Sunday, July 14, 2013

July 15, 1863 (Thursday): Lincoln on Meade

Abraham Lincoln

War Department,
Washington, July 15, 1683--9 a. m.

Hon. Simon Cameron, Harrisburg, Pa.: 
   Your dispatch of yesterday received.  Lee was already across the river when you sent it.
   I would give much to be relieved of the impression that Meade, Couch, Smith, and all, since the battle of Gettysburg, have striven ony to get Lee over the river, without another fight.  Please tell me, if you know, who was the one corps commander who was for fighting, in the council of war on Sunday night.


Official Records, Series I., Vol. 27, Part 3, Page 703.

Meade had fought ably and well at Gettysburg, but he understood the toll battle takes on troops and was reluctant to press Lee too closely.  Lincoln believed that any damage Meade labored under, Lee must also, and wanted an attack pressed promptly.  The President would make up his mind more quickly on Meade as commander than he did his predecessors.  The change in command to Grant became more inevitable by the day as Meade did not attack Lee.

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