Inside Lincoln's Cabinet: The Civil War Diaries of Salmon P. Chase

By Salmon P. Chase; David Donald | Go to book overview

6
Chase's Resignation [JUNE 24-JULY 6, 1864]

THE WINTER Of 1863-64 forms another long break in Chase's diary record. It was a period more distinguished for political than for military maneuvers. In March, 1864, Lincoln named Grant lieutenant-general and called him to Washington as general-in-chief of the Federal armies. Deciding to accompany the Army of the Potomac himself, Grant entrusted the armies at Chattanooga to Sherman. In early May the two forces simultaneously moved forward, Sherman forcing the wily Joseph E. Johnston back toward Atlanta, and Grant grinding away at Lee in the bloody battles of the Wilderness. Unsuccessful, Grant had to shift his base to City Point, east of Richmond, and it seemed that his summer campaign had resulted in nothing but disastrous casualty lists. Then in June, to relieve pressure on Richmond, Lee sent Jubal A. Early into the Shenandoah Valley, where he routed the troops of David Hunter, and Washington again was in danger.

Such bleak military news naturally had political repercussions. In January Chase had formally announced his presidential candidacy, and the following month a com210

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