Ami's SOA Today's Date in Lincoln's Life

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Thursday March 2, 1865

Washington DC

President requests Provost Marshal General to exempt William H. Crook and Alexander Smith, White House guards, from draft.
Telegraphs Gen. Grant: "You have not sent contents of Richmond papers for Tuesday or Wednesday. Did you not receive them? If not, does it indicate anything?" [Lincoln apparently was anxious about Gen. Sherman. Grant replied same day: "There is every indication that Genl Sherman is perfectly safe. I am looking every day for direct news from him."]
 

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Sunday March 3, 1861

Washington DC

Lincoln remains in quarters all day, presumably working on Inaugural Address and cabinet appointments. Is willing to have convention of all states to adjust differences between North and South.
["Would it not be well to have the New York Legislature apply to Congress to call a National Convention? It would be agreeable to the Administration—in all parts," Seward to Weed, March 11, 1861, Thurlow Weed Papers, Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY.] Sen. Seward (N.Y.) confers at length with Lincoln regarding cabinet appointments.
In morning interview President offers navy cabinet post to Gideon Welles, Connecticut newspaperman and politician, who accepts.
Horatio N. Taft, chief examiner in Patent Office, and wife call on President-elect and Mrs. Lincoln and find few Washington ladies present. The Lincolns are "not welcome."
Lincoln gives dinner for William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Gideon Welles, Montgomery Blair, Simon Cameron, Caleb B. Smith, and Edward Bates, whose names he forwards to Senate as members of cabinet.
Goes to Senate for Sen. Crittenden's (Ky.) farewell speech.
 

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Monday March 4, 1861

Washington DC

Morning cloudy and raw; 30,000 gather to hear Inaugural Address; no disturbance occurs during day.
Lincoln sends letter to Senator Seward (N.Y.) asking him to remain in cabinet and to reply by 9 A.M. next day.
President-elect receives Judge Davis, Edward Bates, Gideon Welles, and others. Gives final touches to Inaugural Address.
Shortly after 12 M. President Buchanan and Lincoln emerge from 14th Street door of hotel and join Senators James A. Pearce (Md.) and Edward D. Baker (Oreg.) of Arrangements Committee. In open carriage they ride in procession to Capitol.
Files of soldiers line streets; riflemen on rooftops watch windows; artillery is posted near Capitol, which Lincoln enters through boarded tunnel.
Senate is called to order, and oath of office administered to Hannibal Hamlin by Vice President Breckinridge. Buchanan and Lincoln occupy seats in front of secretary's desk.
On portico of Capitol about 1 P.M. Baker introduces Lincoln. Weather is bright and clear.
On rising to deliver Inaugural Address Lincoln "could hardly find room for his hat, and Senator Douglas reaching forward, took it with a smile and held it during the delivery of the Address."
Lincoln and Buchanan exchange farewells at Executive Mansion.
President's first official act is to sign John G. Nicolay's appointment as private secretary.
 

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Tuesday March 5, 1861

Washington DC

Lincoln sends nominations for cabinet positions to extra session of Senate by private secretary, John G. Nicolay.
Receives letter from Secretary of State William H. Seward who decides to remain in cabinet.
Several state delegations, including Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Michigan, call upon Lincoln. President replies to Massachusetts group: "As President, in the administration of the Government, I hope to be man enough not to know one citizen of the United States from another, nor one section from another."
President Lincoln receives a letter from former Secretary of War Joseph Holt, who briefs Lincoln on the situation at Ft. Sumter, located near Charleston, South Carolina. Major Robert Anderson commands the fort and reported to Holt about the growing presence of Confederate forces. Holt informs Lincoln that "an expedition has been quietly prepared, and is ready to sail from New York on a few hours notice, for transporting troops and supplies." Lincoln forwards Holt's letter to Commanding General of the U.S. Army Winfield Scott, who quickly responds, "Evacuation seems almost inevitable."
President's son, Robert, returns to Harvard College. Horace Greeley and Sen. James W. Grimes (Iowa) have interview with Lincoln on questions of internal policy. President confers at late hour with Seward.
Asks Sec. Simon Cameron to appoint "my friend, E. Elmer Ellsworth" to post in War Dept.
 

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Monday March 6, 1865

Washington DC

Senate committee announces to President that Senate is ready to receive communications.
At noon President receives diplomatic corps.
Poses for photograph by Henry F. Warren of Waltham, Mass.
In conference with Marcus L. Ward, philanthropist, "soldiers' friend," and later governor of New Jersey, reiterates value of Vice President Johnson in work before administration.
Secretary of the Treasury William P. Fessenden resigns.
Chief Justice Chase consults with President an hour in effort to exempt counties in eastern Virginia from "insurrectionary proclamation."
Nominates Comptroller of Currency Hugh McCulloch as secretary of treasury.
Sometime after 10 P.M., President Lincoln and his wife, Mary, arrive at the Patent Office, where they attend the inaugural ball. A newspaper reports, "Mrs. Lincoln . . . wore a white silk skirt and boddice, an elaborately-worked white lace dress over the silk skirt . . . The President was dressed in black, with white kid gloves. . . . Shortly after midnight the Presidential party were escorted to the supper room." After dinner, "President Lincoln and party withdrew about one o'clock . . . It is estimated that not less than four thousand persons were present at this ball."
 

