Thurlow Weed to Abraham Lincoln, August 18, 1861

    Source citation
    Thurlow Weed to Abraham Lincoln, August 18, 1861, Albany, NY, Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress,
    Date Certainty
    Transcribed by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College, Galesburg, IL
    Adapted by Don Sailer, Dickinson College
    Transcription date
    The following transcript has been adapted from the Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress.

    Albany Aug. 18. 1861

    Dear Sir,

    I wanted to see you to say a few words that may not be written, but you were away (to see the Troops) and I had to come Home.

    I do not, when with you, say half I intend, partly because I dont like to "croak", and partly because you talk me out of my convictions and apprehensions.

    So bear with me, please, now, till I "free my mind".

    The Government is in great peril. greater than at any other moment. The War is at a stand-still. Your Armies, every where, are only acting on the defensive! Your Navy is useless! It seems bereft of all its genius and gallantry, and without a Hull, Decatur Porter, Perry or Macdonough to rekindle its enthusiasm.

    The Army and Navy Departments are now doing what should have been done three months ago. The People see this, and are loosing confidence.

    The Bull-Run affair was a blunder. With the Men and Money of the Country, without stint or limit, at the service of the Government, a Battle should not have been lost. Your Army is demoralized. The 60.000 or 70.000 Troops, in and about Washington, are not equal to 20.000 reliable Soldiers. You never will have an Army while Sickles'; Berdals Latson's &c &c are commissioned to raise Brigades and Regiments.

    If the leaders of the Democracy are enabled to rally their rank and file, party-wise, we shall have a divided North.

    Something should be done to restore confidence; to rekindle enthusiasm; to awaken Hopes, or all is lost.

    For all the sacrifices made and being made, the Country needs, and will demand, results. Without victories, the Tax Gatherers will prove unwelcome visitors.

    Without showing ourselves strong enough to put down Rebellion, Foreign Governments will soon intervene to put it up!

    It is, of course, easier to detect the existence of evils, than to furnish remedies. But you are the Head of this great Nation. I know how faithfully you serve, and how devotedly you love the Union. It never before was in such danger. The North possesses thePower and the Will to Preserve the Government. I Pray Heaven that you will so shape and guide events as to accomplish this object.

    Very Truly
    Your Friend
    Thurlow Weed

    How to Cite This Page: "Thurlow Weed to Abraham Lincoln, August 18, 1861," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,