xt7w6m332k6x https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7w6m332k6x/data/mets.xml Gilmore, James R. (James Roberts), 1822-1903. 1898  books b92-268-32003257 English L.C. Page, : Boston : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865. United States History Civil War, 1861-1865 Personal narratives. Personal recollections of Abraham Lincoln and the civil war  / by James R. Gilmore. (Edmund Kirke) text Personal recollections of Abraham Lincoln and the civil war  / by James R. Gilmore. (Edmund Kirke) 1898 2002 true xt7w6m332k6x section xt7w6m332k6x 




           - I

:_-  /0     .. -







        (EDMUND KIRKE)




             Copyright, 898

Electrotyped and Printed by C. H. Simonds & Co.
              Boston, U. S. A.



CHAP.                                            PAGE
   III. THE GREAT UPRISING  .   .   .   .       .  :13
        MATION .   .   .   .   .     .   .   .    49
  X. TRAVEL IN WAR TIME .     .   .   .   .   . 104
  XI. WITH "OLD ROSEY"     .   .   .   .   .   . 114
        TION   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   . 137
        1864   .   .   .   .   .       .   .   . 230
XVII. OUR VISIT TO RICHMOND    .   .   .   .   . 248
XVIIL THE GREAT CONSPIRACY     .   .   .   .   . 2) t

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               .  101

               .  118

               .  138


  .        261

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  AMONG the many disclosures that are now being made
in regard to the men and events of our recent Civil War,
none are more interesting than those which relate to the
eminent man who guided the country through that great
crisis. Each fresh disclosure reveals him in some new
aspect, and they all deepen the impression that he was a
"providential man," singularly endowed, and specially
commissioned, for the vast work which he did in American
  It was my good fortune to know him well, and to be, at
an early period in his administration, the depositary of his
confidential. views on national policy, and also his trusted
agent in the attempted carrying out of some of his more
important plans in connection with the Civil War. There-
fore it has been represented to me that it would deepen the
universal affection and reverence for this great and good
man, if I were to make public what I know of the inner his-
tory of some of the important events of the war before I
go hence and can no longer speak face to face with my
countrymen. For this reason these sketches are now pub-
lished. Some of them appeared during the war in the col-
umns of the Atlantic Monthly and the New York Tribune,
but the larger part are now freshly produced from notes
made while the events were transpiring, and from a some-
what retentive memory.    All conversations with Mr.



Lincoln it was my habit to write down in my note-book
within twenty-four hours after they occurred, and hence
I amn able to reproduce, after the lapse of more than thirty
years, his very words, and his peculiarities of speech and
manner. The same is true of what I report of my inter-
views with Generals Grant and Rosecrans, but the remark
does not apply to what I relate of Horace Greeley and the
Hon. Robert J. Walker, I having been in such frequent
intercourse with those gentlemen as to render such accu-
racy of verbal statement both unnecessary and impracti-
cable. I have aimed to correctly report the opinions and
sentiments they expressed on the occasions that are
mentioned, but the language used is my own, though it
doubtless has a certain verisimilitude that might enable
it to pass as their own phraseology.
  A valued friend, who ranks as one of the ablest of
American critics, to whom I have submitted these " Recol-
lections " for the purpose of deciding whether they should,
or should not, be given book publication, has just written
me as follows: "I have read the entire manuscript with
very much interest and pleasure. It contains a great deal
that is new to me and, I venture to say, that will be
new to nine hundred and ninety-nine out of a thousand of
the generation who took no active part in the affairs of the
country in war times. Valuable side-light is thrown by
your disclosures on some of the hidden springs and inner
workings of the times, and it appears to me that it is
worthy to be preserved on account of its intrinsic value."
  In the hope that the reader may concur in the opinion
of this most excellent gentleman, this volume is given to
the public.
                                   JAMES R. GILMORE.
  LAKE GEORGE, N. Y., MAY 24, 1898.



              ABRAHAM LINCOLN
                  THE CIVIL WAR.

                  CHAPTER I.


