Friday, June 9, 2017

Diary of John Hay: Thursday Night, June 9, 1864

The President came into my room just before bed-time, and said that Rosecrans had been sending despatches requesting that an officer of his staff might be sent to Washington to lay before the President matters of great importance in regard to a conspiracy to overthrow the government. He asked for this permission on account of the outrage committed upon Major Bond of his staff, who was some time ago court-martialed for coming to Washington under General Rosecrans’ orders. Recently Gov. Yates has joined in Rosecrans’ request asking that Sanderson shall be sent for. “If it is a matter of such overwhelming importance,” said the President, “I don't think Sanderson is the proper person to whom to entrust it. I am inclined to think that the object of the General is to force me into a conflict with the Secretary of War, and to make me overrule him in this matter. This, at present, I am not inclined to do. I have concluded to send you out there to talk it over with Rosecrans and to ascertain just what he has. I would like you to start to-morrow.” He gave me in the morning, before I was out of bed, this note to deliver to Rosecrans:—

Executive Mansion.
June 10, 1864

Major John Hay, the bearer, is one of my Private Secretaries, to whom please communicate in writing or verbally, anything you would think proper to say to me.

Yrs truly,

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 199-200; This diary entry was clearly written after June 9. See Michael Burlingame & John R. Turner Ettlinger, Editors, Inside Lincoln’s White House: The Complete War Diary of John Hay, p. 202-3 for the full diary entry which they date June 17.

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