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Entry by Edward Bates, August 4, 1864

Edward Bates, seated, detail
In this angry diary entry, Attorney General Edward Bates voiced his disgust with President Lincoln's refusal to overturn the introduction of martial law in Norfolk, Virginia by Union general Benjamin Butler, blasting the "abject fear" and "stolid indifference to duty" at stake in the case. Bates believed the decision represented "open contempt of constitution and law." The unhappy attorney general resigned from office after the presidential election in November 1864. (By Rebecca Solnit)


How to Cite This Page: "Entry by Edward Bates, August 4, 1864," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,