|August 11 in accordance with instructions from the War Department. Chase to Sherman, Aug. 2, 1862 (Misc. Letters Sent, Gen. Recs. Treasury Dept., Nat. Arch.); OR, ser. 1, v. 17, pt. 2:140-41, 163.|
|3.||Confederate generals Braxton Bragg and Earl Van Dorn ( 1820-63), who commanded the trans-Mississippi district. DAB, 9:586, 19:185-86.|
Autograph letter. Chase Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania (micro 22:0418).
New Harmony, Indiana
August 20, 1862.
My dear Sir:
Yr letter of August 11, re-mailed to me from Indianapolis and coming to hand last night, gave me very great satisfaction. Though strongly impelled to write as I have written, I did not expect such results.
On one point I might, with advantage, have added a few words: namely as to the Border States, in whose fate I know the President is deeply interested; as am I. Who has sacrificed so much for loyalty as the Union men of Kentucky and the rest? What class of men better deserve sympathy & protection?
But if we leave Slavery alone in these States, to work itself out as it will, what must ensue? The sacrifice, to these loyal men who have stood the brunt of the battle, of all their slave property. Slavery abolished by the Confiscation Act south of them, and non-existent north of them, must melt away in the narrow Border-strip.
The President's Proclamation as to the Sixth Section bears date July 25.1 The sixty days expire September 23. If the President should decide to issue, on that day, a Proclamation declaring liberated the slaves of every man then in rebellion or aiding & abetting it,--declaring, also, that, under the necessity of self-preservation, the slaves of the loyal are taken by the Government at an appraisement,--private property for public use--no class of men in the Union would be so benefitted by that Proclamation as the loyal slave-owners of the Border States. It would rescue their slave-property from ruin: nothing else can. If they themselves do not see this now, they soon will.
Thus the measure indispensable to the safety of the nation becomes, incidentally, the only effectual measure of relief to thousands of suffering loyalists. Has the President well considered this? What man ever had the opportunity, while working for the integrity of the Union, to do as much for his native State?
God grant our Chief Magistrate wisdom to see & courage to act! Boldness & decision command, even in evil, the respect & concurrence of mankind. How much more in good!
The people are athirst for decisive action. How will he be honored who takes the responsibility now! Never have I heard the memory of Andrew Jackson so often evoked as in these latter days.