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    Lincoln Puts Hooker in His Place.

    [Abraham Lincoln]: Possibly Unpublished Telegram to Joseph Hooker. Throughout the Civil War, misunderstandings developed between military commanders and President Lincoln. This was occasioned by various reassignments and promotions. Some generals saw fit to bypass the chain of command and report either directly to Secretary of War Stanton or the President. As a consequence, spats flared up which had to be sorted out by the Commander-in-Chief. Such a controversy occurred in the weeks before the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg when General Hooker sent reports to the President, rather than his immediate superior, General Halleck. Lincoln telegraphed Hooker on June 16, 1863 and also sent him a letter through Col. Dahlgren. These are duly noted in the Collected Works. This is a copy of a telegram from that date which may or may not have been sent, as it seems to be unrecorded. It is written on War Department letterhead and "time-stamped" 9:45 P.M. The President had been consulting with Stanton and Welles that evening. During that time, they were actively monitoring the advance of Confederate forces, seemingly headed towards Pennsylvania. We do not know who wrote the document. Of the three presidential secretaries, it most closely resembles the handwriting of William O. Stoddard, although we suspect it may have been dictated to Major Eckert in the War Department telegraph office. It reads, in full: "To remove all misunderstanding I now place you in the strict military relation to Genl Halleck of a commander of one of the armies, to the Genl in Chief of all the armies. I have not intended differently; but as it seems to be differently understood I shall direct him to give you orders, & you to obey them. A. Lincoln". There are stains from reinforcement stickers placed on the backside. It is docketed: "Lincoln A. Telegram to Genl Hooker. Executive Mansion June 16, 1863" (in the hand of John Hay, we believe). Lincoln was keenly interested in receiving input from all his commanders and liked to make suggestions. Keeping in character, he was self-deprecating and downplayed his modest contribution to war strategy.

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    Auction Dates
    December, 2012
    11th-12th Tuesday-Wednesday
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