Monday, September 2, 2013

Abraham Lincoln to Major General William S. Rosecrans, August 31, 1863

Executive Mansion,
Washington, August 31, 1863.

My dear General Rosecrans

Yours of the 22nd was received yesterday. When I wrote you before, I did [not] intend, nor do I now, to engage in an argument with you on military questions. You had informed me you were impressed, through Gen. Halleck, that I was dissatisfied with you; and I could not bluntly deny that I was, without unjustly implicating him. I therefore concluded to tell you the plain truth, being satisfied the matter would thus appear much smaller than it would if seen by mere glimpses. I repeat that my appreciation of you has not abated. I can never forget, whilst I remember anything, that about the end of last year, and beginning of this, you gave us a hard earned victory which, had there been a defeat instead, the nation could scarcely have lived over. Neither can I forget the check you so opportunely gave to a dangerous sentiment which was spreading in the North.

Yours as ever

SOURCES: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 52, Part 1 (Serial No. 109), p. 442; Roy P. Basler, editor, Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 6, p. 424-5; A copy of this letter can be found in The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress 

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