|Monday, August 1, 1864.|
En route and Washington, DC.
Presidential party, including Mrs. Lincoln, Asst. Sec. Fox, and
several others, arrives at Navy Yard in morning.
Washington Star, 1 August 1864.
President asks Sen. Morgan (N.Y.) to come to Washington at once.
Abraham Lincoln to Edwin D. Morgan, 1 August 1864, CW, 7:474.
Sec. Welles confers with Lincoln about trial of Benjamin G. and
Franklin W. Smith ("Smith Brothers") of Boston, charged with attempt
to defraud government.
Welles, Diary, 2 August 1864.
|Tuesday, August 2, 1864.|
Lincoln considers request of wife of Surg. Gen. William A. Hammond
for interview and prefers not to see her.
Abraham Lincoln to Mrs. William A. Hammond, [2 August 1864], CW, 7:474-75.
Cabinet meets. Military affairs discussed.
President confers with Sen. Morgan (N.Y.) and produces correspondence
with former Sec. Chase at time Chase resigned.
Welles, Diary, 5 August 1864.
|Wednesday, August 3, 1864.|
President sends congratulations to Charles XV, King of Sweden and
Norway, on marriage of Prince Nicolas Auguste.
Abraham Lincoln to Charles XV, 3 August 1864, CW, 7:475.
Offers condolences to Francis Joseph I, Emperor of Austria, on death
of Archduchess Hildegarde.
Abraham Lincoln to Francis Joseph I, 3 August 1864, CW, 7:475-76.
Congratulates King Leopold of Belgians on birth of granddaughter.
Abraham Lincoln to Leopold, 3 August 1864, CW, 7:477.
Congratulates William I, King of Prussia, on daughter born to Princess Antonie.
Abraham Lincoln to William I, 3 August 1864, CW, 7:478-79.
Interviews Michael Burns, president of North Western Railroad, and
refers him to
Abraham Lincoln to Edwin M. Stanton, 3 August 1864, CW, 7:478.
Lincoln writes Gen. Grant: "'Putting our army South
of the enemy' or of following [']him to the death' . .
. will neither be done nor attempted unless you watch it every day,
and hour, and force it."
Abraham Lincoln to Ulysses S. Grant, 3 August 1864, CW, 7:476.
to suspend order of Gen. Hunter, who directed
arrest and shipment south of Union lines of secessionist residents of
Abraham Lincoln to Edwin M. Stanton, 3 August 1864, CW, 7:477-78.
|Thursday, August 4, 1864.|
Day of National Humiliation and Prayer appointed by President Lincoln. President and Postmaster General Montgomery Blair attend services at New York Avenue Prebyterian Church, where Dr. Septimus Tustin preached.
Proclamation of a National Day of Prayer; Daily National Republican (Washington, DC), 5 August 1864, 2d ed., 2:1, 3:1.
President receives dispatch at noon that Gen. Grant leaves City Point, Va., in two hours for Washington.
Grant to Lincoln, 4 August 1864, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
receives note from Sec. Stanton that Gen. Grant
is at War Dept. Replies: "I will come over in a few minutes." Abraham
Lincoln to Edwin M. Stanton, [5 August 1864],
meets. Only four members present. Welles, Diary.
Atty. Gen. Bates calls
on President to deliver letter of Col. James O. Broadhead, provost marshal
general of Missouri, on Missouri affairs. Bates,
Gen. Sheridan, who has been called to Washington and ordered to join Grant at
Monocacy Junction. Philip H. Sheridan, Personal Memoirs of P. H.
Sheridan, 2 vols. (New York: C. L. Webster, 1888), 1:463-64.
In evening Sec. Seward reads Davis Protest [Wade-Davis Manifesto] to
Lincoln, who wants to know if protestors intend openly to oppose his election.
Lincoln receives July salary warrant for $1,981.67,
reduced $101.66 by income tax enacted June 30, 1864. Pratt,
Personal Finances, 183.
|Saturday, August 6, 1864.|
President interviews Sec. Welles regarding promotion of Col. Griffin
A. Stedman, who is reported dying from wounds received in action
before Petersburg, Va., and endorses recommendation of Gen. Edward O.
C. Ord that Col. Stedman be promoted to brigadier general. "I shall
be glad to have this done."
Welles, Diary; Abraham Lincoln to Edwin M. Stanton, 6 August 1864, CW, 7:484.
Requests interview and receives notice that Col. Samuel M. Bowman,
chief mustering officer for Negro troops in Maryland, will call on
August 8, 1864.
Abraham Lincoln to Samuel M. Bowman, 6 August 1864, CW, 7:482.
Approves publication of correspondence between himself and Horace
Greeley relative to Niagara Falls peace effort.
Abraham Lincoln to Horace Greeley, 6 August 1864, CW, 7:482-83.
|Sunday, August 7, 1864.|
President, Gens. Grant and Halleck, and
meet in War
Dept. Sec. Welles inquires about Col. Stedman and learns of his death.
Welles, Diary, 8 August 1864.
|Monday, August 8, 1864.|
Sec. Seward arranges 12 M. meeting for President with Count Piper.
Seward to Lincoln, 5 August 1864, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Col. Bowman will arrive from Baltimore, accompanied by Lev. E.
Straughn, commissioner to examine claims of owners of slaves enlisted
Bowman to Lincoln, 6 August 1864, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
President explains to Gen. Stephen G. Burbridge at Lexington, Ky.,
that paper was given Emily Todd Helm to protect her against mere fact
of her being Gen. Helm's widow, and not against consequences of
disloyalty. "If the paper given her by me can be construed to give
her protection for such words or acts, it is hereby revoked
pro tanto. Deal with her for current conduct, just as
you would with any other."
Abraham Lincoln to Stephen G. Burbridge, 8 August 1864, CW, 7:484-85.
Writes Horace Greeley: "I telegraphed you Saturday. Did you receive
the despatch? Please answer."
Abraham Lincoln to Horace Greeley, 8 August 1864, CW, 7:485.
|Tuesday, August 9, 1864.|
Cabinet meets. Welles reports that President is willing to have
Niagara peace proceedings published.
President orders that Gen. A. J. Hamilton may transport cotton from
ports of Galveston or Sabine Pass, Tex., to treasury agents at New
Abraham Lincoln to Edward R. S. Canby, 9 August 1864, CW, 7:488-89.
Sends to Horace Greeley printed copy of their correspondence
concerning Niagara Falls imbroglio.
Abraham Lincoln to Horace Greeley, 9 August 1864, CW, 7:489-90.
Writes Gen. Banks regarding new constitution adopted by convention of
Louisiana: "I am anxious that it shall be ratified by the people."
Abraham Lincoln to Nathaniel P. Banks, 9 August 1864, CW, 7:486-87.
Advises Gen. Butler to clean up Norfolk on basis of military
necessity, "openly discarding all reliance for what you do, on any
Abraham Lincoln to Benjamin F. Butler, 9 August 1864, CW, 7:487-88.
Requests Sec. Fessenden to place to credit of Dept. of State sum of
$25,000, as appropriated in act to encourage immigration.
Abraham Lincoln to William P. Fessenden, 9 August 1864, CW, 7:489.
|Wednesday, August 10, 1864.|
Lincoln discusses plight of Negroes with Col. John Eaton, Jr.,
superintendent of freedmen for Dept. of the Tennessee.
John Eaton, Grant, Lincoln and the Freedmen: Reminiscences of the Civil War with Special Reference to the Work for the Contrabands and Freedmen of the Mississippi Valley (New York: Longmans, Green, 1907), 168.
|Thursday, August 11, 1864.|
Lincoln calls Gen. Schurz to White House. CW, 8:550.
|Friday, August 12, 1864.|
At 8:30 a.m., poet Walt Whitman
spots President Lincoln, who is traveling between the nearby Soldiers' Home,
where Lincoln frequently stays during the summer months, and the White House.
Whitman records, "Mr. Lincoln . . . generally rides a good-sized, easy-going gray
horse, is dress'd in plain black, somewhat rusty and dusty; [and] wears a black
stiff hat . . . I see very plainly [his] dark brown face, with the deep cut lines,
the eyes, &c., always to me with a latent sadness in the expression. We
have got so that we always exchange bows, and very cordial ones." Allen
Thorndike Rice, ed., Reminiscenes of Abraham Lincoln by Distinguished
Men of His Time (New York: Haskell House Publishers, Ltd., 1971),
Cabinet meets. Secs. Stanton and Fessenden absent. Welles,
confers with Lincoln and warns him that his reelection is impossible.
Henry L. Stoddard, Horace Greeley: Printer, Editor,
Crusader (New York: Putnam, 1946), 227; Weed to Seward, 22 August 1864,
Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress,
President issues pass to Col. Eaton to visit
Gen. Grant and instructs him to ascertain Grant's reaction to becoming
presidential candidate. Pass
for John Eaton, 12 August 1864, CW, 7:492.
John Hay leaves on
trip home and expects to be gone five or six weeks. Nicolay to Bates, 14
August 1864, John G. Nicolay Papers, Library of Congress, Washington,
President orders Maj. John Hay to proceed to Keokuk, Iowa,
and having executed his verbal instructions to return. DNA—WR RG
94, Adjt. Gen. Off., Letters Received, XL, Supp. III.
|Saturday, August 13, 1864.|
Gen. Robert Anderson is dinner guest.
|Sunday, August 14, 1864.|
President confers with
on destruction of private
property and suggests to Gen. Grant that he make an agreement with
Gen. R. E. Lee on subject.
Abraham Lincoln to Ulysses S. Grant, 14 August 1864, CW, 7:493.
|Monday, August 15, 1864.|
President congratulates Atanasio Cruz Aguirre on elevation to
presidency of Oriental Republic of Uruguay.
Abraham Lincoln to Atanasio Cruz Aguirre, 15 August 1864, CW, 7:493-94.
Sends printed copy of correspondence with Horace Greeley regarding
Niagara Falls peace effort to Henry J. Raymond for publication in New
York "Times" when proper time comes.
Abraham Lincoln to Henry J. Raymond, 15 August 1864, CW, 7:494-95.
Telegraphs Gen. Sherman near Atlanta: "If the government should
purchase, on its own account, cotton Northward of you and on the line
of your communications, would it be an inconvenience to you, or
detriment to the Military service, for it to come to the North on the
Abraham Lincoln to William T. Sherman, 15 August 1864, CW, 7:495-96.
Requests Sec. Usher to bring up case of Patrice DeJanon, professor of
Spanish dismissed from West Point.
Abraham Lincoln to John P. Usher, 15 August 1864, CW, 7:496.
|Tuesday, August 16, 1864.|
Cabinet meets. Sec. Seward and Atty. Gen. Bates dispute over
procedures for captured cotton.
Lincoln interviews First Asst. Postmaster Gen. Alexander W. Randall,
former governor of Wisconsin, who delivers letter from Charles D.
Robinson, editor, Green Bay, Wis., "Advocate," Democratic paper.
Abraham Lincoln to Charles D. Robinson, 17 August 1864, CW, 7:499-502.
Forwards to Ward Hunt, Utica, N.Y., attorney, letter of Sec. Seward
relative to former Cong. Roscoe Conkling (N.Y.) running for Congress.
Abraham Lincoln to Ward Hunt, 16 August 1864, CW, 7:498.
|Wednesday, August 17, 1864.|
Lincoln telegraphs Gen. Grant at City Point, Va.: "Hold on with a
bull-dog gripe, and chew & choke, as much as possible."
Abraham Lincoln to Ulysses S. Grant, 17 August 1864, CW, 7:499.
Reviews 15 courtmartial cases.
|Thursday, August 18, 1864.|
President speaks to 164th Ohio Regiment, composed
of militia whose 100-day term of service has expired. Speech
to the One Hundred Sixty-Fourth Ohio Regiment, 18 August 1864,
CW, 7:504-5; Washington Star, 18 August
Interviews Leonard Swett, who thinks that Lincoln cannot
be reelected and asks if he will withdraw. Butler,
Declares by proclamation, "that the port of Newport in the state of Vermont is
and shall be entitled to all the privileges in regard to the exportation of
merchandise in bond to the British North American Provinces, adjoining the
United States." Proclamation
Concerning Commercial Regulations, 18 August 1864,
|Friday, August 19, 1864.|
President in long conversation with First Asst. Postmaster Gen.
Randall and Judge Joseph T. Mills about coming election.
Interview with Alexander W. Randall and Joseph T. Mills, 19 August 1864, CW, 7:506-8.
Frederick Douglass visits White House.
Interview with Alexander W. Randall and Joseph T. Mills, 19 August 1864, CW, 7:506-8.
Cabinet meets. No special subject.
|Saturday, August 20, 1864.|
President interviews Col. Joseph N. G. Whistler, who wants his
son to go to West Point. Abraham Lincoln to Edwin M.
Stanton, 20 August 1864, CW,
President Lincoln telegraphs Brigadier General John F.
Miller and "[s]uspend[s] . . . [the] death sentence" of fifteen-year-old
Private Patrick Jones, of the 12th Tennessee Cavalry. Tennessee's Military
Governor Andrew Johnson telegraphed Lincoln and recommended a commutation to a
life sentence. Johnson notes that at the time that Jones committed the murder,
he "was drunk." Johnson argues, "[T]he moral influence would be much greater if
we could hang some of the larger fish . . . [T]here is no trouble in convicting
& hanging the little helpless minnows which makes & leaves no
impression upon the public mind." Andrew Johnson to Abraham Lincoln, 19
August 1864, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library
of Congress, Washington, DC; Abraham Lincoln to John F. Miller, 20
August 1864, CW, 7:509.
Receives 151st Ohio
Regiment, en route home after completing 100 days of service.
Washington Chronicle, 21 August 1864.
|Sunday, August 21, 1864.|
President establishes ordnance board, with Gen. Gillmore as
president, to test H. Ames' wrought-iron rifled cannon.
Order for Testing Wrought Iron Cannon, 21 [20?] August 1864, CW, 7:510.
|Monday, August 22, 1864.|
President confers with
Sec. Stanton regarding release of Joseph Howard,
Jr., who perpetrated New York newspaper hoax involving purported proclamation
of President Lincoln. Harper, Press, 302.
The members of the
166th Ohio Regiment assemble in front of the White House, where President
Lincoln remarks, "It is not merely for to-day, but for all time to come that we
should perpetuate for our children's children this great and free government,
which we have enjoyed all our lives...I happen temporarily to occupy this big
White House. I am a living witness that any one of your children may look to
come here as my father's child has. It is in order that each of you may have
through this free government which we have enjoyed, an open field and a fair
chance for your industry, enterprise and intelligence...It is for this the
struggle should be maintained, that we may not lose our birthright...The nation
is worth fighting for, to secure such an inestimable jewel." Speech
to One Hundred Sixty-sixth Ohio Regiment, 22 August 1864,
CW, 7:512; Evening Star
(Washington, D.C.), 23 August 1864, 3:1.
|Tuesday, August 23, 1864.|
At 10 A.M. President thanks
147th Ohio Regiment, commanded by Col. Benjamin F. Rosson, for its services.
Washington Star, 24 August 1864.
Sec. Stanton to release J. Howard, Jr., from
Fort Lafayette, N.Y. Harper, Press,
Recognizes D. T. Arnaldo Marques as consul of Peru at San
Francisco. Washington Star, 26 August 1864.
Cong. Fenton (N.Y.) about campaign for governor and Fenton's chances of winning
against Gov. Seymour (N.Y.). Rice, 68-70.
At a cabinet
meeting, President Lincoln asks each member to sign "the back of a" memorandum.
Lincoln does not reveal the contents of the document, which reads,"This
morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probable that this
Administration will not be re-elected. Then it will be my duty to so co-operate
with the President elect, as to save the Union between the election and the
inauguration; as he will have secured his election on such ground that he can
not possibly save it afterwards." Memorandum
Concerning His Probable Failure of Re-election, 23 August 1864,
CW, 7:514-15; J. G. Randall and Richard
N. Current, Lincoln the President: Last Full
Measure (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1955), 4:215-16; Michael
Burlingame and John R. Turner Ettlinger, eds., Inside Lincoln's White
House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay (Carbondale: Southern
Illinois University Press, 1997), 247-48.
Lincoln signs order
for sale of land in Winnebago Indian reservation. Order
for Sale of Land in Winnebago Indian Reservation, 23 August 1864,
|Wednesday, August 24, 1864.|
President interviews John J. Jarmey, of Ohio, concerning
political matters in state. James to Cameron, 27 August
1864, Simon Cameron Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
In evening at Soldiers' Home, Lincoln and group of officials witness
demonstration of Morse signalling from tower of Soldiers' Home to roof of
Smithsonian Institution. Bates,
Telegraph Office, 265.
President Lincoln drafts a letter to New York Times editor Henry
J. Raymond, who forecasts big electoral losses for the Republicans. Raymond
predicts that a peace summit will "turn the tide of public sentiment." Lincoln
instructs, "You will proceed forthwith and obtain, if possible, a conference
for peace with Hon. Jefferson Davis, or any person by him authorized for that
purpose. . . . [Y]ou will propose, on behalf of this government, that upon the
restoration of the Union and the national authority, the war shall cease at
once, all remaining questions to be left for adjustment by peaceful modes. If
this be accepted hostilities to cease at once." Ultimately, Lincoln and the
Cabinet reject the peace conference suggestion. Henry J.
