My own judgment however fully approved the act; though in such matters I do not like to rely much upon it. I did not think the Corps necessary for the defence of Washn. but I did think that acting in Conjunction with that under Banks or at least in cooperation, it could give a much more efficient support to Gen. McClellan than if sent into the Peninsula.4
We are looking earnestly--and I somewhat anxiously--for news from McDowell now supposed to be at Fredericsburgh & from Banks & Shields now probably approaching Staunton.5
I congratulate you on the passage of the Emancipation bill & on its approval by the President. It went through almost unchanged from your draft--[whol]ly unchanged in spirit. You never performed a more honorable work. I wish it could bear your name.6
Your friend faithfully
S P CHASE
Col. T. M. Key
|A copy of this letter from Chase's papers at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, in Jacob Schuckers's handwriting, appears at micro 20:0229.|
|An aide to George McClellan, Key had sent a telegram from the field without his commander's knowledge to describe Union positions at the siege of Yorktown and to appeal for Chase's help "in having the whole original force employed as contemplated when this great movement was commenced." Key to Chase, Apr. 10, 1862 ( Chase Papers, Hist. Soc. of Pa.).|
|From May 17 to 24, Irvin McDowell had orders to move south and join McClellan on the Peninsula. On April 4, Lincoln had instructed McDowell to guard Washington, D.C. OR, ser. 1, v. 12, pt. 1:10, v. 21, pt. 3:219.|
|Nathaniel Banks commanded the U.S. Fifth Army Corps in the Shenandoah Valley. Long, Civil War Day by Day, 193, 201.|
|On April 18, McDowell occupied Falmouth, Va., while Banks and James Shields were engaged in operations around New Market. OR, ser. 1, v. 12, pt. 1:427-28.|
|Key had authored legislation for emancipation in Washington, D.C., that became law on April 16. Appleton's, 3:530; Statutes at Large, 12:376-78.|
Letter in unknown hand, signed by Alexander Hays and James W. Hays Chase Papers, Library of Congress (micro 20:0237).
Washington D.C. Ap. 19th. 1862
Hon S. P. Chase
Sec. of the Treasy.
The colored people of this District propose to give you a vocal & instrumental concert on Wednesday evening the 23d1 inst. as a small testimony of their high appreciation of your early, your consistent & able services both as Lawyer Orator & Statesman in the cause of Human Freedom.
A more brilliant demonstration we would cheerfully give you, but under the advice of friends & in the present excited state of the Public