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Tuesday March 7, 1865

Washington DC

Spends much time endorsing applications for jobs and issuing orders for persons who own products of insurrectionary states to bring such products within military lines for sale to agents of government.
Senate confirms appointment of Hugh McCullough as Secretary of the Treasury.
President Lincoln writes to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant and confers upon him a "gold medal" and a "copy" of a "Joint Resolution of Congress, approved December 17, 1863." Lincoln adds, "Please accept, for yourself and all under your command, the renewed expression of my gratitude for your and their arduous and well-performed public service."
In the evening, President Lincoln arrives late at Grover's Theatre, where a company performs German composer Friedrich von Flotow's opera, Martha. A newspaper reports, "Mrs. Lincoln appeared in a private box quite early, and was afterwards joined by the President whose quiet arrival escaped notice until some moments after his entering the box, when he was greeted with hearty applause."
 

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Saturday March 8, 1862

Washington DC

President summons Gen. McClellan to White House at 7:30 A.M. Reports rumor that McClellan intends to turn capital and government over to enemy. McClellan protests. Lincoln disclaims intent to accuse him. ( McClellan, War for Union, 195 )
Lincoln requests Asst. Sec. Fox to go to Fortress Monroe, Va., and report on situation. Meets with division commanders at White House after they voted eight to four in favor of McClellan's plan for peninsular campaign. Issues General War Order No. 2: "That the Major General commanding the Army of the Potomac proceed forthwith to organize that part of said Army destined to enter upon active operations (including the reserve, but excluding the troops to be left in the fortifications about Washington) into four Army corps."
Issues General War Order No. 3: "That no change of the base of operations of the Army of the Potomac shall be made without leaving in, and about Washington, such a force as, in the opinion of the General-in-Chief, and the commanders of all the Army corps, shall leave said City entirely secure."
Appoints 11 persons "Cadets to the Military Academy at West Point for the year 1862."
 

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Sunday March 9, 1862

Washington DC

Lincoln receives report from Gen. Wool at Fortress Monroe, Va., that Confederate ship Merrimac entered Hampton Roads preceding day and destroyed USS Cumberland and USS Congress, and that other ships and Fortress Monroe itself are in danger. Calls emergency cabinet meeting to discuss defense measures in event Merrimac starts toward Washington. Drives with Senator Browning to Navy Yard about 2 P.M.; Comdr. Dahlgren returns with them to White House. Most of cabinet at White House in afternoon, but not by appointment. Sec. Stanton divulges information that preparations are under way to stop Merrimac from reaching Washington by blocking river channel. President awaits news of battle between USS Monitor and Merrimac at telegraph office in evening with members of cabinet. After 4 P.M. dispatch reaches War Office describing fight between Monitor and Merrimac from 8 A.M. to 12 M., when Merrimac withdrew. Lincoln and two cabinet members present. Lincoln walks to White House.

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Thursday March 10, 1864

Washington DC

President assigns Lt. Gen. Grant to command Armies of United States.
President and Vice President are provided free postage in bill passed by Senate.
With Mrs. Lincoln visits Grover's Theatre for performance of Richard III, last night in series of Shakespearean dramas featuring Edwin Booth. Grant has reservation but does not attend.
On behalf of "Mrs. L.," President Lincoln invites Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant and General George Meade "to dine with us Saturday evening." Lincoln asks Grant to "notify [Meade] . . . and answer whether you can be with us at that time."
Instructs Gen. Ramsay, if Absterdam projectile is offered at Hotchkiss prices, take it. "I am for the government having the best articles, in spite of patent controversies."
 

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Friday March 11, 1864

Washington DC

Cabinet meets. Gen. Grant interrupts to tell President of plan to leave for Nashville.
President Lincoln writes to Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase concerning Miss Rosie Bielaski. Lincoln explains, "[She] calls on me saying she has been discharged from her place as a clerk in your Department." Lincoln notes, "Her father was a Pole, whom I knew in Illinois, more than twenty years ago," and who died in one of the Civil War's "earliest battles, and left the family destitute." Lincoln adds, "I should be very glad for her to have a place, if it can be, consistently with the service."
 

