This Week in the Civil War - 613

Jul 15, 2013

On July 14, 1863, as George Meade’s Union troops occupied empty Confederate entrenchments north of the Potomac, Abraham Lincoln wrote Meade a letter noting “…I am very-very grateful to you for the magnificent success you gave the cause of the country at Gettysburg; and I am sorry now to be the author of the slightest pain to you.  But I was in such deep distress myself that I could not restrain some expression of it….Your golden opportunity is gone, and I am distressed immeasureably [sic]….” 

While president, Lincoln often times wrote letters expressing his displeasure over policy decisions, congressional laws, or actions of the Union military.  And, as in this case, the president often did not sign nor send these letters, preferring to internalize these concerns and not criticize others.