Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Diary of Gideon Welles: Monday, August 7, 1865

Attended the funeral of Captain Drayton at 5 P.M., at St. John's Church. Arrangements were very complete, and he was buried, or rather entombed, in Oakland Cemetery, Georgetown, with appropriate honors.

Governor Dennison called, having been sent by Secretary Seward, who wished to see us together. The subject of consultation was the President's health and method of doing business. He, Seward, had returned and called to-day at once on the President, who was looking ill and oppressed, and S. so told him. The President inquired if nothing could be done to relieve him of the immense throng that was incessantly pressing on him. Seward told him he had no doubt relief might be had, and he would prepare a general order for that purpose. This had been prepared, and, seeing Dennison, he had requested him to invite me to his house, that I might be aware of what was doing, and be prepared for it, when the subject came up to-morrow in the Cabinet, where he proposed to introduce it.

I concur most fully in the necessity of some thorough and effective change, and that speedily. On repeated occasions I have admonished the President, and have spoken to members of the Cabinet, Preston King, and others to the same purport.

Seward is much improved in health and looks by his visit to Cape May.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 2: April 1, 1864 — December 31, 1866, p. 354

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