Inside Lincoln's White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay

By Michael Burlingame; John R. Turner Ettlinger et al. | Go to book overview

1861
18

APRIL 1861, THURSDAY

THE WHITE HOUSE IS TURNED INTO BARRACKS. JIM LANE MARshalled his Kansas Warriors today at Willard's and placed them at the disposal of Maj. Hunter, who turned them tonight into the East Room. It is a splendid company--worthy such an armory. Besides the western Jayhawkers it comprises some of the best materiel of the East. Senator Pomeroy and old Anthony Bleecker stood shoulder to shoulder in the ranks. Jim Lane walked proudly up and down the ranks with a new sword that the Major had given him. The Major has made me his aid, and I labored under some uncertainty as to whether I should speak to privates or not.1

The President today received this despatch.

"We entreat you to take immediate measures to protect American Commerce in the Southern waters and we respectfully suggest the charter or purchase of Steamers of which a number can be fitted from here without delay." Signed by Grinnell Minturn, & many others of the leading business men of the place. The President immediately sent for the Cabinet. The[y] came together and Seward answered the despatch in these words.2

Despatch to the President received and letters under consideration. W H Seward.3

All day the notes of preparation have been heard at the public buildings and the Armories. Every body seems to be expecting a Son or brother or "young man" in the coming regiments.

Tonight, Edward brought me a card from Mrs Ann S. Stephens expressing a wish to see the President on matters concerning his personal safety. As the Ancient was in bed, I volunteered to receive the harrowing communication. Edward took me to his little room adjoining the Hall and I waited. Mrs. Stephens, who is neither young nor yet fair to any miraculous extent came in leading a lady who was a little of both whom she introduced as Mrs. Col. Lander. I was

delighted at this chance interview with the Medea, the Julia the Mona Lisa of my stage struck days. After many hesitating and bashful trials, Mrs. Lander told the im

-1-

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