1 (Serial No. 43), p. 83

Major-General George G. Meade to Major-General Henry W. Halleck, July 10, 1863 – 1 p.m.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,            
July 10, 1863 1 p.m.          
(Received 3.10 p.m.)
Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief:

The information received to-day indicates that the enemy occupy positions extending from the Potomac, near Falling Waters, through Downsville to Funkstown, and to the northeast of Hagerstown, Ewell's corps being to the northeast of Hagerstown, Longstreet at Funkstown, and A. P. Hill on their right. These positions they are said to be intrenching. I am advancing on a line perpendicular to the line from Hagerstown to Williamsport, and the army will this evening occupy a position extending from the Boonsborough and Hagerstown road, at a point 1 mile beyond Beaver Creek, to Bakersville, near the Potomac. Our cavalry advanced this morning, drove in the enemy's cavalry on the Boonsborough pike to within a mile of Funkstown, when the enemy displayed a large force, and opened a fire from heavy guns, 20-pounders. I shall advance cautiously on the same line to-morrow until I can develop more fully the enemy's force and position, upon which my future operations will depend.

General Smith is still at Waynesborough. A dispatch was received from him at that place this morning. Instructions similar to those of yesterday were sent to him.

GEO. G. MEADE,    
Major-General, Commanding.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 27, Part 1 (Serial No. 43), p. 89

Major-General George G. Meade to Major-General Henry W. Halleck, July 12, 1863 – 4:30 p.m.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
July 12, 1863 4.30 p.m.  (Received 8 p.m.)
Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief:

Upon advancing my right flank across the Antietam this morning, the enemy abandoned Funkstown and Hagerstown, and my line now extends from the latter place to Fair Play. The advance of the cavalry on the right showed the enemy to be strongly posted on the Hagerstown and Williamsport road, about 1½ miles from Hagerstown. On the left, the cavalry advance showed them to be in position back of Saint James' College and at Downsville. Their position runs along the high ground from Downsville to near Hagerstown. This position they are intrenching. Batteries are established on it. It is my intention to attack them to-morrow, unless something intervenes to prevent it, for the reason that delay will strengthen the enemy and will not increase my force.

GEO. G. MEADE,    
Major-General.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 27, Part 1 (Serial No. 43), p. 91

Major-General Henry W. Halleck to Major-General George G. Meade, July 13, 1863 – 9:30 p.m.

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 13, 1863 9.30 p.m.
Maj. Gen. GEORGE G. MEADE,
Army of the Potomac:

Yours of 5 p.m. is received. You are strong enough to attack and defeat the enemy before he can effect a crossing. Act upon your own judgment and make your generals execute your orders. Call no council of war. It is proverbial that councils of war never fight. Re-enforcements are pushed on as rapidly as possible. Do not let the enemy escape.

H. W. HALLECK,    
General-in-Chief.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 27, Part 1 (Serial No. 43), p. 92

Edward S. Sanford to Edwin M. Stanton, July 13, 1863 – Received 12:10 p.m.


NEW YORK, July 13, 1863. 
(Received 12.10 p.m.)

SIR: What is represented as a serious riot is now taking place on Third avenue, at the provost-marshal's office. The office is said to have been burned, and the adjoining block to be on fire. Our wires in that direction have all been torn down. A report just in says the regulars from Governor's Island have been ordered to the vicinity.

Respectfully,
E. S. SANFORD.
Hon. E. M. STANTON.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 27, Part 2 (Serial No. 44), p. 886

Edward S. Sanford to Edwin M. Stanton, July 13, 1863 – Received 2:30 p.m.

NEW YORK, July 13, 1863. 
(Received 2.30 p.m.)

SIR: The riot has assumed serious proportions, and is entirely beyond the control of the police. Superintendent Kennedy is badly injured. So far the rioters have everything their own way. They are estimated at from 30,000 to 40,000. I am inclined to think from 2,000 to 3,000 are actually engaged. Appearances indicate an organized attempt to take advantage of the absence of military force.

Respectfully,
E. S. SANFORD.
Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 27, Part 2 (Serial No. 44), p. 886

Edward S. Sanford to Edwin M. Stanton, July 13, 1863 – 9:30 p.m.

NEW YORK, July 13, 1863 9.30 p.m.
(Received 11.45 p.m.)

SIR: The situation is not improved since dark. The programme is diversified by small mobs chasing isolated negroes as hounds would chase a fox. I mention this to indicate to you that the spirit of mob is loose, and all parts of the city pervaded. The Tribune office has been attacked by a reconnoitering party, and partially sacked. A strong body of police repulsed the assailants, but another attack in force is threatened. The telegraph is especially sought for destruction. One office has been burned by the rioters, and several others compelled to close. The main office is shut, and the business transferred to Jersey City.

