Thursday, September 15, 2011

September 16, 1861 (Tuesday): Lincoln Looks for Loyalists

Capture of Fort Hatteras

                                                            EXECUTIVE MANSION,
Washington, D. C., September 16, 1861.
Lieutenant-General Scott:
   MY DEAR SIR:  Since conversing with you I have concluded to request you to frame an order for recruiting North Carolinians at Fort Hatteras.  I suggest it be so framed as for me to accept a smaller force—even a company—if we cannot get a regiment or more.  What is necessary to now say about officers, you will judge.  Governor Seward says he has a nephew (Clarence A. Seward, I believe) who would be willing to go and play colonel and assist in raising the force.  Still it is to be considered whether the North Carolinians will not prefer officers of their own.  I should expect they would.
    Yours, very truly,

Series I., Vol. 4, Page 613

The Governor Seward referenced is Secretary of State Seward, who had been governor of New York early in his political career.  Clarence Seward later became assistant secretary of state when his uncle was badly injured in an attack connected to the Lincoln assassination.  Fort Hatteras had been taken in late August, and was considered a significant victory.  Lincoln hoped the recruitment of loyal North Carolina troops would be a morale boosting victory for the North.

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