  ON Saturday, the 13th of April, 1861, I was at Willard's
Hotel, Washington, lured there by a restless desire to
learn something of the probable course of the Lincoln ad-
ministration in the tremendous crisis that was then upon
the country. The city was aflame with excitement over
the attack upon Fort Sumter, accounts of which were ap-
pearing almost hourly in " extras " of the daily journals;
and having secured a copy of the latest " extra," I retired
to the smoking-room of the hotel, directly after I had
breakfasted, to gather the news, and to speculate upon the
influence which this breaking out of actual war would have
upon my private fortunes; for, however devoted a man
may be to his country, his first thought, in the face of any
great calamity, is of himself and of those who are depend-
ent on him.
  While thus absorbed in gloomy forebodings, I became
conscious that I was undergoing the scrutiny of a gentle-



man who sat near me, also engaged in the morning news-
paper.  I gave him only a casual glance, but that was
enough to show that he was a man past middle life, and of
striking personal appearance.  He was of the medium
stature, with broad shoulders, a deep chest, and a capa-
cious head that was about all forehead. His features were
prominent, his eyes deep and piercing, and they had the
look of conscious power that belongs to born leaders of
men. At any other time I should have given him more
attention, but just then I was absorbed in the question,
"c Are not those cannon of Beauregard sending up in smoke
the work of my lifetime  "
  Soon the gentleman I have referred to rose from his
seat, and, coming directly to me, said: "Your beard dis-
guises you, but I know you, and I think you have not
forgotten me."
  I gave him a quick glance, then sprang to my feet, and,
grasping his extended hand, exclaimed: " I shall never
forget you. I have followed your every step since I was
a boy, and I thank God that you are left to serve the
  With a stronger grasp of the hand, he said: "s The boy is
father of the man, - you are the same enthusiastic youth
who came to me at Natchez some twenty years ago."
  " Enthusiastic   Yes, when there is anything   to
enthuse over. I shouted myself hoarse when you check.
mated Buchanan's attempt to saddle the Lecompton Consti-
tution upon Kansas.   That act alone entitles you to a
national monument."
  ",It gratifies me to have you say so," he said.  "But
tell me about yourself; how has the world fared with you
these dozen years  "
  I told him; but as I propose to sink the personal pro-



noun in these sketches, as far as possible, what was said
is here omitted.
  The gentleman who had thus accosted me was the Hon.
Robert J. Walker, who was the predecessor of Jefferson
Davis in the United States Senate from Mississippi, and
became famous by his able management of the Treasury
Department during the administration of President Polk.
  If the reader will consult any encyclopedia published
in this country since 1850, he will find there an outline of
this gentleman's remarkable career. He there will learn
that from Feb. 22, 1824, when, a young man of only
twenty-three, he brought about in the Harrisburg Conven-
tion the nomination of Andrew Jackson for the presidency,
until the 9th of April, 1865, when Lee surrendered at Ap-
pomattox, - a period of more than forty years, - he origi-
nated very many, and advocated all, of the great movements
that have contributed to the progress and expansion of this
country.  Then, if he will turn to the debates in the
United States Senate between 1836 and 1843, and read
the speeches which he, a Southern Senator, representing a
State in close affiliation with South Carolina, had the cour-
age to utter in defence of the Union and in denunciation
of John C. Calhoun, the great giant of Nullification, he will
learn something of the rare qualities of the man, his lofty
purpose, his breadth of view, and his serene intrepidity in
the face of an almost overwhelming antagonism. Those
speeches stirred my blood when a boy; but nothing in Mir.
Walker's whole career ever thrilled me with such enthusi-
astic admiration as his long and single-handed struggle
with the Calhoun heresy in Mississippi. In November,
1832, the State was ready to follow South Carolina in its
repudiation of the laws of the United States, but Robert J.
Walker mounted the " stamp," and by his single voice held



it back from a mad plunge into Nullification. He followed
this up in 1833 by a series of articles in the Natchez
Journal that won the enthusiastic approval of ex-Presi-
dent Madison; and he kept up the agitation until January,
1836, when Mississippi came fully over to his side, and
sent him to continue the conflict with Calhoun on the floor
of the United States Senate.  In all the history of this
country there is nothing more magnificent than this single-
handed struggle of Robert J. Walker, not merely with the
one giant, Calhoun, but with all the forces of Nullification
in the entire Southern country.
  His whole career had been disinterestedly patriotic, and
it was not surprising that at the opening of our great civil
conflict he should part company with many of his former
political associates, and come out openly, strongly, and
uncompromisingly in support of the Union. I was in
familiar intercourse with him when I was but a strip-
ling, but at this time I had not met him for several years.
There was, therefore, something to say between us of a
personal character. When this had been gone over, he
asked: " What do you think of the present situation  "
  "That we are among the rocks on a lee shore, with
neither Robert J. Walker nor Andrew Jackson to keep us
from the breakers. I have recently been through the in-
terior, from Charleston to Key West, and every man I
met was jubilant over the prospect of being soon rid
of the Yankees. If Sumter falls, - as it inevitably will,
-and Lincoln attempts to recover it, -as he is bound
to do, - we shall have to encounter the entire seaboard
  At this point Mr. Walker rose, and beckoned to a gen-
tleman who had just entered the room and was closely
regarding us. He was a tall, spare man, of about Mr.



Walker's age, and he had a shrewd, thoughtful appear-
ance. Negligently clad in a loose-fitting suit of gray, he
looked more like a much-engrossed man of business than a
statesman; but Mr. Walker introduced him to me as Sec-
retary Cameron of the Lincoln administration. As he
took a chair near us, Mr. Walker said: " Mr. Cameron, this
gentleman is just the one you want to meet. He knows
every acre of the cotton-growing country, and, except
Texas, has recently been over all the States in secession.
He can tell you the feeling of the seaboard people, and
their probable course in this emergency."
  Mr. Cameron remarked that he was very glad to meet
me; but expressed a fear that an interview in so public a
place would attract attention, and suggested that we should
adjourn to some private apartment. Then " Governor"
Walker -as Mr. Cameron styled him -secured such a
room at the hotel office, and soon we were seated there in
a conversation that lasted something more than two hours.
I shall not attempt to detail it; I kept no notes of what
was said; the substance of it, however, was repeated soon
afterwards in an interview with Mr. Lincoln, of which I
entered a full account in my note-book. This interview
was requested by Mr. Cameron, and arranged for by him
for two o'clock that afternoon.
  At two o'clock precisely, Governor Walker and I were
ushered into Mr. Lincoln's private room at the White
House. Mr. Cameron was there, and near him, seated in
a large armchair, was a tall man, in an ill-fitting suit of
black, whom I recognized from his portraits to be Mr.
Lincoln. He rose as we entered, and, greeting Mr. Walker
with great cordiality, he said: " So, Governor, this is the
gentleman who knows all about the South, and can tell us
how high that raccoon is going to spring."




  "m He can give you a very shrewd guess, Mr. President,"
said Mr. Walker, " for he knows the South thoroughly."
  While this was being said, I scanned somewhat closely
Mr. Lincoln's personal appearance. He was exceedingly
tall, and so gaunt that he seemed even above his actual
height of six feet, four inches; but he was not -as very
tall men often are -ungainly in either manner or atti-
tude. As he leaned back in his chair, he had an air of
unstudied ease, a kind of careless dignity, that well be-
came his station; and yet there was not a trace of self-
consciousness about him. He seemed altogether forgetful
of himself and his position, and entirely engrossed in the
subject that was under discussion. He had a large head,
covered with coarse dark hair that was thrown carelessly
back from a spacious forehead. His features also were
large and prominent, the nose heavy and somewhat Ro-
man, the cheeks thin and furrowed, the skin bronzed, the
lips full, the mouth wide, but played about by a smile that
was very winning. At my first glance he impressed me as
a very homely man, for his features were ill-assorted and
none of them was perfect, but this was before I had seen
him smile, or met the glance of his deep set, dark gray eye,
- the deepest, saddest, and yet kindliest, eye I had ever
seen in a human being. I had been prejudiced against
him, but with the first words he addressed to me the preju-
dice vanished, and, feeling perfectly at my ease, I answered
his request to tell him all I knew about the South, by say-
ing: "It is a large subject, Mr. Lincoln; where shall I begin"
  He said: " Wherever you like; and take your own time
and way about it."
  " Then, sir, permit me to give you a general opinion of
the Southern people from one who was born among them,
- Mr. Bennett Flanner, of Wilmington, N. C. He was a




