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

Post image for Diary of Gideon Welles.

Diary of Gideon Welles.

September 29, 2013

Diary of Gideon Welles

September 29, Tuesday. No matter of special importance; nothing but current business in Cabinet. Seward and Stanton were not present. The latter seems to make it a point recently not to attend. Others, therefore, run to him. I will not. Military operations are of late managed at the War Department, irrespective of the rest of the Cabinet, or of all who do not go there. This is not difficult, for the President spends much of his time there. Seward and Chase make daily visitations to Stanton, sometimes two or three times daily. I have not the time, nor do I want the privilege, though I doubtless could have it for Stanton treats me respectfully and with as much confidence as he does any one when I approach him, except Seward. But I cannot run to the War Department and pay court in order to obtain information that should be given. Chase does this, complains because he is compelled to do it, and then, when not bluffed, becomes reconciled. To-day he expressed great disgust towards Halleck; says Halleck has done nothing while the Rebels were concentrating, has sent no reinforcements to Rosecrans and did not propose to send any. Those that had gone were ordered by Stanton. Halleck, he said, was good for nothing, and everybody knew it but the President.

A large delegation of extreme party men is here from Missouri to see the President and Cabinet. So intense and fierce in their party animosities, that they would, if in their power, be more revengeful—inflict greater injury—on those Republicans, friends of the Administration, who do not conform to their extreme radical and fanatical views than on the Rebels in the field. The hate and narrow partisanship exhibited in many of the States, when there should be some forbearance, some tolerance, some spirit of kindness, are among the saddest features of the times.

Previous post:

Next post: