7 December 1861: “Lincoln’s message was published here today – It is in every respect a most ordinary document – poor in style, matter, and every thing”

Item description:  Entry, 7 December 1861, from the diary of Thomas Bragg (Attorney General of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1863), written while Bragg was in Richmond, Va.

Item citation: From the Thomas Bragg Papers, 3304-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Saturday, December 7, 1861

We had another Cabinet meeting today, Messrs. Humter & Malory absent. The chief business was to consider the propositions of the Provisional Gov’t of Kentucky. Messrs. Burnet & Sims two of the three Commissioners were before the Cabinet in person – The form of temporary Gov’t was a Governor and the ten councilmen. The commissioners entered very fully into an explanation of the state of things in that State, they expressed the opinion that a large majority of the people were in sentiment with the South, but that the feeling would be crushed out unless some assurance was given very soon, of protection, aside from that of military aid – that under State laws they would be tried and punished as traitors – that they could hold no elections, to change their State government, and that the country would be over run by an armed force – Gov’r McGoffin they said had failed to stand by them and had yielded – pretending that he was virtually a prisoner – they say he has northern property which he fears he will lose.

The Cabinet were unanimous in advising the President to submit the matter to Congress, with a favorable expression of the opinion as to the admission of the State into our Confederacy – the whole thing was admitted to be irregular, but it was deemed a necessity. The people of the Stare are in a state of revolution. It will be playing the Lincoln Game as to some of our states, Va. for instance, upon themselves. It is a bad example to follow, but we are almost compelled to adopt it.

The Pres. read a letter from Gen’l Price and a correspondence between & McCulloch. The latter wanted to fall back farther, the former to fight. The whole shewed that there was & could be no harmony or concert of action, and that some one must be sent to command. But yet it may result in disbanding Price’s force, which, as yet, has never been mustered into the Confederate service. Lincoln’s message was published here today – It is in every respect a most ordinary document – poor in style, matter, and every thing.

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