shrewd observer of men and things, a most excellent man,
and a class-leader in the Methodist Church. He had
consigned his produce to our Boston house from time im-
memorial, and every summer he came on and spent a fort-
night with our senior partners. The firm owned a tract of
about a hundred thousand acres of timber land in Maine,
and one summer the senior partners asked Mr. Flanner to
go down with them and take a look at it. He went, and
when he returned he came to me and said: ' Ah, my boy,
I've seen them all now, -all the Yankees. I had seen the
York Yankees and the Boston Yankees, and now I've seen
the down-east Yankees, - they're all a right cute sort of
folk; but, after all, the damnedest Yankees on the face
of the earth are the Southern Yankees.' "
  "1 Then," said Mr. Lincoln, with the smile that made his
homely features good-looking, " you agree with Mr. Flanner
that the Southern people are the highest style of Yankees  "
  I answered that I did; that they were of the same race
as ourselves, but unmixed with our degraded foreign ele-
ment, and with our every trait intensified in consequence
of having a servile race to support them in idleness. Of
course, there is every variety of character among them, but
they are all like Jeremiah's figs, -" the good very good,
the bad not fit to feed the pigs." As politicians, the
meanest man among them had not his equal in the North-
ern States.
  "And what is the feeling of those people towards the
Government " asked Mr. Lincoln.
  I then went on to say that I thought the masses - not
the politicians - were, until a little time before, quite in-
different as to the extension or non-extension of slavery;
that the slave-owners, who were the inciters of the present
trouble, were a very small minority of the Southern people,




numbering, all told, only about 200,000. The small slave-
holders were mostly planters, and many among them be-
lieved, what I had often told them, that they could raise
their produce cheaper by hired than by slave labor. And
the non-slaveholders were generally satisfied to let things
go on as they were, not caring very much which party was
in power; but when he was nominated for the presidency,
they were told that he was an Abolitionist, and worse, that
he had negro blood in his veins; and that both from blood
and principle he was bound to go to the length of freeing
the slave, and placing him on a political equality with the
white. Political equality, in many districts of the South,
would mean negro domination, - and the domination of
the lowest type of negro, -which no Southern, or even
Northern, white man would submit to.
  "s Do you think the Southern people believe such absurd-
ities  " asked Mr. Lincoln.
  I answered that I knew it to be the general opinion
among what are called the masses. They were fairly in-
telligent men, the bone and sinew of the South; but the
most of them were never a hundred miles from home,
never saw a decent Yankee, and never read anything but
what the politicians chose to tell them in the Southern
newspapers. Let a Northern army be sent among them,
and every man of them would become a soldier, and would
fight to the last gasp in defence of his fireside. They had
no idea of any allegiance to the General Government.
They had been reared in the doctrine of State Rights, and
so when their States secede they would go with them, feeling
sure that they were doing their duty to their country.
  " Then," said Mr. Lincoln, " our only hope is in concili-
ating the leaders. Would not one good, decisive victory
bring them to their senses"




  "sNo, sir," I replied, " not ten victories. The leaders
have gone into this struggle to win, at any cost of time
and treasure. Those who are not self-seeking scoundrels,
like Toombs and Wigfall, are fanatics, like Jeff Davis and
Alexander Stephens, and both words and concession would
be wasted upon them. They have planned this thing for
over thirty years, - ever since our friend Mr. Walker and
General Jackson scotched the snake, Nullification. They
could not kill it, and it soon came to life again, in the form
of Secession. The only way to bring the South to its
senrses is to put down the Secession leaders."
  "s Then," said Mr. Lincoln, " we must separate one class
from the other. Are not their interests the same  "
  I answered that they were not; that the leaders were
all slave-owners. The great body of the Southern people
were not slave-owners; their property was in lands, houses,
and merchandise, and if they employed slaves, they paid
wages to their masters; and they would pay the same to
the slaves if they were emancipated. I knew hundreds of
cotton and turpentine producers who used altogether hired
slave labor. I also knew as many slave-owners whose entire
income was from thus hiring out their slaves. So long as
it would be as cheap to the producer to pay wages to the
slave as to the master, he could have no interest in se-
cession. If he were at that time opposed to the Govern-
ment, it was only because he believed its policy was to put
the negro on an equality with the white man.
  "Then," remarked Mr. Lincoln, "the Abolitionists are
right in saying that slavery is the root of the whole evil."
  "; They are, sir. The slave-owners control the South, -
control it because of their wealth, and their wealth is in
their slaves. A man in the South is not worth so many
dollars, but so many negroes. They have gone into the




