Autograph letter on letterhead stationery. George S. Denison Papers, Library of Congress (micro 22:0689).
Private & unofficial
Sept. 8 1862
Yours of the 26th has just reached me.1 I thank you for the full and satisfactory information it contains and beg you to continue to furnish similar intelligence every week or oftener if opportunities of communication offer.
My respect and esteem for Gen. Butler are very cordial. I feared some time ago that he would not act promptly enough upon the necessities of his situation in availing himself of the services of the loyal blacks. It is very gratifying to see that he has begun their military organization.2 It should be urged forward as fast as practicable. It is no longer doubtful in my judgment that emancipation must be decreed in both Louisiana & in South Carolina. I think indeed it must go through the Gulf States & Georgia, and at no distant period through the whole of the Slave States, the loyalists being compensated. The President is I think rapidly approaching this conclusion if he has not already reached it; and I am very confident that had Gen. Hunter's order been delayed until now there would have been no revocation of it. I do not know the intent of Gen. Butlers Department, but I am quite confident that should he believe it safe and expedient to issue an order giving liberty to all loyal people his action would be in no danger of censure.3 I do not desire it to be understood, however, that I advise this for the General. I do not hesitate to express to the President my conviction that these steps are necessary, and it does seem to me that he is approaching the same conclusions.
We see the effects of half measures on our side and whole measures on the rebel side. They take every thing-- conscribe every body-- exercise a relentless despotism--force every thing & every body into united action and are very strong at least for the present. They are now in Maryland some sixty or seventy thousand strong and on the Virginia side of the Potomac in nearly equal strength. Our troops recalled from Richmond failed through somebody's fault to cooperate efficiently against the advancing enemy. We sustained a repulse on Saturday after achieving a victory on Friday week.4 The army was drawn within the fortifications: and the President thought it necessary to replace McClellan in command under Halleck of the troops for the defence of the Capitol. His army is now in the field north of the city some thirty miles & a battle may take place any moment and must take place I think this week.5