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.

February 22, 2014

Diary of Gideon Welles

February 22, Monday. Wrote a line to Seward that I had not been officially notified of the raising of the blockade of Brownsville, Texas. The whole thing has been done most bunglingly by him, Chase, and the President. The subject was discussed two or three weeks since in regard to Brownsville and one or two other places, but we came to no conclusion, and nothing farther was said to me, nor was I aware that any action had been taken in regard to it till I saw the proclamation in the newspapers.

A circular, “strictly private,” signed by Senator Pomeroy and in favor of Mr. Chase for President, has been detected and published. It will be more dangerous in its recoil than its projectile. That is, it will damage Chase more than Lincoln. The effect on the two men themselves will not be serious. Both of them desire the position, which is not surprising; it certainly is not in the President; who would be gratified with an indorsement. Were I to advise Chase, it would be not to aspire for the position, especially not as a competitor with the man who has given him his confidence, and with whom he has acted in the administration of the government at a most eventful period. The President well understands Chase’s wish, and is somewhat hurt that he should press forward under the circumstances. Chase tries to have it thought that he is indifferent and scarcely cognizant of what is doing in his behalf, but no one of his partisans is so well posted as Chase himself.

The National Committee appointed at Chicago met today. As Connecticut had sent forward no one as a substitute in my place, I was for a brief time with the committee. I judge that four fifths are for the reelection of the President. The proceedings were harmonious, and will, I think, be satisfactory. I do not like this machinery and wish it could be dispensed with.

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