President Lincoln Deals Personally with Numerous Individuals’ Problems
September 2, 1863. It would be an understatement to say that access to the President was far more open in Lincoln’s day than it is today. Lincoln personally dealt with myriad personal matters that would never be on the President’s desk in the twenty-first century.
For example, on September 2, 1863 President Lincoln met with Dorcas Klaprath, and then wrote to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton about the request she made. Lincoln wrote, “This woman says her husband and two sons are in the war; that the youngest son W. J. Klaproth, is a private in Co. D, of 143rd Pennsylvania, volunteers, was wounded, made a prisoner & paroled at Gettysburg, and is now at Center-Street hospital, New-Jersey; and that he was under eighteen when he entered the service without the consent of his father or herself. She says she is destitute, and she asks that he may be discharged[.] If she makes satisfactory proof of the above let it be done.”
Lincoln, Speeches and Writings 1859-1865, Library of America, p. 501.
Grant’s Horse Falls on the General
September 4, 1863. Historian John Bowman notes that on this date “Union General Ulysses S. Grant, in perhaps an inebriated state, was fallen on by his horse in New Orleans; the general, soon to be called to Chattanooga, was partly lame for some weeks.
British Government Seizes Two Newly-Built Confederate Ironclads
September 5, 1863. “Despite Federal protests, British shipbuilders have for some time been constructing vessels for the Confederacy, the most successful of which was the CSS Alabama; this ship . . . [preyed] on Federal commerce [beginning] mid-1862 and [capturing by this date, more than sixty] Union ships.” Finally, historian John Bowman notes, on September 5, 1863, “responding to Washington’s protests, the British government . . . seized in Liverpool’s Laird shipyards two newly-built ironclads with ramming spars that had been ordered by the Confederacy. This seizure of the so-called ‘Laird Rams’ halted the growth of the Confederate navy and ended the last major diplomatic crisis between Washington and Britain during the war.”
Chronicles of the Civil War, John Bowman, General Editor, p. 121.
Editor’s Note: All entries were submitted by Peter A. Gilbert, Executive Director, Vermont Humanities Council.