|Sunday, May 1, 1864.|
In afternoon President takes Cong. Francis W. Kellogg (Mich.) and
Gov. Blair (Mich.) for drive.
Abraham Lincoln to Francis W. Kellogg, 1 May 1864, CW, 7:326.
|Monday, May 2,
President sends to
House of Representatives documentation relative to military status of Gen.
Lincoln to the House of Representatives, 2 May 1864,
with Cong. John F. Farnsworth (Ill.), former general of volunteers, regarding
court of inquiry requested by Gen. Hurlbut, recently transferred by order of
Gen. Grant. Abraham
Lincoln to Stephen A. Hurlbut, 2 May 1864,
|Tuesday, May 3, 1864.|
President directs Sec. Seward: "Please invite all members of
the Cabinet to be [present at the meeting today]." Abraham Lincoln to William H.
Seward, 3 May 1864, CW,
During a cabinet meeting , President Lincoln asks each
member to "prepare, and give me in writing your opinion as to what course, the
government should take" regarding the Confederates' "recent capture" of Ft.
Pillow, located in Tennessee. Preliminary reports indicate that "a large number
of our colored soldiers, with their white officers, were . . . massacred after
they had surrendered." Lincoln awaits the report of a congressional committee
that is investigating the April 12 incident. Abraham Lincoln to Cabinet Members,
3 May 1864, CW, 7:328-29; Howard K.
Beale, ed., Diary of Gideon Welles, 3 vols. (New York: W. W.
Norton & Company, 1960), 2:23-25.
Instructs L. E.
Chittenden to proceed to Annapolis, Md., and investigate condition of exchanged
war prisoners. Lucius E. Chittenden, Recollections of
President Lincoln and his Administration (New York: Harper, 1891),
|Wednesday, May 4, 1864.|
Richard H. Dana, U.S. district attorney in Massachusetts, calls on
Lincoln again after one year and finds him "sober, wise, thoughtful,
good decisions but having constant failures in administration."
Don C. Seitz, Lincoln the Politician: How the Rail-Splitter and Flatboatman Played the Great American Game (New York: Coward-McCann, 1931), 414.
L. E. Chittenden reports to President at 7 P.M. on terrible condition
of exchanged prisoners.
Lucius E. Chittenden, Recollections of President Lincoln and his Administration (New York: Harper, 1891), 323-38.
Lincoln writes Gen. Sherman at Chattanooga to do anything he can
consistently with military operations for suffering people in
Abraham Lincoln to William T. Sherman, 4 May 1864, CW, 7:330-31.
Writes check for $2.50 to Franklin and Co., opticians, 244 Penn. Av. NW.
|Thursday, May 5, 1864.|
In evening Lincoln interviews Congs. Smith (Ky.) and Ashley
(Ohio). Hay, Letters and
Receives April salary warrant for $2,022.33.
Lincoln writes to octogenarian Mrs. Abner
(Sarah) Bartlett, of Medford, Massachusetts, and thanks her for the "very
excellent pair of socks of your own knitting, which you did me the honor to
send." Lincoln adds, "I accept them as a very comfortable article to wear; but
more gratefully as an evidence, of the patriotic devotion which, at your
advanced age, you bear to our great and just cause. May God give you yet many
happy days." Abraham Lincoln to Mrs. Abner
Bartlett, 5 May 1864, CW,
Authorizes and requires Secs. Chase and
Stanton to allow exportation of
horses bought for personal use of French Emperor and of Captain General of
Cuba. Abraham Lincoln to Salmon P. Chase and
Edwin M. Stanton, 5 May 1864, CW,
|Friday, May 6, 1864.|
Lincoln receives request of George E. Perine, New York engraver, for
favorite photograph, to be engraved on steel.
Perine to Lincoln, 6 May 1864, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Cabinet meets. Each member reads opinion on Fort Pillow, Tenn.,
incident. [Massacre of colored troops, April 12, 1864.]
President in conference with
at War Dept. asks Charles
A. Dana, assistant secretary of war, to investigate and report
position of Gen. Grant.
Charles A. Dana, Recollections of the Civil War. With the Leaders at Washington and in the Field in the Sixties (New York: Appleton, 1902), 188.
Grants permission to Henry E. Wing, correspondent, New York
"Tribune," to send 100-word story of fighting in Wilderness to his
Harper, Press, 137-38.
Secretary of War Stanton
and calls him from conference with Cornelius
R. Agnew, surgeon general of New York, and G. T. Strong.
George Templeton Strong, Diary, 4 vols., edited by Allen Nevins and Milton Halsey Thomas (New York: Macmillan, 1952).
receives first-hand report on Wilderness campaign from H. E. Wing, who arrives
about 2 A.M. on special locomotive. Bates, Telegraph Office, 246.
Recognizes C. E. Leland as consul of Oriental Republic of Uruguay at New York
and John H. Snyder as vice consul. Washington Star, 14 May 1864.
Marine band, after long intermission, inaugurates series of concerts
in White House grounds. President appears on portico and remarks: "In lieu of a
speech, I propose that we give three cheers for Major General Grant and all the
armies under his command." Washington Star, 9 May 1864;
at Marine Band Concert, 7 May 1864, CW, 7:332.
Transmits to Senate
opinion by attorney general on "rights of colored persons in the army or
volunteer service." Abraham
Lincoln to the Senate, 7 May 1864, CW, 7:332.
|Sunday, May 8, 1864.|
Cong. Colfax (Ind.) with Lincoln in White House after Battle of
Wilderness, watches him pace "up and down in the Executive chamber."
An hour afterward sees Lincoln receiving congressional visitors and
telling story after story to hide his saddened heart.
|Monday, May 9, 1864.|
At request of Cong. Garfield (Ohio), President interviews Lt.
Harrison Millard (resigned) relative to civil appointment.
Abraham Lincoln to Hiram Barney, 9 May 1864, CW, 7:332-33.
Recommends to friends of Union and liberty to unite in common
thanksgiving and prayer of gratitude for military success.
Abraham Lincoln to the Friends of Union and Liberty, 9 May 1864, CW, 7:333.
Recognizes Frederick Klumpp as consul of Würtemburg at New
Orleans and August Widemann at Ann Arbor, Mich.
Washington Star, 14 May 1864.
Receives news of failure of Gen. Banks' Red River expedition from
Gwinn H. Heap, clerk to Rear Adm. David D. Porter, accompanied by
Highly pleased by dispatches reporting advances of Gen. Grant.
Hay, Letters and Diary.
Responds to serenade by crowd at White House led by band from 27th
Response to Serenade, 9 May 1864, CW, 7:334; Daily National Republican (Washington, DC), 10 May 1864, 2d ed. 2:1.
|Tuesday, May 10, 1864.|
Cabinet meets. President reads dispatches from Gens. Grant, Butler,
Sherman, and others.
L. Montgomery Bond, on behalf of Sanitary Commission of Philadelphia,
requests letter of President to be sold at Great Central Fair in June.
Bond to Lincoln, 10 May 1864, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Lincoln asks Gen. Wallace at Baltimore what trouble is with Dr.
Francis L. Hawks, rector of Christ Church, ordered to take oath of
allegiance or leave city within 24 hours. Order supported by Bishop
William R. Whittingham.
Abraham Lincoln to Lewis Wallace, 10 May 1864, CW, 7:335-36.
|Wednesday, May 11, 1864.|
President offers condolences to Christian IX, King of Denmark, on
death of "Madam the Landgrave Louise Charlotte of Hesse."
Abraham Lincoln to Christian IX, 11 May 1864, CW, 7:336-37.
9 P.M. Sec. Welles visits War Dept. and finds President waiting for
reports from battlefront.
|Thursday, May 12, 1864.|
President forwards to Senate correspondence relative to
controversy between Republic of Chile and Bolivia. Abraham Lincoln to the Senate, 12
May 1864, CW, 7:338-39.
Declines offer of Francis B. Loomis of New London, Conn., to replace present
garrison of Fort Trumbull, Conn., with volunteers. Abraham Lincoln to F. B. Loomis, 12
May 1864, CW, 7:338.
Grants interview to Miss Evans, who is lecturing in city at Dr. Channing's
church. Washington Star, 12 May 1864.
President Lincoln writes to shipbuilder John Birely, of Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, to thank him for a cane. Birely explained that the cane was made
from "wood . . . taken from the wreck of the United States ship Alliance, (now
laying in the River Delaware.)" Birely added, "It is a relic of the olden times
and you would do me honor by accepting it. It comes from an old soldier, and
officer in the War of 1812." Lincoln responds, "I beg that you will accept the
assurance of my cordial gratitude for your kindness." John Birely to
Abraham Lincoln, 11 May 1864, Abraham Lincoln
Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC; Abraham Lincoln to John
Birely, 12 May 1864, CW, 7:337.
Lincoln writes to U.S. Senator Samuel C. Pomeroy, of Kansas, regarding
Pomeroy's conflict with fellow Kansan and U.S. Senator James H. Lane. The two
senators back different candidates seeking to fill a vacancy in the "Office of
Assessor for the District of Kansas." Lincoln writes, "I wish you and Lane
would make a sincere effort to get out of the mood you are in. I[t] does
neither of you any good—it gives you the means of tormenting my life out
of me, and nothing else." Salmon P. Chase to Abraham Lincoln, 11 May
1864, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of
Congress, Washington, DC; Abraham Lincoln to Samuel C. Pomeroy, 12
May 1864, CW, 7:338.
|Friday, May 13, 1864.|
Early morning. President and Sec. Seward are reading telegrams when
Sen. Nesmith (Oreg.) brings newspaper accounts of Gen. Grant's
Hay, Letters and Diary.
Lincoln receives notice that Seward has made appointment for him to
interview W. Aime Humbert, envoy extraordinary of Swiss Confederation
to Japan, at 11 A.M. tomorrow.
Seward to Lincoln, 13 May 1864, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Repeats endorsement concerning church in Memphis, Tenn.: "I say
again, if there be no military need for the building, leave it alone,
neither putting anyone in or out, of it, except on finding some one
preaching or practicing treason."
Endorsement Concerning a Church at Memphis, Tennessee, 13 May 1864, CW, 7:339.
|Saturday, May 14, 1864.|
President receives request for his photograph and autograph, to be
auctioned off at Mississippi Valley Sanitary Fair.
McClurg to Lincoln, 14 May 1864, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Deeply affected by death of Gen. Wadsworth.
Hay, Letters and Diary.
Replies to offer of Gov. Carney (Kans.) to furnish 2,000 troops: "I
shall neither accept or reject it, until, with reference to the
public interest, I shall feel that I am ready."
Abraham Lincoln to Thomas Carney, 14 May 1864, CW, 7:340-41.
Transmits to Senate report of secretary of interior and documentation
relative to refugee Indians in Kansas.
Abraham Lincoln to the Senate, 14 May 1864, CW, 7:341-42.
|Sunday, May 15, 1864.|
"The President is cheerful and hopeful—not unduly elated, but
Nicolay to Bates, 15 May 1864, John G. Nicolay Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Lincoln endorses request of Allison C. Poorman, of Illinois, for
permit to trade within lines of "Western Army": "The writer of the
within is a family connection of mine, & a worthy man; and I
shall be obliged if he be allowed what he requests, so far as the
rules and exigencies of the public service will permit."
Endorsement Concerning Allison C. Poorman, 15 May 1864, CW, 7:342.
Endorses request of William F. Shriver, of Illinois, for permit to
trade within lines of "Armies of the Cumberland, Mississippi and
Endorsement Concerning William F. Shriver, 15 May 1864, CW, 7:342.
|Monday, May 16, 1864.|
President sends to Mrs. Augustus C. French, wife of former governor of Illinois, autograph to be used at Mississippi Valley Sanitary Fair.
Lincoln to French, 16 May 1864, in possession of Cyrus French Wicker, Miami, Fla.
Holds financial conference relative to converting existing 5 percent loan to 6 percent.
Abraham Lincoln to Salmon P. Chase, 18 May 1864, CW, 7:347.
|Tuesday, May 17, 1864.|
President lays before Senate treaty with certain bands of Chippewa Indians.
Abraham Lincoln to the Senate, 17 May 1864, CW, 7:344-45.
Lincoln prepares order for draft of 300,000 men, "to increase the
active and reserved force of the Army, Navy, & Marine Corps of
the United States." [Order seems not to have been issued.]
Order for Draft of 300,000 Men, 17 May 1864, CW, 7:344.
: "Please notify the insurgents, . . . that the
government of the United States has satisfactory proof of the
massacre, . . . at Fort-Pillow," and outlines action government
proposes to take. [Presumably these instructions to
never signed and sent.]
Abraham Lincoln to Edwin M. Stanton, 17 May 1864, CW, 7:345-46.
|Wednesday, May 18, 1864.|
President orders arrest of editors and publishers
of New York "World" and "Journal of Commerce" for printing spurious
proclamation purporting to be signed by President. Publication of newspapers
Lincoln to John A. Dix, 18 May 1864, CW, 7:347-50.
Winston, who knows topography of Virginia, bears letters of recommendation, and
asks to be allowed to join Gen. Grant. Abraham
Lincoln to Ulysses S. Grant, 18 May 1864, CW, 7:350.
11 A.M. Responds to
address presented by delegation from General Conference of Methodist Episcopal
Church: "God bless the Methodist Church—bless all the churches—and
blessed be God, Who, in this our great trial, giveth us the churches." Response
to Methodists, 18 May 1864, CW,
Confers with Secs. Seward and Stanton at War Dept. regarding fraudulent proclamation
published in two New York newspapers. Rescinds order for arrest of editors and
publishers. Harper, Press, 293,
Attends lecture on Battle of Gettysburg by Dr. J. R.
Warner in hall of House of Representatives. Randall,
to Sec. Chase: "Suppose you change your five per cent loan to six, allowing the
holders of the fives already out to convert them into sixes, upon taking each
an equal additional amount at six." Abraham
Lincoln to Salmon P. Chase, 18 May 1864, CW, 7:347.
|Thursday, May 19, 1864.|
President declares null and void exequatur heretofore given
Charles Hunt as consul of Belgium at St. Louis. Washington
Star, 20 May 1864;
Proclamation Revoking Recognition of
Charles Hunt, 19 May 1864, CW,
Lincoln writes to staunch abolitionist U.S. Senator
Charles Sumner, of Massachusetts. Lincoln introduces Mary Elizabeth Booth,
whose husband, Major Lionel Booth, a black officer, was killed in battle on
April 12, at Fort Pillow, Tennessee. Lincoln writes, "She makes a point . . .
very worthy of consideration which is, widows and children infact, of colored soldiers who fall in our service, be placed in
law, the same as if their marriages were legal, so that they can have the
benefit of the provisions made the widows & orphans of white soldiers.
Please see & hear Mrs. Booth." Abraham Lincoln to Charles Sumner, 19
May 1864, CW, 10:243-44; Roy P. Basler, "And for His Widow and
His Orphan," Quarterly Journal of the Library of Congress 27,
no. 4 (October 1970): 291-94.
|Friday, May 20, 1864.|
President declines invitation to visit Mississippi Valley Sanitary
Fair in St. Louis.
Abraham Lincoln to Felix Schmedding, 20 May 1864, CW, 7:354.
Interviews Thomas E. Morris, of New Jersey, who asks that his son be
Memorandum: Appointment of Josiah W. Morris, 20 May 1864, CW, 7:353-54.
Recognizes Constantine P. Ralli as vice consul of Greece at St. Louis.
Washington Star, 25 May 1864.
[Irwin deposits in Springfield Marine Bank $350, rent from L. A. Tilton.
Pratt, Personal Finances, 166.]
President writes order that no person engaged in trade following
published regulations of Treasury Dept. shall be hindered by Army or
Order Concerning Trade, 20 May 1864, CW, 7:354.
|Saturday, May 21, 1864.|
President decides to lift publication ban on New York newspapers
"World" and "Journal of Commerce."
Harper, Press, 297.
Recognizes Carl C. Finkler as consul for Duchy of Nassau for California.
Washington Star, 25 May 1864.