rebellion to protect that kind of property, and you can't
put it down until you deprive them of it."
  "d But you are aware that I have no constitutional right
to abolish slavery."
  "1 Except as a war measure. But seven States have
already declared themselves independent, and begun a war
in Charleston harbor."
  "1 Yes," he answered, " such doings look like war; but
whether we have had cannon-balls enough to justify ex-
treme measures is the question. We won't discuss that.
But tell me, Mr. Gilmore, what would you do if you were
in my place, - bound as I am to support the Constitution  "
  "1 Pardon me, Mr. Lincoln, I think you have invited me
here to give you facts, and not opinions. Governor Walker
is the one to answer such a question."
  "1I know he's our American Solon. He's in favor of
cutting straight across lots; but it's safer to go around by
the road, and, sometimes, you get there just as soon. The
Governor is a statesman; you are a man of the people, and
that is just the reason I want to know what you would do
in the present circumstances."
  " Well, Mr. Lincoln, as you put it on that ground I will
answer your question. If I were in your place, sir, I should
announce at once to the seven States in secession that if
they did not return to their allegiance within a specified
time - say ninety days - I would free every one of their
negroes. And I should give a like notice to every State
that follows them into secession. The result would proba-
bly be the freeing of every slave in the South; but for that
you would be in no way responsible. The slaveholders
would have brought it upon themselves."
  " And do you suppose the North would sustain me in
any such measure Don't you know that the Abolitionists




have been working for thirty years to bring the North to
that way of thinking  And with what result  A cor-
poral's guard, and not a party."
  "I can only judge of others by myself, Mr. Lincoln.
For more than twenty years I have been in the closest
relations with the South; my best friends are there; and
four-fifths of all I have in the world will go up in smoke if
we have a war of any considerable duration; but I would
rather see it all go than leave to my children a disorganized
and disunited country. Other men feel as I do, and they
will require you to remove from the nation this apple of
perpetual discord."
  " They may, if they are brought to see things as you see
them.   And they would find me willing -I may say
eager - to listen. But you must bear in mind that I have
no right to emancipate the slaves, except for the preserva-
tion of the Union."
  "d I understand, - it must be a war measure, forced upon
you by the pressure of positive necessity."
  " Or the overwhelming sentiment of the North," said
Mr. Lincoln. "That I should heed, and heed gladly. I
am, you know, only the servant of the people. Educate
them up to such a measure, and I will do their and your
  " It seems to me, sir, that nothing more can now be ex-
pected of you. Anything so revolutionary as the emanci-
pation of the slaves might be allowed to wait until the
intentions of the Southern people are more fully developed.
You can dismiss all thought of conciliating the politicians;
but you can hope for an amicable adjustment of affairs,
and a restored Union, by showing both by word and act a
friendly disposition towards the Southern people. There-
fore, I should suggest no invasion of their homes, and, in




your military operations, a strictly defensive policy. But
all your friendly professions they will regard as false so
long as Mr. Seward is a member of your Cabinet. They
regard him as their arch enemy; and from his prominence
and ability they will believe that he is really the soul and
brains of your administration."
  "Then they consider Seward as the King-devil " said
Mr. Lincoln, smiling.
  " Yes, sir," I answered; " both politicians and people re-
gard him as the incarnation of all evil, - a man of ability,
but false, hypocritical, time-serving, and cowardly. If the
leaders had not thought him a coward, I question if they
would have fired upon Fort Sumter. They would not have
done so, had such a man as Andrew Jackson or Robert J.
Walker been in your Cabinet."
  " Come, come, Mr. Gilmore," said Mr. Walker, hastily,
" omit any reference to me."
  "1 None is necessary, Governor," I said, "s for it is plain
that Mr. Lincoln has the opinion of you that I have. But
he has asked me here to tell him what I know and think;
now, I know that I have expressed the Southern opinion
of Mr. Seward, and I think that if Mr. Lincoln listens to
the timid advice which Mr. Seward, from his extreme cau-
tion, is sure to give him, he will run the country upon the
rocks, where no earthly power can save it from going to
  " But you would not have me discard a wise councillor
at the bidding of a mob, and a Southern mob at that"
said Mr. Lincoln.
  "d Is he a wise councillor, sir, if Mr. Cameron is right in
saying that he thinks this storm will blow over in ninety
days If he can say that, after a dozen years' intimate
intercourse with the Southern leaders, is his judgment to



