To Simon Cameron

Hon. Sec. of War. Executive Mansion
My dear Sir— May 16. 1861

If possible, take the six Regiments now offered by Massachusetts. By their peculiar talent for taking care of themselves, they will give us less trouble in supplying them, than will most other troops. At all events give these gentlemen a hearing Yours truly

A. LINCOLN

On the bottom of the page is written, “Not agreed to for the present. Simon Cameron.” The Massachusetts First, Second, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Regiments were later accepted. On May 6, Governor John A. Andrew had written Montgomery Blair ” . . . I pray you claim and secure to us . . . the right to furnish six regiments . . . to march with the advancing column over the streets where our brothers poured out their blood. . . . ” (William Schouler, A History of Massachusetts in the Civil War, I, 166). Blair to Lincoln, May 16, reads in part as follows: “The error in Meig’s programme is common to the whole army and this is the reason why I have been so persistent in seeking an outsider for a leader. The military look upon the contest as one between the whole people of the South and the people of the North. This is a fundamental and fatal error. . . . Nor do I think there is any disrespect to Genl. Scott involved in the President’s adopting his own policy instead of Scott’s in the management of the war. . . . “

see Letter to Simon Cameron, May 14, 1861

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