Thursday, November 17, 2016

Diary of John Hay: May 1, 1861

There were a half-dozen good-looking members of the Seventh Regiment called upon the Commander-in-Chief of the Armies and Navies this afternoon. He was very frank and cordial with them. He spoke amusedly of the Times’ proposition of deposing him, and said that the Government had three things to do: — Defend Washington; Blockade the Ports; and retake Government property. All the possible despatch was to be used in these matters, and it would be well if the people would cordially assist in this work before clamoring for more. The proclamation calling out the troops is only two weeks old. No people on earth could have done what we have in that time.

Montgomery Blair came in with the intelligence that our office-holders had been quietly installed at Baltimore under the floating of the constellated banner, and that the police-board had removed the restriction on the sale of flour. He thought the outbreak at the Massachusetts passage was the work of secession officials who were unwilling to lose their lease of plunder. He thoroughly believed in the loyalty of Maryland. The President seemed to think that if quiet was kept in Baltimore, a little longer, Maryland might be considered the first of the redeemed. . . .

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 28-9; Tyler Dennett, Editor, Lincoln and the Civil War in the Diaries and Letters of John Hay, p. 16;

No comments: