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Abraham Lincoln to Hannibal Hamlin, April 28, 1862

Abraham Lincoln, Brady image, 1863, detail
Brigadier General Charles Pomeroy Stone had been arrested on February 9, 1862 at his Washington hotel on unspecified charges. The new Congressional Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War had largely selected Stone as scapegoat for the Ball's Bluff defeat in late 1861 and he had recently also had a heated exchange with Senator Charles Sumner. Stone was held at Forts Lafayette and Hamilton in New York without charge but his friends agitated state and federal authorities for his release or speedy trial. A U.S. Senate resolution had requested a clarification from the War Department and here President Lincoln answered, taking full responsibility for the arrest but giving no charges or details. He went on to excuse the lack of progress, arguing that, with the Army of the Potomac in the field, no senior officers were available to staff or testify at a court martial. He did, however, promise a trial as soon as was possible. This promise went unfulfilled as Stone continued to be held until his release without trial or charge on August 16, 1862. (By John Osborne)


How to Cite This Page: "Abraham Lincoln to Hannibal Hamlin, April 28, 1862," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,