Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 8.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To Ulysses S. Grant [1]

Executive Mansion
Lieut. Gen'l Grant. March 13, 1865.

I think it will tend to remove some injurious misunderstanding for you to have another interview with Judge Hughes. I do not wish to modify anything I have heretofore said, as to you having entire control whether anything in the way of trade shall pass either way through your lines. I do say, however, that having known Judge Hughes intimately during the whole of the rebellion, I do not believe he would knowingly betray any interest of the country and attempt to deceive you in the slightest degree. Please see him again. Yours truly, A. LINCOLN.

Annotation

[1]   Angle, p. 372. See Lincoln to Grant, March 8, supra. Orville H. Browning's Diary records under date of March 11:

``Saw in the papers this morning the statement that 200,000 pounds of tobacco purchased by Genl Singleton in Richmond and sent to Fredericksburgh had been destroyed by our troops. . . . Knowing . . . that Singleton had written authority from the President to go to Richmond & purchase and bring out produce . . . I was greatly surprised. . . . Just at night I took Judge Hughes with me, and went to the Presidents. . . . The President at once showed us despatches from Genl Grant . . . saying substantially that Genl Singleton and Judge Hughes were at Richmond engaged in a stupendous scheme to make millions . . . that they were willing to sacrifice the interests of the Country to the accomplishment of their purpose. . . . This astonished me greatly. Hughes had not been in Richmond. All that Singleton had done had been open and above board. . . . The President had not seen the paper Grant had given to Singleton authorising him to send products to Fredericksburg, and guarantying protection. I had a copy . . . which I showed to the President, and I think he was not less amazed at Grants subsequent conduct than I was. He seemed troubled and perplexed . . . and manifested a desire to keep faith, and save Singleton from ruin if he could, but at the same time gave me the impression that he was afraid to take the responsibility.

``I thought he was afraid of Secy Stanton, although he said Stanton had always been in favor of getting out products. I suggested that I would see, and converse, with Mr Stanton upon the subject, and he urged me to do so. He also thought that Judge Hughes ought to go down and see Grant, saying he would give him a pass to go, and also write a letter to Grant. . . .''

Under date of March 21, Browning records a conversation with Stanton, in which it was developed that the tobacco destroyed did not belong to James W. Singleton and James Hughes.