Sunday, June 26, 2016

Diary of Salmon P. Chase: Saturday, October 11, 1862

Surprised to read this morning that Stuart's Cavalry have taken Chambersburg, Penna. What next?

Reed, letter from John Cochrane, saying that McClellan appreciates my support while not approving his command, and would gladly cooperate with and see me; and that there is no substancial difference between us on the Slavery question. — Also received letter from Aspinwall about Five-twenty Loan, which he advises — He thinks 98 may be obtained — equivalent to, say, 75 in gold. — Also a letter from Cisco sending a $10 U. S. Note, purloined from National Bank Note Company and falsely filled and sealed. — Wrote Cisco about detective, and enclosed Aspinwall's note and asked his opinion. — Sundry other letters received and answered. — Needham (Ky) called. I accepted Williams' declination as Assessor Louisville District, and agreed to appoint Needham in his place — he to resign Collectorship.

Genl. Hunter, Maj. Halpin, Mr. Jay and Genl. Garfield (still our guest) at dinner. Maj. Halpin mentioned that McClellan had telegraphed Head Quarters that not one of the rebels who have invaded Pennsylvania shall return to Virginia. Hope it may be so, faintly. Too many bills of the same sort protested for the credit of the drawer.

After dinner talked a good deal with Genl. Hunter, who is very well read. Asked him his opinion of Halleck. He said, “He has ability and knowledge, but does not make an earnest study of the War — does not labor to get clear ideas of positions, conditions and possibilities, so as to seize and press advantages or remedy evils.” I then asked what he thought of the President? “A man irresolute but of honest intentions — born a poor white in a slave State and, of course among aristocrats — kind in spirit and not envious, but anxious for approval, especially of those to whom he has been accustomed to look up — hence solicitous of support of the Slaveholders in the Border States, and unwilling to offend them — without the large mind necessary to grasp great questions — uncertain of himself, and in many things ready to lean too much on others.” What of Stanton? “Know little of him. Have seen him but once, and was then so treated that I never desired to see him again. Think from facts which have come to my knowledge that he is not sincere. He wears two faces; but has energy and ability, though not steady power.” The conversation then turned on Douglas, whose ardent friend and constant supporter Hunter was — also on other persons and things. I found him well read and extremely intelligent.

Genl. Hunter tells me he desires to retire from the Army, and have some position in New York which will enable him to resume his special vocation as a writer for the Press. He says he has written lately some leaders for the “Republican”, and has aided the Proprietor of “Wilkes' Spirit of the Times.”

SOURCE: Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 104-6

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