Thursday, November 3, 2016

Diary of John Hay: April 25, 1861

At the request of the Tycoon, who imagined he had seen something significant steaming up the river, I went down to the Navy Yard. Saw Dahlgren, who at once impressed me as a man of great coolness and power. The boat was the Mt. Vernon, who reported everything right in the river.

About noon the Seventh Regiment came. I went to the Depot and saw Lefferts, who communicated the intelligence of their peaceful passage, with which I straightway gladdened the heart; of the Ancient. Cale Smith was with him as I returned. He was just reading a letter from Hamlin advising the immediate manufacture of rifled cannon from the Chicopee Works. Lincoln seemed to be in a pleasant, hopeful mood, and, in the course of the conversation, partially foreshadowed his present plan. He said: “I intend, at present, always leaving an opportunity for change of mind, to fill Fortress Monroe with men and stores; blockade the ports effectually; provide for the entire safety of the Capital; keep them quietly employed in this way, and then go down to Charleston and pay her the little debt we are owing her.”

. . . . General Butler has sent an imploring request to the President to be allowed to bag the whole nest of traitorous Maryland legislators and bring them in triumph here. This the Tycoon, wishing to observe every comity even with a recusant State, forbade.

To-day we got a few letters and papers and felt not quite so forlorn. . . .

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 24-5

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