To the Senate and House of Representatives

January 31, 1862

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

As a sequel to the correspondence on the subject, previously communicated, I transmit to Congress extracts from a despatch of the 20th. ultimo, from Mr. Adams, United States Minister at London, to the Secretary of State, and a copy of an instruction from Earl Russell to Lord Lyons, of the 10th. instant, relative to the removal of certain citizens of the United States from the British mail steamer Trent, by order of the Commander of the United States war steamer San Jacinto. ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Washington, 31st. Jany. 1862.


President’s Special War Order No. 1

Executive Mansion
Washington January 31, 1862
Presidents Special War Order, No. 1.

Ordered that all the disposable force of the Army of the Potomac, after providing safely for the defense of Washington, be formed into an expedition, for the immediate object of siezing and occupying a point upon the Rail Road South Westward of what is known of Manassas Junction, all details to be in the discretion of the general-in-chief, and the expedition to move before, or on, the 22nd. day of February next. ABRAHAM LINCOLN

To Edwin M. Stanton

Executive Mansion,
Hon. Sec. of War Washington, January 31, 1862.

My dear Sir: It is my wish that the expedition commonly called the “Lane Expedition” shall be as much as has been promised at the Adjutant General’s Office, under the supervision of Gen. McClellan, and not any more. I have not intended, and do not now intend that it shall be a great exhausting affair; but a snug, sober column of 10,000 or 15,000. Gen. Lane has been told by me many times that he is under the command of Gen. Hunter, and assented to it as often as told. It was the distinct agreement between him & me when I appointed him, that he was to be under Hunter.

Yours truly A. LINCOLN

General James H. Lane’s earlier difficulties (see Lincoln to Cameron, December 16, 1861) were rapidly compounding. On January 24, 1862, Lorenzo Thomas wrote General David Hunter that “Brig. Gen. J. H. Lane. . . has urged upon the President and Secretary of War an expedition to be conducted by him from Fort Leavenworth against the region west of Missouri and Kansas [Arkansas]. The outlines of his plan were stated by him to be in accordance with your own views. . . . The General-in-Chief. . . desires it to be understood that a command independent of you is not given to General Lane, but he is to operate. . . under your supervision and control, and if you deem proper you may yourself command the expedition. . . .”. On January 27 Hunter issued General Orders No. 11, “In the expedition. . . called in the newspapers General Lane’s expedition, it is the intention of the major-general commanding the department to command in person. . . .”. Lane thereupon wrote Representative John Covode to “See the President, Secretary of War, and General McClellan, and answer what I shall do. . . .”. Hunter telegraphed Lincoln for a copy of Lincoln’s communication which Lane claimed to have left in Washington with his baggage. For further developments see Lincoln to Hunter and Lane, February 10.

President’s General War Order No. 1

Executive Mansion,
Washington, January 27, 1862.

President’s general War Order No. 1

Ordered that the 22nd. day of February 1862, be the day for a general movement of the Land and Naval forces of the United States against the insurgent forces.

That especially—

The Army at & about, Fortress Monroe.

The Army of the Potomac.

The Army of Western Virginia

The Army near Munfordsville [sic], Ky.

The Army and Flotilla at Cairo.

And a Naval force in the Gulf of Mexico, be ready for a movement on that day.

That all other forces, both Land and Naval, with their respective commanders, obey existing orders, for the time, and be ready to obey additional orders when duly given.

That the Heads of Departments, and especially the Secretaries of War and of the Navy, with all their subordinates; and the General-in-Chief, with all other commanders and subordinates, of Land and Naval forces, will severally be held to their strict and full responsibilities, for the prompt execution of this order.


Draft of Order sent to Army & Navy Departments respectively this day. A. LINCOLN

Jan. 27. 1862.

The Secretary of War will enter this Order in his Department, and execute it to the best of his ability. A. LINCOLN

Jan. 27, 1862.

To Heads of Departments and Bureaus

January 23, 1862

This man wants to work—so uncommon a want that I think it ought to be gratified. I shall be obliged by any Head of of [sic] a Bureau, or Department who can and will find work for him.

Jan. 23. 1862. A. LINCOLN

To Andrew H. Foote

[January 23, 1862]

The President wishes the rafts with their 13 inch mortars and all appointments to be ready for use at the earliest possible moment. What can we do here to advance this? What is lacking? What is being done, so far as you know? Telegraph us every day, showing the progress, or lack of progress in this matter.

The following endorsement was written by Henry A. Wise of the Navy Bureau of Ordnance on the bottom of Lincoln’s message: “Telegraphic dispatch written by President Lincoln for Flag Officer Foote and sent by H. A. Wise U.S.N. 23 Jan 1862 3.15 P.M.” Wise enclosed the autograph message with a letter of the same date as follows: “My dear Foote, I am just from the President, who is stirring up the army ordnance with a sharp stick about mortars. He said to me, ‘Now I am going to devote a part of every day to these mortars and I wont leave off until it fairly rains Bombs.’ I send you his autograph which may interest you.”  Foote replied by telegraph on January 24, “Telegraph of 23d. received last evening. I have sent an officer to Pittsburgh, to ascertain the condition of the mortars and mortar beds, and to hurry their completion. My last dispatch, from Pittsburgh, states that but one is ready . . .”. Foote was preparing the iron-plated gunboats built by James B. Eads for support of Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant’s movement up the Tennessee River. The movement began on February 6. 

To Edwin M. Stanton

Hon Sec of War Executive Mansion
My Dear Sir January 22. 1862

On reflection I think it will not do as a rule for the Adjutant General to attend me wherever I go; not that I have any objection to his presence, but that it would be an uncompensating incumbrance both to him and me. When it shall occur to me to go anywhere, I wish to be free to go at once, and not to have to notify the Adjutant General, and wait till he can get ready. It is better too, for the public service, that he shall give his time to the business of his office, and not to personal attendance on me. While I thank you for the kindness of the suggestion, my view of the matter is as I have stated. Yours truly A. LINCOLN