October 16, Friday. The President read to the Cabinet his letter to the Missouri radicals, and also a letter to General Schofield. Both exhibit tact, shrewdness, and good sense, on a difficult and troublesome subject. There is no cause for dissension among the friends of the Administration in Missouri, and the President does not commit himself to either faction in this controversy, but, like some of us, has little respect for the wild vagaries of the radical portion.
The President also read a confidential dispatch to General Meade, urging him not to lose the opportunity to bring on a battle, assuring him that all the honors of a victory should be exclusively his (Meade’s), while in case of a defeat he (the President) would take the entire responsibility. This is tasking Meade beyond his ability. If the President could tell him how and when to fight, his orders would be faithfully carried out, but the President is over-tasking Meade’s capability and powers. Where is Halleck, General-in-Chief, who should, if he has the capacity, attend to these things, and if he has not should be got out of the way.