Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

January 16. — General Sturgis’s cavalry, in pursuit of General Longstreet, reached Dandridge, Tenn., thirty miles east of Knoxville, and drove the rebel videttes out of the town.

—President Lincoln, in a note to the proprietors of the North-American Review, said:

“The number for this month and year was duly received, and for which please accept my thanks. Of course, I am not the most impartial judge; yet, with due allowance for this, I venture to hope that the article, entitled ‘The President’s Policy,’ will be of value to the country. I fear, I am not quite worthy of all which is therein kindly said of me personally.

“The sentence of twelve lines, commencing at the top of page 252, I could wish to be not exactly as it is. In what is there expressed, the writer has not correctly understood me. I have never had a theory that secession could absolve States or people from their obligations. Precisely the contrary is asserted in the inaugural address; and it was because of my belief in the continuance of these obligations, that I was puzzled for a time as to denying the legal rights of those citizens who remained individually innocent of treason or rebellion. But I mean no more now than to merely call attention to this point” [1]

[1] The sentence referred to by Mr. Lincoln is as follows: “Even so long ago as when Mr. Lincoln, not yet convinced of the danger and magnitude of the crisis, was endeavoring to persuade himself of Union majorities at the South, and to carry on a war that was half peace, in the hope of a peace that would have been all war—while he was still enforcing the fugitive slave law, under some theory that secession, however it might absolve States from their obligations, could not escheat them of their claims under the Constitution, and that slaveholders in rebellion had alone, among mortals, the privilege of having their cake and eating it at the same time—the enemies of free government were striving to persuade the people that the war was an abolition crusade. To rebel without reason was proclaimed as one of the rights of man, while it was carefully kept out of sight that to suppress rebellion is the first duty of government.”

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