Act to provide temporary government for territory of Montana having
been passed, Lincoln instructs Atty. Gen. Bates and Sec. Seward to
brief applications for offices in so far as they relate to their
Abraham Lincoln to William H. Seward, 21 May 1864, CW, 7:356-57.
Sends identical letters to Govs. Morton (Ind.), Yates (Ill.), William
M. Stone (Iowa), and James T. Lewis (Wis.): "The getting forward of
hundred day troops to sustain Gen. Sherman's lengthening lines
promises much good. Please put your best efforts into the work."
Abraham Lincoln to Oliver P. Morton, 21 May 1864, CW, 7:355-56.
Replies to request of Christiana A. Sack, of Baltimore: "I can not
postpone the execution of a convicted spy, on a mere telegraphic
despatch signed with a name I never heard before. Gen. Wallace may
give you a pass to see him, if he chooses."
Abraham Lincoln to Christiana A. Sack, 21 May 1864, CW, 7:356.
with minor appointments and military arrests. Abraham
Lincoln to Joseph Holt, 23 May 1864, CW, 7:357;
Lincoln to Joseph Roberts, 23 May 1864, CW, 7:358;
Lincoln to Edwin M. Stanton, 23 May 1864, CW, 7:358;
Lincoln to Edwin M. Stanton, 23 May 1864, CW, 7:358.
|Tuesday, May 24, 1864.|
President cheers Gov. Brough (Ohio) by quoting Gen. Grant: "'Everything looks exceedingly favorable for us.'"
Abraham Lincoln to John Brough, 24 May 1864, CW, 7:359.
Transmits to House of Representatives information relative to joint
resolution concerning French monarchy in Mexico.
Abraham Lincoln to the House of Representatives, 24 May 1864, CW, 7:359.
Sec. Seward and Simon Cameron spend evening with President.
Hay, Letters and Diary.
President recommends to Senate for promotion Lt. Comdr. Francis A.
Roe (USN) and 1st Asst. Eng. James M. Hobby (USN) for distinguished
conduct in battle between U.S.S. "Sassacus" and rebel ironclad ram
Abraham Lincoln to William H. Seward, 3 May 1864, CW, 7:360.
Writes note to
on letter of E. A. Paul, New York "Times"
correspondent, enclosing pass to Army of Potomac not approved by
: "The Times I believe is always true to the Union, and
therefore should be treated at least as well as any."
Abraham Lincoln to Edwin M. Stanton, 24 May 1864, CW, 7:360-61.
|Wednesday, May 25, 1864.|
President asks Gen. Meade if permit to pick up cast-off clothing of
Army should be granted.
Abraham Lincoln to George G. Meade, 25 May 1864, CW, 7:361-62.
Officials of Pittsburgh Fair for benefit of U.S. Sanitary Commission
request President's autograph, to be sold at Fair.
O'Connor to Lincoln, 25 May 1864, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Lincoln writes Cong. Arnold (Ill.) letter for use in canvass for
reelection: "I take it that your devotion to the Union and the
Administration can not be questioned by any sincere man."
Abraham Lincoln to Isaac N. Arnold, 25 May 1864, CW, 7:361.
|Thursday, May 26, 1864.|
President discusses pay of Negro chaplains with Atty. Gen. Bates and
Sen. Sumner (Mass.).
Sec. Seward arranges 11:30 A.M. appointment for Baron von Gerolt with
Seward to Lincoln, 24 May 1864, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
President recognizes John Hitz as consul general of Swiss
Confederation at Washington.
Washington Star, 30 May 1864.
|Friday, May 27, 1864.|
Cong. John F. Driggs (Mich.) sends his son with gentleman and two
ladies from Connecticut to shake hands with President.
Driggs to Lincoln, 27 May 1864, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Augustus N. Dickens of Chicago, brother of English novelist Charles
Dickens, requests President's autograph as keepsake.
Dickens to Lincoln, 27 May 1864, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
briefly to resolutions presented by delegation from American Baptist Home
Missionary Society. Washington Star, 28 May 1864;
to Delegation of Baptists, 28 May 1864, CW, 7:365.
Transmits to Senate
partial report of secretary of state and documentation relative to Mexican
Lincoln to the Senate, 28 May 1864, CW, 7:365.
