Sunday, February 26, 2017

Diary of John Hay: Sunday, November 8, 1863

The President tells me that Meade is at last after the enemy and that Grant will attack to-morrow.

Went with Mrs. Ames to Gardiner’s gallery and were soon joined by Nico and the President. We had a great many pictures taken. Some of the Prest the best I have seen. Nico and I immortalised ourselves by having ourselves done in group with the Prest.

In the evening Seward came in. He feels very easy and confident now about affairs. He says New York is safe for the Presidential election by a much larger majority, that the crowd that follows power have come over; that the copperhead spirit is crushed and humbled. He says the Democrats lost their leaders when Toombs and Davis and Breckinridge forsook them and went south; that their new leaders, the Seymours, Vallandighams and Woods, are now whipped and routed. So that they have nothing left. The Democratic leaders are either ruined by the war, or have taken the right-about, and have saved themselves from the ruin of their party by coming out on the right side. . . .

He told the Democratic party how they might have saved themselves and their organisation, and with it the coming Presidential election — by being more loyal and earnest in support of the administration than the Republican party — which would not be hard, the Lord knows!

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 118-9; For the whole diary entry see Tyler Dennett, Editor, Lincoln and the Civil War in the Diaries and letters of John Hay, p. 117-8.

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