The Salmon P. Chase Papers - Vol. 3

By John Niven; James P. McClure et al. | Go to book overview
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This letter also appears in Chase journal ( Chase Papers, 1:338-39). That version lacks the paragraphs describing the review of troops, the visit to Hampton, and the orders for the naval bombardment of Sewell's Point. The journal copy, however, includes the latter portion of the letter--missing from this version in Chase's hand.
Chase's letter to Janet of May 7 (above).
John Tucker, a New Yorker, had been appointed in January. Lanman, Biographical Annals, 507.
Maj. Gen. John Bankhead Magruder ( 1810-71), C.S.A., had gained notoriety for deceptive measures during the Peninsula Campaign that led George B. McClellan to exaggerate Confederate military strength. In October 1862, Magruder was reassigned to command the district of Texas, where he stayed for the remainder of the war. DAB, 12:204-5.
A supporter of Virginia's secession, former U.S. president John Tyler ( 1790-1862) had owned a summer home at Hampton prior to his death in January 1862. Ibid., 19:88, 92; Oliver Perry Chitwood, John Tyler: Champion of the Old South ( New York, 1939), 419.
Lincoln issued the order after receiving a request for the gunboats from McClellan. OR, ser. 1, v. 7:326.
Comdr. John Rodgers ( 1812- 82)) had distinguished himself as an aide to Samuel Francis DuPont at the battle of Port Royal Sound, November 7, 1861. DAB, 16:77-78; Long, Civil War Day by Day, 135-36.
The leaves containing the remainder of the letter are lacking. For the concluding portion of the letter, see Chase Papers, 1:339.


Letter in clerk's hand, signed by Pierce. Letters Received by the Secretary of War from the President, Executive Departments, and War Department Bureaus, 1862-1870, Records of the Office of the Secretary of War (Record Group 107), National Archives (micro 20:0522).

Port Royal May 8th. 1862

Hon. S. P. Chase,

Dear Sir,

It is now more than likely that I shall not go North until I have inducted Gen. Saxton to his new duties, and have arranged matters so that I can be permanently relieved. As they now stand, it would be prejudicial to the country to have me absent until his arrival. I hope the Atlantic now expected will bring him.

On mature reflection it seems to me much better that he should have been sent as a military Gov. rather than as Brig. Gen. merely. In either case he would be of course, as every one must be here, subject to the Major Gen. of the Department of the South. But in the former case he would have a distinct sphere of duty, and report directly to Washington. In the latter I should think he would be directly subordinate, receive his orders from the Maj. Gen. and only report to Washington through him.

The specially important matters on which I should have asked a conference at Washington, are these,

In the first place how much money will the Government be disposed to expend on the territory before the next cotton-crop is secured?


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The Salmon P. Chase Papers - Vol. 3
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