To Ambrose E. Burnside

Major General Burnside— Washington, D.C.
Cincinnati, O. May 29. 1863

Your despatch of to-day received. When I shall wish to supersede you I will let you know. All the cabinet regretted the necessity of arresting, for instance, Vallandigham, some perhaps, doubting, that there was a real necessity for it—but, being done, all were for seeing you through with it. A. LINCOLN


To William S. Rosecrans

Major General Rosecrans             Executive Mansion,
My dear Sir                                         Washington, May 28. 1863.

I have but a slight personal acquaintance with Col. Jaquess, though I know him very well by character. Such a mission as he proposes I think promises good, if it were free from difficulties, which I fear it can not be. First, he can not go with any government authority whatever. This is absolute and imperative. Secondly, if he goes without authority, he takes a great deal of personal risk—he may be condemned, and executed as a spy. If, for any reason, you think fit to give Col. Jaquess a Furlough, and any authority from me, for that object, is necessary, you hereby have it for any length of time you see fit. Yours very truly


To John M. Schofield

                                                   Executive Mansion,
Gen. J. M. Schofield           Washington, May 27. 1863.

My dear Sir: Having relieved Gen. Curtis and assigned you to the command of the Department of the Missouri—I think it may be of some advantage for me to state to you why I did it. I did not relieve Gen. Curtis because of any full conviction that he had done wrong by commission or omission. I did it because of a conviction in my mind that the Union men of Missouri, constituting, when united, a vast majority of the whole people, have entered into a pestilent factional quarrel among themselves, Gen. Curtis, perhaps not of choice, being the head of one faction, and Gov. Gamble that of the other. After months of labor to reconcile the difficulty, it seemed to grow worse and worse until I felt it my duty to break it up some how; and as I could not remove Gov. Gamble, I had to remove Gen. Curtis. Now that you are in the position, I wish you to undo nothing merely because Gen. Curtis or Gov. Gamble did it; but to exercise your own judgment, and do right for the public interest. Let your military measures be strong enough to repel the invader and keep the peace, and not so strong as to unnecessarily harrass and persecute the people. It is a difficult role, and so much greater will be the honor if you perform it well. If both factions, or neither, shall abuse you, you will probably be about right. Beware of being assailed by one, and praised by the other. Yours truly


To Isaac N. Arnold

Private & confidential
Hon. I. N. Arnold.               Executive Mansion,
My dear Sir:                           Washington, May 26. 1863.

Your letter advising me to dismiss Gen. Halleck is received. If the public believe, as you say, that he has driven Fremont, Butler, and Sigel from the service, they believe what I know to be false; so that if I were to yield to it, it would only be to be instantly beset by some other demand based on another falsehood equally gross. You know yourself that Fremont was relieved at his own request, before Halleck could have had any thing to do with it— went out near the end of June, while Halleck only came in near the end of July. I know equally well that no wish of Halleck’s had any thing to do with the removal of Butler or Sigel. Sigel, like Fremont, was relieved at his own request, pressed upon me almost constantly for six months, and upon complaints that could have been made as justly by almost any corps commander in the army, and more justly by some. So much for the way they got out. Now a word as to their not getting back. In the early Spring, Gen. Fremont sought active service again; and, as it seemed to me, sought it in a very good, and reasonable spirit. But he holds the highest rank in the Army, except McClellan, so that I could not well offer him a subordinate command. Was I to displace Hooker, or Hunter, or Rosecrans, or Grant, or Banks? If not, what was I to do? And similar to this, is the case of both the others. One month after Gen. Butler’s return, I offered him a position in which I thought and still think, he could have done himself the highest credit, and the country the greatest service, but he declined it. When Gen. Sigel was relieved, at his own request as I have said, of course I had to put another in command of his corps. Can I instantly thrust that other out to put him in again?

And now my good friend, let me turn your eyes upon another point. Whether Gen. Grant shall or shall not consummate the capture of Vicksburg, his campaign from the beginning of this month up to the twenty second day of it, is one of the most brilliant in the world. His corps commanders, & Division commanders, in part, are McClernand, McPherson, Sherman, Steele, Hovey, Blair, & Logan. And yet taking Gen. Grant & these seven of his generals, and you can scarcely name one of them that has not been constantly denounced and opposed by the same men who are now so anxious to get Halleck out, and Fremont & Butler & Sigel in. I believe no one of them went through the Senate easily, and certainly one failed to get through at all. I am compelled to take a more impartial and unprejudiced view of things. Without claiming to be your superior, which I do not, my position enables me to understand my duty in all these matters better than you possibly can, and I hope you do not yet doubt my integrity. Your friend, as ever A. LINCOLN

To Anson Stager

Anson Stager                    Washington, D.C.,
Cleveland, O.                     May 24 1863 [10:40 P.M.]

Late last night Fuller telegraphed you, as you say, that “the stars and stripes float over Vicksburg, and the victory is complete”.  Did he know what he said, or did he say it without knowing it? Your despatch of this afternoon throws doubt upon it.


To Stephen A. Hurlbut

Major General Hurlbut              Washington, D.C.,
Memphis Tenn.                             May 22. 1863

We have news here in the Richmond newspapers of 20th. & 21st. including a despatch from Gen. Joe Johnson himself, that on 15th. or 16th. (a little confusion as to the day) Grant beat Pemberton & Loring near Edwards’ Station, at the end of a nine hours fight, driving Pemberton over the Big Black & cutting Loring off, & driving him South to Chrystal-Springs 25 miles below Jackson. Joe Johnson telegraphed all this, except about Loring, from his camp between Brownsville & Lexington, on the 18th. Another despatch indicates that Grant was moving against Johnson on the 18th.


To Henry T. Blow, Charles D. Drake and Others

Hon. H. T. Blow               Executive Mansion,
C. D. Drake & others       Washington,
St. Louis, Mo                     May 15, 1863. [9 P.M.]

Your despatch of to-day is just received. It is very painful to me that you in Missouri can not, or will not, settle your factional quarrel among yourselves. I have been tormented with it beyond endurance for months, by both sides. Neither side pays the least respect to my appeals to your reason. I am now compelled to take hold of the case. A. LINCOLN