Raymond to Abraham Lincoln, 22 August 1864, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC;
Abraham Lincoln to Henry J.
Raymond, 24 August 1864, CW,
|Thursday, August 25, 1864.|
At 11 A.M. Sec. Welles calls at White House and finds President in
conference with Secs. Seward,
, and Fessenden, and Henry J.
Raymond on subject of peace mission to President Davis, which they
John G. Nicolay and John Hay, Abraham Lincoln: A History, 10 vols. (New York: Century, 1890), 9:221.
Seward arranges White House meeting for Lord Lyons at 12 M.
Seward to Lincoln, 24 August 1864, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
|Friday, August 26, 1864.|
|Saturday, August 27, 1864.|
President sends order to
: "If Gen. Sigel has asked for
an Inquiry, let him have it, if there is not some insurmountable, or
at least, very serious obstacle. He is fairly entitled to this
Abraham Lincoln to Edwin M. Stanton, 27 August 1864, CW, 7:521.
|Sunday, August 28, 1864.|
Near midnight Charles J. M. Gwinn, Baltimore lawyer for convicted
spies, visits Lincoln at Soldiers' Home to ask for reprieve.
Gwinn to Lincoln, 29 August 1864, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
President telegraphs Gen. Wallace in Baltimore that sentences of four
men, William H. Rodgers, John R. H. Emberet, Branton Lyons, and
Samuel B. Hearn, convicted as spies, have been commuted.
Abraham Lincoln to Lewis Wallace, 28 August 1864, CW, 7:522.
President asks Sec. Welles to "find some way to relieve me from the
embarrassment of this case" against Smith brothers of Boston under
arrest for fraudulent deliveries to Navy Dept.
Abraham Lincoln to Gideon Welles, 28 August 1864, CW, 7:522-23.
|Monday, August 29, 1864.|
President interviews Col. Worthington, who asks
permission to visit Gen. Grant. Abraham
Lincoln to Ulysses S. Grant, 29 August 1864,
Welles confers with President about petition from Boston relative to trial of
Smith brothers. For political reasons they decide to transfer trial to Boston
before civil tribunal. Welles, Diary;
Lincoln to Gideon Welles, 28 August 1864, CW, 7:522-23.
interviews Hon. Paul C. Brinck, of New Jersey, who thinks troop quotas are too
heavy on his township.
[John Nicolay arrives in
New York at noon on political mission for President involving changes in
customhouse officials. Nicolay to Lincoln, 29 August 1864, John G.
Nicolay Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.]
|Tuesday, August 30, 1864.|
Cabinet meets. Capture of Fort Morgan, Ala., confirmed by news from
[John Nicolay in New York, sends letter to President by Robert
Lincoln. Nicolay will start home tomorrow if he "gets matters
Nicolay to Lincoln, 30 August 1864, John G. Nicolay Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.]
|Wednesday, August 31, 1864.|
President telegraphs Mrs. Lincoln at Manchester, Vt.: "All reasonably
well. Bob not here yet. How is dear Tad?"
Abraham Lincoln to Mary Todd Lincoln, 31 August 1864, CW, 7:526.
Addresses 148th Ohio Regiment, on its way home after completed period
Speech to One Hundred Forty-eighth Ohio Regiment, 31 August 1864, CW, 7:528-29; Washington Star, 1 September 1864.
[John Nicolay in New York, will return tomorrow.
Nicolay to Lincoln, 31 August 1864, John G. Nicolay Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.]
President reviews case of Louis A. Welton, who came through Union
lines with contract to furnish supplies to South, was arrested and
sentenced to imprisonment, and concludes review by saying: "Now, if
Senator Morgan, and Mr. Weed, and Mr. Raymond, will not argue with me
that I ought to discharge this man, but will, in
writing on this sheet, simply request me to do it, I will do it
solely in deference to their wishes."
Abraham Lincoln to Edwin D. Morgan, Thurlow Weed, and Henry J. Raymond, 31 August 1864, CW, 7:526-27.
Issues order that persons bringing out cotton in conformity with
treasury regulations must not be hindered by other government
Order Concerning Transportation of Cotton, 31 August 1864, CW, 7:527.