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

To Edwin M. Stanton [1]

City Point, Va., March 30, 1865-7.30 p.m.

Hon. Secretary of War: I begin to feel that I ought to be at home, and yet I dislike to leave without seeing nearer to the end of General Grant's present movement. He has now been out since yesterday morning, and although he has not been diverted from his programme, no considerable effect has yet been produced, so far as we know here. Last night at 10.15, when it was dark as a rainy night without a moon could be, a furious cannonade, soon joined in by a heavy musketry-fire, opened near Petersburg and lasted about two hours. The sound was very distinct here, as also were the flashes of the guns upon the clouds. It seemed to me a great battle, but the older hands here scarcely noticed it, and, sure enough, this morning it was found that very little had been done. A. LINCOLN.

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Annotation

[1]   OR, I, XLVI, III, 280. General John G. Parke telegraphed Colonel Theodore S. Bowers on March 30: ``The enemy drove in our pickets on line in vicinity of steadman & made demonstration on other portions of the line. Signal Rockets were thrown up by enemy & general cannonading ensued accompanied with heavy musketry on both sides The main line was not touched, & the picket line re established. The casualties not yet reported. . . .'' (DLC-RTL).

Stanton replied on March 31: ``I hope you will stay to see it out, or for a few days at least. I have strong faith that your presence will have great influence in inducing exertions that will bring Richmond; compared to that no other duty can weigh a feather. There is . . . nothing to be done here but petty private ends that you should not be annoyed with. A pause by the army now would do harm; if you are on the ground there will be no pause. All well here.'' (OR, I, XLVI, III, 332).