Monday, May 6, 2013

May 6, 1863: Two telegrams from Lincoln to Hooker

After the debacle at Chancellorsville, Lincoln tried to buck up Hooker's spirits with two telegrams on this day, 150 years ago.

We have through General Dix the contents of Richmond papers of the 5th. General Dix's despatch in full is going to you by Captain Fox of the navy. The substance is General Lee's despatch of the 3d (Sunday), claiming that he had beaten you and that you were then retreating across the Rappahannock, distinctly stating that two of Longstreet's divisions fought you on Saturday, and that General [Elisha Franklin] Paxton was killed, Stonewall Jackson severely wounded, and Generals Heth and A. P. Hill slightly wounded. The Richmond papers also stated, upon what authority not mentioned, that our cavalry have been at Ashland, Hanover Court-House, and other points, destroying several locomotives and a good deal of other property, and all the railroad bridges to within five miles of Richmond.


WASHINGTON, D.C., May 6, 1863. 12.30 P.M.

Just as I telegraphed you contents of Richmond papers showing that our cavalry has not failed, I received General Butterfield's of 11 A.M. yesterday. This, with the great rain of yesterday and last night securing your right flank, I think puts a new face upon your case; but you must be the judge.


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