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be trusted  Understand me, Mr. Lincoln; I have no per-
sonal antagonism to Mr. Seward. I have never met him.
I doubt if I should know him if we were to meet upon the
  "d Well, well," remarked Mr. Lincoln, with his peculiar
smile, " I guess the Southern people would hang Seward if
they should catch him. But now tell me how you would
go to work to put down this rebellion"
  I smiled broadly, as I answered, " First, you ask me, sir,
a question that only a statesman can answer; and now one
fit for only a military man. Do you ask this, also, because
I am one of the people  "
  " No," he answered, again smiling. " I ask this because
you are a practical man, -one, I take it, who never meets
an obstacle without seeking a way to overcome it. You
must have thought a good deal on the subject; now give
me the result of your thinking."
  "Well, sir, I was very much struck in reading awhile
ago the plan of the British Cabinet for subduing the re-
volted colonies. It was brought to my attention by my
former business partner, Mr. Frederic Kidder, of Boston,
a man twenty years my senior, of very sound judgment,
and thoroughly acquainted with the South. The British
commanders tried to put it in execution on three distinct
occasions, and on each occasion they were thwarted only
by what we call accidental circumstances.  But for these
circumstances -over which neither Washington nor the
Continental Congress had any control whatever -they
would have succeeded, and we probably have been to-day
no nearer a national existence than Canada.  The plan
was to divide the Southern colonies by a line running
westward from Charleston, also to separate New England
from the middle colonies by the Hudson River, and to




crush each section separately. I have never seen the plan
fully stated except in a ' History of the American War,'
by Stedman, a prominent officer under Cornwallis; but it
may be distinctly traced in the operations of the British
  Mr. Lincoln then said: " The principle is right,-' divide
and conquer,'- but how would you apply it to our present
circumstances  "
  I then went on to give him Mr. Kidder's ideas, - stating
that they were his and not my own, and that he had given
a good deal of thought to the subject. He and the others
frequently interrupted me with questions, but the discus-
sion was too lengthy to be here repeated. I need here only
say that the plan was in effect executed by General Sher-
man in his " march to the sea," and that Mr. Lincoln in-
tended to carry it out in 1863 by swinging North Carolina
out of the Confederacy, as I shall relate hereafter.
  At the end of a long two hours Governor Walker and I
took our leave, Mr. Lincoln inviting me to call on him
when I was again in Washington. As we left the White
House the newsboys were crying. " Fort Sumter on fire -
the barracks burning;" and a few hours later Major An-
derson lowered the flag of the Union at the bidding of the





  A BRIEF telegraphic account of the surrender of Fort
Sumter appeared in the Washington newspapers on the
following morning, and I had just finished the reading of it
when Robert J. Walker laid his hand upon my shoulder,
saying: " The blow has fallen! What mortal man can
foresee the consequences"
  " I cannot," I replied. " But it seems to me that much
will depend upon the prompt action of the Government.
Any weakness shown now will be fatal."
  "Well," he said, " we must possess our souls in patience
until to-morrow. They may talk things over to-day, but
will take no action on Sunday. Meanwhile, suppose we go
to church and get our minds into a submissive mood."
  A little after noon on the following day he came to me
again at Willard's Hotel, saying: "The Cabinet must by
this time have finished its session, and I am impatient to
hear what action they have decided on. Come, go with me
to Cameron; I don't like to bother Mr. Lincoln."
  We found Mr. Cameron at his desk in his private room
at the War Department, and, looking up, he said: " Ah,
gentlemen, I am glad to see you. Be seated. I know
what you have come for, and I'll be through in a few
minutes,-as soon as I draft this telegram."
  Soon he looked up again, and said to Mr. Walker:



" Governor, let me read this to you, -you are more fa-
miliar with these things than I am. It is a call on the
States for 75,000 troops."
  Mr. Walker pronounced the paper in proper form, and
then Mr. Cameron, ringing for a subordinate and telling
him to see that the despatches were sent off at once, turned
about on his chair and told us that the President had de-
cided to issue a call for 75,000 men, and a proclamation
convening Congress for an extra session on the 4th of July.
At the Cabinet meeting he, Cameron, had proposed a call
for 500,000 men; a close blockade of the Southern ports;
the capture of Charleston and New Orleans, and the giving
of freedom to all slaves who should desert their masters
and join the Union armies; but his suggestions had been
strongly opposed by Mr. Seward, on the ground that such
decisive measures would close the door for any reconcilia-