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July 21st, 1863 AD (search for this): chapter 6
on whom I can depend and rely upon taking care of themselves and commands. The loss of Reynolds and Hancock is most serious; their places are not to be supplied. However, with God's help, I will continue to do the best I can. Union, Va., July 21, 1863. Your indignation at the manner in which I was treated on Lee's escape is not only natural, but was and is fully shared by me. I did think at one time writing frankly to the President, informing him I never desired the command, and would risoners. He has been misinformed and it will be easy to prove the truth of my despatches. Letters—Lincoln to Howard, Halleck to Meade, and Meade to Halleck—mentioned in last letter: Lincoln to Howard: Executive mansion, Washington, 21st July, 1863. My dear General Howard: Your letter of the 10th is received. I was deeply mortified by the escape of Lee across the Potomac, because the substantial destruction of his army would have ended the war, and because I believed such destr
July 26th, 1863 AD (search for this): chapter 6
e of duty. I shall continue to exercise it, to the best of my humble capacity, in the same spirit. I have no ambition or ulterior views, and whatever be my fate, I shall try to preserve a clear conscience. I have received very handsome letters, both from Generals McClellan and Pope, which I enclose for your perusal and preservation. For letter from McClellan to Meade, see Appendix D. I have answered them both in the same spirit as appears to have dictated them. Warrenton, Va., July 26, 1863. I think my last letter to you was about the 21st or 22d, when I was embarrassed at not ascertaining anything definite in regard to Lee's movements. The next day, the 22d, I had positive information he was moving up the Valley of the Shenandoah. I immediately put my army in motion and pushed through Manassas Gap, where I met a part of his force. By the evening of the 24th I drove his force through Manassas Gap, and debouched with the head of my army into the open country beyond, i
July 28th, 1863 AD (search for this): chapter 6
ief a hobby possibly—that the main rebel army going north of the Potomac could never return, if well attended to; and because I was so greatly flattered in this belief by the operations at Gettysburg. A few days having passed I am now profoundly grateful for what was done, without criticism for what was not done. General Meade has my confidence as a brave and skillful officer and a true man. Yours very truly, A. Lincoln. Halleck to Meade: Headquarters of the army, Washington, July 28, 1863. (Unofficial.) Major-General Meade, Army of the Potomac, Warrenton, Va. General: I take this method of writing you a few words which I could not well communicate in any other way. Your fight at Gettysburg met with universal approbation of all military men here. You handled your troops in that battle as well, if not better, than any general has handled his army during the war. You brought all your forces into action at the right time and place, which no commander of the Army of the
July 31st, 1863 AD (search for this): chapter 6
can get ready I shall move on again, and it remains to be seen whether he will make a stand on the Rappahannock or behind the Rapidan. Some people think they are preparing to abandon Virginia altogether, but I doubt this. Warrenton, Va., July 31, 1863. I enclose you two letters recently received—one from the President to General Howard, who thought it proper to write to Mr. Lincoln, deprecating his dissatisfaction with me, and informing him I had the full confidence of the army. The ory. I need not assure you, General, that I have lost none of the confidence which I felt in you when I recommended you for the command. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, H. W. Halleck. Meade to Halleck: Headquarters, A. P., July 31, 1863. (Unofficial.) Major-General Halleck, General-in-Chief. My Dear General: I thank you most sincerely and heartily for your kind and generous letter of the 28th inst., received last evening. It would be wrong in me to deny that I feared th
August 3rd, 1863 AD (search for this): chapter 6
ment I earnestly desire to be relieved, not on my own account, but on account of the country and the cause. You must excuse so much egotism, but your kind letter in a measure renders it necessary. I feel, General, very proud of your good opinion, and assure you I shall endeavor in the future to continue to merit it. Reciprocating the kind feeling you have expressed, I remain, General, most truly and respectfully yours, George G. Meade, Major-General. To Mrs. George G. Meade: Monday, August 3, 1863. I send a few lines by Sergeant, Son of General Meade. who returns to-day. We see by the Herald that two of General Meade's sons are drafted, and the inference is that Sergeant's name has been drawn, and he ought therefore to be at home to attend to it. He has had a very nice time, of which he will give you the particulars. There was a handsome little fight that Buford's cavalry had day before yesterday, that he might have seen, but the weather was very warm and the scene of