In brief, the city of New York is to-night at the mercy of a mob, whether organized or improvised, I am unable to say. As far as I can learn, the firemen and military companies sympathize too closely with the draft resistance movement to be relied upon for the extinguishment of fires or the restoration of order. It is to be hoped that to-morrow will open upon a brighter prospect than is promised to-night.

Respectfully,
E. S. SANFORD.
Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 27, Part 2 (Serial No. 44), p. 886-7

Friday, December 8, 2017

Edwin M. Stanton to Alexander K. McClure, July 22, 1863


War Department
Washington City
July 22d, 1863
Dear Sir,

I have received your note of the 20th, but not the papers referred to therein.  I doubt not that you will be able to render in the Editorial Chair efficient service to the government, and also to give sensible advice to some of your friends that very much need it.

As long as General Meade remains in command he will receive the cordial support of the department but since the world began no man ever missed so great an opportunity of serving his country as was lost by his neglecting to strike his adversary at Williamsport.

I shall take occasion to furnish such patronage to your paper as the service will admit.  It has always been my opinion that the advertising should not be confined to the newspaper press of cities, but ought to be diffused in such rural districts as produce the materials required for the support of the service and directions have been given to the Chiefs of Bureaus in accordance with this view.

Yours truly,
Edwin M S[tanton]
Secretary of War
Hon. A. K. McClure
Chambersburg Pa

SOURCES: Stanton, E. M. (1863) Edwin McMasters Stanton Papers: Letterbooks, 1863 to 1865; 1863; 1863, June 4-Sept. 9. June 4. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/mss41202040/, images 46 & 47.  This letter was among a lot of 4 letters that were listed for auction on Sotheby’s, December 2, 2014.

Mayor George Opdyke to Edwin Stanton, July 14, 1863 – Received 4:25 p.m.

NEW YORK, July 14, 1863. 
(Received 4.25 p.m.)
Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:

SIR: Your dispatch received. Demonstrations very threatening. Governor Seymour is with me, and all the authorities, United States, State, and city, are co-operating in efforts to suppress it; but the military force at command is altogether inadequate. If you can render any assistance by sending a military force, please do so. I will keep you advised.

GEO. OPDYKE,       
Mayor.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 27, Part 2 (Serial No. 44), p. 916

Edwin M. Stanton to Mayor George Opdyke, July 14, 1863 – 6:55 p.m.


WAR DEPARTMENT,         
Washington, July 14, 1863 6.55 p.m.
Hon. GEORGE OPDYKE,
Mayor of New York:

SIR: Five regiments are under orders to return to New York. The retreat of Lee having now become a rout, with his army broken and much heavier loss of killed and wounded than was supposed, will relieve a larger force for the restoration of order in New York.

Intelligence has just reached here of the auspicious commencement of General Gillmore's operations against Charleston. All but one fort on Morris Island have been captured, and that will be speedily reduced, after which Sumter must follow.

EDWIN M. STANTON,       
Secretary of War.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 27, Part 2 (Serial No. 44), p. 916

Edwin M. Stanton to Major Edward S. Sanford, July 14, 1863 – 6:20 p.m.

WAR DEPARTMENT,         
Washington, July 14, 1863 6.20 p.m.
Maj. E. S. SANFORD,
New York:

SIR: The Government will be able to stand the test, even if there should be a riot and mob in every ward of every city. The retreat of Lee's army, now in a rout and utterly broken, will leave an ample force at the disposal of the Government.

EDWIN M. STANTON,       
Secretary of War.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 27, Part 2 (Serial No. 44), p. 889

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Edwin M. Stanton to Major George L. Stearns, September 18, 1863

WAR DEPARTMENT,         
Washington, D.C., September 18, 1863.
Major STEARNS,
Nashville :

If any difference of opinion exists or shall arise between Governor Johnson and yourself respecting the organization and employment of colored men in the State of Tennessee, he being the State Executive, you will conform your action to his views. All dissension is to be avoided, and if there is any want of harmony between you you had better leave Nashville and proceed to Cairo to await orders, reporting by telegraph your departure from Nashville and your arrival at Cairo.

EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series III, Volume 3 (Serial No. 124), p. 823

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Frederick Douglass to Major George L. Stearns, August 1, 1863

RochESTER, August 1st, 1863.
MAJOR GEORGE L. STEARNS:

My Dear Sir, Having declined to attend the meeting to promote enlistments, appointed for me at Pittsburgh, in present circumstances, I owe you a word of explanation. I have hitherto deemed it a duty, as it certainly has been a pleasure, to coƶperate with you in the work of raising colored troops in the free States to fight the battles of the Republic against slaveholding rebels and traitors. Upon the first call you gave me to this work I responded with alacrity. I saw, or thought I saw, a ray of light, brightening the future of my whole race, as well as that of our war-troubled country, in arousing colored men to fight for the nation's life. I continue to believe in the black man's arm, and still have some hope in the integrity of our rulers. Nevertheless, I must for the present leave to others the work of persuading colored men to join the Union army. I owe it to my long abused people, and especially to those already in the army, to expose their wrongs and plead their cause. I cannot do that in connection with recruiting. When I plead for recruits I want to do it with all my heart, without qualification. I cannot do that now. The impression settles upon me that colored men have much over-rated the enlightenment, justice, and generosity of our rulers at Washington. In my humble way I have contributed somewhat to that false estimate. You know that when the idea of raising colored troops was first suggested, the special duty to be assigned them was the garrisoning of forts and arsenals in certain warm, unhealthy, and miasmatic localities in the South. They were thought to be better adapted to that service than white troops. White troops trained to war, brave and daring, were to take fortifications, and the blacks were to hold them from falling again into the hands of the rebels. Three advantages were to arise out of this wise division of labor: 1st, The spirit and pride of white troops was not to waste itself in dull, monotonous inactivity in fort life; their arms were to be kept bright by constant use. 2d, The health of white troops was to be preserved. 3d, Black troops were to have the advantage of sound military training and to be otherwise useful, at the same time that they should be tolerably secure from capture by the rebels, who early avowed their determination to enslave and slaughter them in defiance of the laws of war. Two out of the three advantages were to accrue to the white troops. Thus far, however, I believe that no such duty as holding fortifications has been committed to colored troops. They have done far other and more important work than holding fortifications. I have no special complaint to make at this point, and I simply mention it to strengthen the statement that, from the beginning of this business, it was the confident belief among both the colored and white friends of colored enlistments that President Lincoln, as commander-in-chief of the army and navy, would certainly see to it that his colored troops should be so handled and disposed of as to be but little exposed to capture by the rebels, and that, if so exposed, as they have repeatedly been from the first, the President possessed both the disposition and the means for compelling the rebels to respect the rights of such as might fall into their hands. The piratical proclamation of Jefferson Davis, announcing slavery and assassination to colored prisoners, was before the country and the world. But men had faith in Mr. Lincoln and his advisers. He was silent, to be sure, but charity suggested that being a man of action rather than words he only waited for a case in which he should be required to act. This faith in the man enabled us to speak with warmth and effect in urging enlistments among colored men. That faith, my dear sir, is now nearly gone. Various occasions have arisen during the last six months for the exercise of his power in behalf of the colored men in his service. But no word comes to us from the war department, sternly assuring the rebel chief that inquisition shall yet be made for innocent blood. No word of retaliation when a black man is slain by a rebel in cold blood. No word was said when free men from Massachusetts were caught and sold into slavery in Texas. No word is said when brave black men, according to the testimony of both friend and foe, fought like heroes to plant the star-spangled banner on the blazing parapets of Fort Wagner and in so doing were captured, mutilated, killed, and sold into slavery. The same crushing silence reigns over this scandalous outrage as over that of the slaughtered teamsters at Murfreesboro; the same as over that at Milliken's Bend and Vicksburg. I am free to say, my dear sir, that the case looks as if the confiding colored soldiers had been betrayed into bloody hands by the very government in whose defense they were heroically fighting. I know what you will say to this; you will say “Wait a little longer, and, after all, the best way to have justice done to your people is to get them into the army as fast as you can.” You may be right in this; my argument has been the same; but have we not already waited, and have we not already shown the highest qualities of soldiers, and on this account deserve the protection of the government for which we are fighting? Can any case stronger than that before Charleston ever arise? If the President is ever to demand justice and humanity for black soldiers, is not this the time for him to do it? How many 54ths must be cut to pieces, its mutilated prisoners killed, and its living sold into slavery, to be tortured to death by inches, before Mr. Lincoln shall say, “Hold, enough!”

You know the 54th. To you, more than to any one man, belongs the credit of raising that regiment. Think of its noble and brave officers literally hacked to pieces, while many of its rank and file have been sold into slavery worse than death; and pardon me if I hesitate about assisting in raising a fourth regiment until the President shall give the same protection to them as to white soldiers.

With warm and sincere regards,
FREDERICK DOUGLASS.

SOURCE: Frederick Douglass, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, 418-20