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Saturday March 12, 1864

Washington DC

President's General Orders No. 98: 1. Gen. Halleck is relieved as General in Chief of Army, and Lt. Gen. Grant is assigned to command Armies of United States. 2. Gen. Halleck is assigned to duty in Washington as Chief of Staff. 3. Gen. Sherman is assigned to command of Military Division of Mississippi. 4. Gen. James B. McPherson is assigned to command of Department and Army of Tennessee.
President communicates to Senate report and papers relative to colonization of persons of African descent.
Confers with Gov. James Y. Smith (R.I.) about consolidating 1st and 3d Cavalry.
Attends regular Saturday afternoon reception between 1 and 3 P.M. Marine Band provides music.
Invites Gen. Lewis Wallace to Executive Mansion for dinner with "some other General officers" at 6:45 P.M.
Entertains party of about 15 military men at White House banquet. Guests include Generals Meade, Wool (retd.), Hunter, Sickles, Doubleday, and McCook. Grant accepted invitation, but is out of town.
 

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Thursday March 13, 1862

Washington DC

President Lincoln receives a "party of Massachusetts gentlemen," which includes Nathaniel Hawthorne, who come to the White House to present Lincoln with an "elegant whip." Lincoln remarks, "t is evidently expected that a good deal of whipping is to be done. But, as we meet here socially, let us not only think of whipping rebels, or of those who seem to think only of whipping negroes, but of those pleasant days which it is to be hoped are in store for us, when, seated behind a good pair of horses, we can crack our whips and drive through a peaceful, happy and prosperous land."
Approves additional article of war, prohibiting all officers or persons in military service from employing any forces under their respective commands for purposes of returning fugitives from service or labor.
Composes letter for Sec. Stanton to send to McClellan: "1st. Leave such force at Manassas Junction as shall make it entirely certain that the enemy shall not repossess himself of that position and line of communication. 2d. Leave Washington secure. 3d. Move the remainder of the force down the Potomac, choosing a new base at Fortress Monroe, or anywhere between here and there; or, at all events, move such remainder of the army at once in pursuit of the enemy by some route."
 

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Monday March 14, 1864

Washington DC

President issues call and orders draft for 200,000 men for military services.
Transmits to Congress treaty with Great Britain regarding claims of Hudson's Bay and Puget's Sound Agricultural Companies and recommends "appropriation to carry into effect the first, second, and third articles thereof."
 

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Friday March 15, 1861

Washington DC

Lincoln presents to cabinet G. V. Fox's plan for relieving Fort Sumter, S.C.
Requests written opinion of each cabinet member on wisdom of provisioning Fort Sumter.
Gen. Scott consults with cabinet on present military crisis.
Receives written opinions from three cabinet members on wisdom of sending supplies to Fort Sumter: Sec. Seward, no; Sec. Welles, no; Postmaster Gen. Blair, yes.
 

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Saturday March 16, 1861

Washington DC

Lincoln receives written opinions from four cabinet members on wisdom of sending supplies to Fort Sumter, S.C.: Sec. Chase, yes; Sec. Cameron, no; Sec. Caleb B. Smith, no; Atty. Gen. Edward Bates, no.
Sends message to Senate relative to "dispute now existing between the Governments of the United States and Great Britain concerning the boundary line between Vancouver's Island and the American Continent."
 

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Tuesday March 17, 1863

Washington DC

Lincoln sends for Asst. Sec. Fox to learn about failure of Rear Adm. Farragut to run by Port Hudson, La.
President Lincoln and his wife, Mary, tour the Patent Office. A newspaper reports, "This temple of American genius has lately received additions . . . Mrs. Lincoln, with characteristic unselfishness, has sent from the White House a splendid variety of the presents of the Kings of Siam and the Tycoon of Japan. Among the most noticeable is a suit of Japanese armor . . . for which the Knight of La Mancha would have given his boots. . . . The President and Mrs. Lincoln seemed to enjoy greatly this respite from the cares of State among so many interesting objects."
Lincoln writes to Major General William S. Rosecrans and responds to the general's list of complaints. Rosecrans recently achieved a military victory, which, he claims, prompted Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton to offer Rosecrans "'Anything you & your command want.'" Rosecrans complains that he did not receive the military commission date he requested. Lincoln responds, "Truth to speak, I do not appreciate this matter of rank on paper, as you officers do. The world will not forget that you fought the battle of 'Stone River' and it will never care a fig whether you rank Gen. [Ulysses S.] Grant on paper, or he so, ranks you."
 

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Monday March 18,1861

Washington DC

Horace Greeley talks briefly to Lincoln.
President prepares draft of proposed order to establish military bureau and sends it to attorney general for opinion. Edward Bates rules that President does not have power to establish bureau.
Lincoln writes memorandum on "Some considerations in favor of withdrawing the Troops from Fort Sumpter."
Asks secretary of treasury whether goods are being imported without duties being paid. Chase replies that he has no information of illegal importations.
Lincoln requests information from secretary of navy on "what amount of Naval force you could at once place at the control of the Revenue service." Welles replies that 12 vessels could be put at control of revenue service.
 
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