August 6th, 1863 AD (search for this): chapter 6
uit of Lee, though I strongly recommended an advance. This is confidential, though the newspapers for some days have been announcing that I would have to assume the defensive. Halleck in one despatch said it was because a considerable part of my army would be required to enforce the draft, but afterwards said he would only require sixteen hundred men, which I have sent. I don't know what this all means, but I suppose in time it will all come right. Headquarters army of the Potomac, August 6, 1863. I think I told you confidentially that Halleck had ordered me to halt and cease pursuing Lee, that I had given my judgment against the measure, but had been over-ruled. I do not know the reason. The other day, as you saw in the papers, I pushed my cavalry forward, which alarmed them (the enemy), so that Lee immediately withdrew all his infantry behind the Rapidan. I am quite sure if I was to advance now, he would fall back to Richmond. What I fear from the delay is that he wil
August 9th, 1863 AD (search for this): chapter 6
lize my army. I have written to——— exactly what has occurred, and said that though my relations with Hooker would not justify me in objecting to his being ordered, yet I had no idea of applying for him, and I did not think either Hooker or his friends could or would expect me to do so. It would be very difficult for Hooker to be quiet under me or any one else, and I sincerely trust some independent command will be found for him, and that it will not be necessary to send him here. Sunday, August 9, 1863. General Crawford, commanding Pennsylvania Reserves, has notified me that the sword which they desire to present me with is ready, and asked me to allow an officer to go to Philadelphia to get it, and make the necessary arrangements, which I have done; so this affair of long standing will soon come off. I note what you say ——— reports as the secession talk of New York; the same thing has been said in the Times, Tribune and Herald; but I was ahead of all these gentlemen, a
August 16th, 1863 AD (search for this): chapter 6
heartily responded to, the Government had better make up its mind to letting the South go. Don't misunderstand me; I am nothing of a copperhead. I am for a vigorous prosecution of the war; but the war cannot be prosecuted with any hope of success, not only without men, but a great many willing men; men who have their hearts in the business and who are determined to fight and to conquer, or die. I have had Warren made a major general, and George's friend, Colonel Ganard, a brigadier. August 16, 1863. I had a very quiet journey back, arriving at my headquarters about 10 P. M. I found that important despatches had been sent to me at 4 P. M., indicating a probable movement on the part of the enemy; so that it was very well that I returned. This information, brought by a scout, does not seem up to this moment to have been confirmed, and the stampede produced by it has pretty nearly passed away. I hope you had a pleasant journey to Philadelphia, and found them all well at home.
August 19th, 1863 AD (search for this): chapter 6
l at home. The manner in which I was received and treated in Washington by all with whom I came in contact was certainly most gratifying to me. I really believe I have the confidence of all parties and will continue to retain it, unless some great disaster should overtake me, which I ought not to anticipate. It will be best for both of us to look upon the future in the most favorable light, and trust to that kind Providence which hitherto has so signally blessed and protected us. August 19, 1863. Lee finds it as hard to recruit his army as I do mine. I do not hear of any reinforcements of any consequence joining him. At the same time it is very difficult to obtain any minute or reliable intelligence of his movements. I saw to-day a note from Baldy Smith, who is at Hagerstown, commanding four hundred men and a secesh hospital. He says he is afraid to make any stir, for fear they should serve him as they have Franklin, who is at Baton Rouge, commanding a division under B
August 21st, 1863 AD (search for this): chapter 6
anding a division under Banks. This is pretty hard for Franklin, and I feel sorry for him. I had a visit yesterday from a Mrs. Harris, a lady belonging to the Sanitary and Christian Commissions, who has been connected with the army for a long time, and who, every one says, does a great deal of good. She talked a great deal about Philadelphia, where she belongs, and where she was going on a visit, and said every one would be inquiring about me, so that she had to come and see me. August 21, 1863. The draft, so far as the drawing of the names, appears to have passed off quietly in New York, but the tug will be when they attempt to secure the men. As, however, the Councils have appropriated money enough to buy off all the quota from the city, I should think the difficulty might be avoided. I had a visit to-day from Mason Norvell, whom you may remember in Detroit. He was just from Detroit, and brought me many messages from my friends there, and said I could not realize how
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