Am sorry to see in the New York Tribune an attempt to compliment me by doing injustice to Mr. Seward. On the question of the French tobacco we differed. I think it should remain in Richmond until the blockade is raised. In regard to the claims of Spain to a maritime jurisdiction of six miles, Mr. S., though at first confused and perplexed, seemed relieved by my suggestion. I apprehend that Mr. Fox, who is intimate with one of the correspondents of the Tribune, may, with the best intentions to myself, have said something which led to the article. It may have been Mr. Sumner, who is acquainted with the facts, and often tells the newspaper people things they ought not to know and publish.
I fear the Rebel army will escape, and am compelled to believe that some of our generals are willing it should. They are contented to have the war continue. Never before have they been so served nor their importance so felt and magnified, and when the War is over but few of them will retain their present importance.
I directed Colonel Harris a few days since to instruct the Marine Band when performing on public days to give us more martial and national music. This afternoon they begun strong. Nicolay soon came to me aggrieved; wanted more finished music to cultivate and refine the popular taste, — German and Italian airs, etc. Told him I was no proficient, but his refined music entertained the few effeminate and the refined; it was insipid to most of our fighting men, inspired no hearty zeal or rugged purpose. In days of peace we could lull into sentimentality, but should shake it off in these days. Martial music and not operatic airs are best adapted to all.
SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 367-8