Salmon P. Chase: A Life in Politics

By Frederick J. Blue | Go to book overview

7
The Blue, the Gray, and the Black

It never occurred to Chase that he should confine his administrative activities to finances. From the time of his Treasury appointment, he assumed that the cabinet would not only play an important role in formulating military and racial policy, but that he would enjoy a special relationship with the president. He expected his advice would be sought especially on military matters. Although Lincoln never encouraged those feelings directly, every indication in the first months of the administration was that Chase's military opinions would be valued. There was a widely shared belief that Secretary of War Simon Cameron lacked the drive and ability to handle the crushing burden of directing the war effort. From the start, Lincoln had little confidence in him, having appointed him primarily for political reasons, and as early as May 1861, the president turned to Chase to frame the orders which organized the volunteer and regular troops.1

Lincoln assigned Chase special military responsibility in western border areas, including Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri. Specifically, Chase was asked to "frame the orders" under which Andrew Johnson would raise regiments in Tennessee. The secretary took this role seriously, corresponding with Union supporters in the West and urging their vigorous action to keep their areas loyal and to raise troops to protect against Confederate inroads.2 Because "the loyalty of Kentucky is a great point gained," Chase personally planned the sending of arms and cold General Sherman: "I shall exert myself to

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Salmon P. Chase: A Life in Politics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vi
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - Portrait of An Ambitious Young Man 1
  • 2 - Family, Friends, and Fugitives 14
  • 3 - Liberty Advocate 41
  • 4 - Free-Soil Politico 61
  • 5 - From Columbus to Washington 93
  • 6 - The Politics of Finance 129
  • 7 - The Blue, the Gray, and the Black 173
  • 8 - Chase and Lincoln 207
  • 9 - Chase, Johnson, and the Republicans 247
  • 10 - Chief Justice as Presidential Candidate 283
  • 11 - Chase in Decline 308
  • Notes 324
  • Bibliographical Essay 394
  • Index 404
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