This Week in the Civil War - 565

May 8, 2013

Two concerned presidents spent much of Thursday, May 7, 1863 in communication with their respective military leaders.  After personally conferring with Hooker, Lincoln returned to Washington and wrote his  general, noting “If possible I would be very glad of another movement early enough to give us some benefit from the enemies communications being broken, but neither for this reason or any other, do I wish anything done in desperation or rashness.” 

Meanwhile, Jefferson Davis wired John Pemberton at Vicksburg, noting “Am anxiously expecting further information of your active operations….You may expect whatever it is in my power to do for your aid.” 

In truth, Lincoln was clearly concerned over Hooker’s defeat at Chancellorsville, and Davis wondered if Pemberton could continue to withstand Ulysses Grant’s movement against the Vicksburg garrison.