To Andrew Johnson

Cypher                    United States Military Telegraph,
Gov. Johnson.         War Department.
Nashville, Tenn.     Washington, July 27. 1864

Yours in relation to Gen. A. C. Gillam just received. Will look after the matter to-day. I also received yours about Gen. Carl Schurz. I appreciate him certainly as highly as you do; but you can never know until you have the trial, how difficult it is to find a place for an officer of so high rank, when there is no place seeking him A. LINCOLN


To William T. Sherman

Cypher                                   United States Military Telegraph,
Major General Sherman.     War Department.
Near Atlanta.                           Washington, July 26. 1864

I have just seen yours, complaining of the appointment of Hovey and Osterhaus. The point you make is unquestionably a good one; and yet please hear a word from us. My recollection is that both Gen. Grant and yourself recommended both H & O. for promotion; and these, with other strong recommendations, drew committals from us which we could neither honorably or safely, disregard. We blamed H. for coming away in the manner in which he did; but we knew he had apparant reason to feel disappointed and mortified, and we felt it was not best to crush one who certainly had been a good soldier. As to O. we did not know of his leaving at the time we made the appointment, and do not now know the terms on which he left. Not to have appointed him, as the case appeared to us at the time, would have been almost if not quite a violation of our word. The word was given on what we thought was high merit, and somewhat on his nationality. I beg you to believe we do not act in a spirit of disregarding merit. We expect to await your programme, for further changes and promotions in your army.

My profoundest thanks to you and your whole Army for the present campaign so far. A. LINCOLN

Memorandum on Clement C. Clay

Executive Mansion,
Washington, [c. July 25], 1864

Hon. Clement C. Clay, one of the Confederate gentlemen who recently, at Niagara Falls, in a letter to Mr. Greeley, declared that they were not empowered to negotiate for peace, but that they were, however, in the confidential employment of their government, has prepared a Platform and an Address to be adopted by the Democracy at the Chicago Convention, the preparing of these, and conferring with the democratic leaders in regard to the same, being the confidential employment of their government, in which he, and his confreres are engaged. The following planks are in the Platform—

5. The war to be further prossecuted only to restore the Union as it was, and only in such manner, that no further detriment to slave property shall be effected.

6. All negro soldiers and seamen to be at once disarmed and degraded to menial service in the Army and Navy; and no additional negroes to be, on any pretence whatever, taken from their masters.

7 All negroes not having enjoyed actual freedom during the war to be held permanently as slaves; and whether those who shall have enjoyed actual freedom during the war, shall be free to be a legal question.

The following paragraphs are in the Address—

“Let all who are in favor of peace; of arresting the slaughter of our countrymen, of saving the country from bankruptcy & ruin, of securing food & raiment & good wages for the laboring classes; of disappointing the enemies of Democratic & Republican Government who are rejoicing in the overthrow of their proudest monuments; of vindicating our capacity for self-government, arouse and maintain these principles, and elect these candidates.”

“The stupid tyrant who now disgraces the Chair of Washington and Jackson could, any day, have peace and restoration of the Union; and would have them, only that he persists in the war merely to free the slaves.”

The convention may not litterally adopt Mr. Clay’s Platform and Address, but we predict it will do so substantially. We shall see.

Mr. Clay confesses to his Democratic friends that he is for peace and disunion; but, he says “You can not elect without a cry of war for the union; but, once elected, we are friends, and can adjust matters somehow.” He also says “You will find some difficulty in proving that Lincoln could, if he would, have peace and re-union, because Davis has not said so, and will not say so; but you must assert it, and re-assert it, and stick to it, and it will pass as at least half proved.”

To Abram Wakeman

Private                                 Executive Mansion,
Abram Wakeman, Esq    Washington,
My dear Sir:                        July 25, 1864.

I feel that the subject which you pressed upon my attention in our recent conversation is an important one. The men of the South, recently (and perhaps still) at Niagara Falls, tell us distinctly that they are in the confidential employment of the rebellion; and they tell us as distinctly that they are not empowered to offer terms of peace. Does any one doubt that what they are empowered to do, is to assist in selecting and arranging a candidate and a platform for the Chicago convention? Who could have given them this confidential employment but he who only a week since declared to Jaquess and Gilmore that he had no terms of peace but the independence of the South—the dissolution of the Union? Thus the present presidential contest will almost certainly be no other than a contest between a Union and a Disunion candidate, disunion certainly following the success of the latter. The issue is a mighty one for all people and all time; and whoever aids the right, will be appreciated and remembered. Yours truly A. LINCOLN.

To Edward R. S. Canby

                                                Washington, D.C.,
Major General Canby:       July 25. 1864.

Frequent complaints are made to me that persons endeavoring to bring in cotton in strict accordance with the trade regulations of the Treasury Department, are frustrated by seizures of District Attorneys, Marshals, Provost-Marshals and others, on various pretences, all looking to black-mail, and spoils, one way and another. I wish, if you can find time, you would look into this matter within your Department, and finding these abuses to exist, break them up, if in your power, so that fair dealing under the regulations, can proceed. The printed Regulations, no doubt, are accessable to you. If you find the abuses existing, and yet beyond your power, please report to me somewhat particularly upon the facts.

The bearer of this Shaffer, is one who, on behalf of himself and firm, makes complaint; but while he is my friend, I do not ask anything for him which can not be done for all honest dealers under the Regulations. Yours truly A. LINCOLN

To William T. Sherman

Major General Sherman          Executive Mansion,
Chattahoochee River, Ga.        Washington, July 18. 1864.

I have seen your despatches objecting to agents of Northern States opening recruiting stations near your camps. An act of congress authorizes this, giving the appointment of agents to the States, and not to this Executive government. It is not for the War Department, or myself, to restrain, or modify the law, in it’s execution, further than actual necessity may require. To be candid, I was for the passage of the law, not apprehending at the time that it would produce such inconvenience to the armies in the field, as you now cause me to fear. Many of the States were very anxious for it, and I hoped that, with their State bounties, and active exertions, they would get out substantial additions to our colored forces, which, unlike white recruits, help us where they come from, as well as where they go to. I still hope advantage from the law; and being a law, it must be treated as such by all of us. We here, will do what we consistently can to save you from difficulties arising out of it. May I ask therefore that you will give your hearty co-operation?


To Whom It May Concern

                                                          Executive Mansion,
To Whom it may concern:         Washington, July 18, 1864.

Any proposition which embraces the restoration of peace, the integrity of the whole Union, and the abandonment of slavery, and which comes by and with an authority that can control the armies now at war against the United States will be received and considered by the Executive government of the United States, and will be met by liberal terms on other substantial and collateral points; and the bearer, or bearers thereof shall have safe-conduct both ways.


On July 18 Lincoln received the following telegram from Greeley:

“I have communicated with the Gentlemen in question & do not find them so empowered as I was previously assured they say that—

“We are however in the confidential employment of our Government & entirely familiar with its wishes & opinions on that subject & we feel authorized to declare if the circumstances disclosed in this correspondence were communicated to Richmond we would at once be invested with the authority to which your letter refers or other Gentlemen clothed with full power would immediately be sent to Washington with the view of hastening a consumation so much to be desired & terminating at the earliest possible moment the calamities of war We respectfully solicit through your intervention a safe conduct to Washington & thence by any route which may be designated to Richmond—

“Such is the more material portion of the Gentlemens letter. I will transmit the entire correspondence if desired. . . . Answer by Ind[ependent]. Telegh Line. . . .”