Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Congressman Galusha A. Grow to Simon Cameron, May 5, 1861

GLENWOOD, May 5, 1861.

MY DEAR SIR: Reached home last night by way of New York. You have no conception of the depth of feeling universal in the Northern mind for the prosecution of this war until the flag floats from every spot on which it had a right to float a year ago. If the Administration fails to prosecute the war to that end, it will sink in the popular heart below that of Buchanan. There is but one feeling with all classes, parties, and sects – that the rebels must be made to lay down their arms everywhere, the traitors hung, and the union of the States restored before this contest closes. There is great dissatisfaction in New York at the ordering of Wool back to Troy, instead of acknowledging his services at a very critical point of time when all communication with Washington was cut off. For four or five days they heard nothing from Washington, and no one received any orders. If you could devise some way to have all that offer received, to remain, however, in the States till they are called for. The men who have left their business cannot wait long without pay from some source. In my judgment the enthusiasm of the hour ought not to be repressed by flat refusals on the part of the Government, but let them be held in readiness (in some way) in the States. The people in New York and the cities are very impatient for Baltimore to be opened, and on the rumor that the Government would not invade Virginia they were perfectly indignant, and I wish to say to you that if the Government adopts that policy there will be a universal execration go up from the North, and you will be as powerless in thirty days as you are now powerful. I saw many of the solid men in New York, and they have embarked their all in this contest, provided the Administration will prosecute it to the bitter end, if need be, to quell insurrection and hang traitors, so that no madcaps will ever try the experiment again.

I beg your pardon for trespassing so long on your attention. My object was briefly to assure you that any measures the most efficient, no matter what the cost, in prosecuting this war would be most satisfactory, if it has for its object the foregoing results. I give you this state of public feeling, for I am anxious that you should meet its expectation, as I confidently believe you will.

Most truly, yours,

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series III, Volume 1 (Serial No. 122), p. 160

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