Answers inquiry of
Cornelius A. Walborn, postmaster at Philadelphia, regarding visit to Great
Central Fair: "Whether I can during it's continuance must depend on
Lincoln to Cornelius A. Walborn, 28 May 1864,
during this week Mrs. Lincoln visits Armory
Square Hospital in capital and gives flower seeds. "Gazette" comments: "We have
been under obligations to this excellent woman, for contributions of flowers to
place in the Coffins of our deceased Soldiers, sent home for burial."
Washington, DC, Armory Square Hospital Gazette, 28 May 1864.]
|Monday, May 30, 1864.|
Lincoln welcomes small son of Sen. Hicks (Md.), while father
waits in carriage. Abraham Lincoln to Thomas H. Hicks,
30 May 1864, CW, 7:367.
President Lincoln writes to John H. Bryant, of Princeton, Illinois, and regrets
that he is unable to attend a meeting to discuss plans for a monument to honor
fellow Illinoisan and U.S. Representative, Owen Lovejoy, who recently died.
Lovejoy was a staunch abolitionist and Lincoln's "most generous friend." He
notes, "My personal acquaintance with him commenced only about ten years ago,
since when it has been quite intimate; and every step in it has been one of
increasing respect and esteem, ending, with his life, in no less than affection
on my part. . . . [Lovejoy] bravely endured the obscurity which the
unpopularity of his principles imposed . . . Let him have the marble monument,
along with the well-assured and more enduring one in the hearts of those who
love liberty, unselfishly, for all men." John H. Bryant et
al. to Abraham Lincoln, 10 May 1864; John H. Bryant to Abraham Lincoln, 14 May
1864, both in Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library
of Congress, Washington, DC;
Abraham Lincoln to John H. Bryant,
30 May 1864, CW, 7:366-67.
Writes committee from American Baptist Home Mission Society in response to
resolutions presented by them. When those professedly holy men of South, in
semblance of prayer, appealed to Christian world "to aid them in doing to a
whole race of men, as they would have no man do unto themselves," they
contemned and insulted God. "But let me forbear, remembering it is also written
'Judge not, lest ye be judged.'" Abraham Lincoln to George B. Ide, James R.
Doolittle, and A. Hubbell, 30 May 1864, CW, 7:368.
|Tuesday, May 31, 1864.|
In the morning, President Lincoln observes as groups of
children, who are participating in the "Sunday School Celebration," parade past
the White House. A newspaper reports, "President Lincoln was cheered by the
children, and he, being at one of the front windows, acknowledged the
compliment with a bow." Evening Star
(Washington, DC), 31 May 1864, 3:1.
Receives report from
Cleveland, Ohio, convention of Republicans that Gen. Fremont has been nominated
for President. Monaghan, Diplomat, 363; Josiah G. Holland, The
Life of Abraham Lincoln (Springfield, MA: G. Bill, 1866),
Gen. Cochrane, resigned, attorney general of New York,
consults with President about Cleveland convention of Republicans.
Hay, Letters and
Cabinet meets. Welles,
Sen. Wade (Ohio)
and Capt. Herbert have interviews with President. Butler,
Cong. Francis Thomas (Md.) sends autograph album to White House with request
that President write in it. Thomas to Nicolay, 31 May 1864,
John G. Nicolay Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Lincoln receives $883.30 in coin, being interest due him on $16,200 in 7 3/10
bonds in custody of U.S. treasurer. Tuttle to Underwood, 31
May 1864, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of
Congress, Washington, DC.
Contributes autograph to be sold
along with those of other Presidents at Sanitary Fair in Philadelphia.
Abraham Lincoln to Mrs. Field, 31
May 1864, CW, 7:369.
Telegraphs Gen. Hurlbut permission to visit Washington and Baltimore.
Abraham Lincoln to Stephen A.
Hurlbut, 31 May 1864, CW,
Transmits to Senate report from secretary of state and
documents relative to case of José A. Arguëlles, Spanish officer
in Cuba, who seized cargo of over 1,000 Negroes landed on coast from slaver and
was accused of fraudulently selling 141 of them. Abraham Lincoln to the Senate, 31
May 1864, CW, 7:370.