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.

March 1, 2014

Diary of Gideon Welles

March 1, Tuesday. Very little of importance to-day at the Cabinet. Neither Chase nor Blair was present. Gen. F. Blair made, I am told, a severe speech against Chase, in the House on Saturday. It is unfortunate that these assaults should be made on political friends, or those who should be friends. I shall be sorry if, under the existing circumstances, Chase should be a candidate for President. If he asks my opinion I shall advise him not to enter the field; but I do not expect that he will ask my advice, he probably knows my opinions. Some of his training measures do not strike me favorably, but I am sorry General Blair should assail them with such acrimony. There is, however, a feeling of partisanship in St. Louis and Missouri that is unsparing. Chase has, I have thought unnecessarily and unwisely, identified himself with the radical element there, the enemies of Blair.

Old Mr. Blair called on me on Sunday evening to look to the interests of Acting Rear-Admiral Lee, his son-in-law, who is uneasy lest he shall not obtain promotion. I told Mr. B. that L. could not have the vote of thanks with the President’s recommendation without some marked event to justify it. That the higher appointments must be kept open to induce and stimulate our heroes. That Lee was doing his duty well, and, should there be no others to have earned the great distinction when the war is over, he would be among those who would compete for the prize.

Judge Edmunds and Senator Lane called on me on Monday morning for funds. Showed me two papers, one with Seward’s name for $500. On another was Blair’s (Postmaster-General) and Secretary Usher, each for $500, with some other names for like amount. Told them I disapproved of these levies on men in office, but would take the subject into consideration; I was not, however, prepared to act. Something should, perhaps, be contributed by men when great principles are involved, but these large individual subscriptions are not in all respects right or proper. Much of the money is wasted or absorbed by the electioneers. I shall soon be called upon by Connecticut men to contribute to their election, and I cannot afford to comply with all the demands that are made for party, nor do I like the hands in all cases which the money is to pass into

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