To Thomas H. Clay
October 8, 2012 Leave a comment
Cincinnati O. Oct. 8 1862.
You can not have reflected seriously when you ask that I shall order Gen. Morgan’s command to Kentucky as a favor, because they have marched from Cumberland Gap. The precedent established by it would instantly break up the whole army. Buell’s old troops now in pursuit of Bragg, have done more hard marching recently. And, in fact, if you include marching and fighting, there are scarcely any old troops East or West of the mountains that have not done as hard service.
I sincerely wish war was an easier and pleasanter business than it is; but it does not admit of holy-days. On Morgan’s command, where it is now sent, as I understand, depends the question whether the enemy will get to the Ohio River in another place.
Thomas H. Clay, Henry Clay’s son whom Lincoln appointed minister to Nicaragua on October 21, 1862, telegraphed Lincoln from Cincinnati on October 8, as follows: “I have been waited on this morning by a committee of loyal Kentuckians now here, refugees, to request that Your Excellency will order the division under command of General G. W. Morgan to Kentucky. They think this division has done so much and suffered so much in their late march from Cumberland Gap to Greenupsburg that they are entitled to this favor at the hands of Your Excellency; and it is believed to be the wish of every loyal Kentuckian that this should be done.”