Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 6.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To Simon Cameron [1]

``Cypher''
Hon. Simon Cameron Washington City,
Harrisburg, Penn. July 15, 1863.

Your despatch of yesterday received. Lee was already across the river when you sent it. I would give much to be relieved of thePage  330 impression that Meade, Couch, Smith and all, since the battle at Gettysburg, have striven only 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. A. LINCOLN

Annotation

[1]   ALS, RPB. Cameron telegraphed on July 14, ``I left the Army of the Potomac yesterday believing that the decision of Genl Meades Council of war on Sunday night not to attack the rebels would allow them to escape. His army is in fine spirits & eager for battle. They will win if they get a chance. Genl Couch has a fine army between Carlisle & Green Castle but will move no further south without orders under the strong belief that his duty is to guard the Susquehanna. In my opinion the Susquehanna needs no guard. I have urged him from the beginning to join Meade. I hope in God that you will put forth your authority & order every man in arms between the Susquehanna & the Potomac to unite with Meade so that he may have no reason for delay in giving battle before the falling of the flood allows Lee to escape.'' (DLC-RTL).

No reply from Cameron has been located. Meade's despatch to Halleck of 5 P.M., July 13, specifies that ``five out of six'' of his corps commanders ``were unqualifiedly opposed'' to making an attack (OR, I, XXVII, I, 91), but does not name the general who favored it---possibly Major General Oliver O. Howard, or Brigadier General James S. Wadsworth, temporarily in command of the First Corps during the illness of Brigadier General John Newton, whom Meade had placed in command of the First Corps at Gettysburg. The later reports appearing in the press do not entirely agree with Meade's statement that only one Corps commander favored an attack, although Meade may not have considered Wadsworth a corps commander in view of his temporary assignment. See Lincoln to Howard, July 21, infra.