Sunday, June 25, 2017

Diary of John Hay: September 29, 1864

. . . . Webster has just returned here from the North. He says New York is absolutely safe; that Weed is advising his friends to bet; that Dean Richmond is despondent — saying the Democratic party are half traitors.

Things looked very blue a month ago. A meeting was held in New York (to which Geo.Wilkes refers) of Union men opposed to Lincoln, and it was resolved that he should be requested to withdraw from the canvass. But Atlanta and the response of the country to the Chicago infamy set matters right. . . . .

Grant is moving on Lee. This morning early the President telegraphed to Grant expressing his anxiety that Lee should not reinforce Early against Sheridan. Grant answered that he had taken measures to prevent it by attacking Lee himself. He is moving in two columns; Ord south, and Birney north of the James. Stanton was much excited on hearing the news and said “he will be in Richmond to-night.” “No,” said the President; “Halleck, what do you think?” Halleck answered that he would not be surprised if he got either Richmond or Petersburg by the manoeuvre.

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 229-30; Michael Burlingame and John R. Turner Ettlinger, Editors, Inside Lincoln’s White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay, p. 234.

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