Salmon Chase's protege Lyman D. Stickney, the Union Tax Commissioner for
Florida, lobbied hard for an increased Federal military presence in the state.
President Lincoln became aware of Chase and Stickney's machinations, and
Lincoln himself hoped to see a loyal Florida government returned to the Union
under the terms of his December, 1863 Reconstruction Proclamation.
Stickney was a very interesting man. He would fit the classic definition of a
carpetbagger. He was a lawyer from New England. Before the war he lived in
New Orleans where he was a state-rights man. In 1860-61 he was in
Tallahassee Florida with the secessionist convention. When he returned to the
north he became a Republician sending letters to Lincoln and finally working his
way into the confidence of the Secretary of Treasury Salmon Chase. The
appointment of John Hays, Lincoln's Secretary, as a Major and in charge of the
oaths may have been a reaction to Stickley and Chase (who was also trying for
the 1864 Republican nomination.)
Admiral JOHN A. DAHLGREN,
Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
Report of Rear-Admiral Dahlgren, U. S. Navy, forwarding information regarding
proposed military operations in Florida and desired cooperation of gunboats in
St. John's River.
No. 311.] FLAG-STEAMER PHILADELPHIA,
Off Morris Island, December 16, 1863.
SIR: I enclose herewith copy of a letter from Commander Reynolds. As yet I
have heard nothing whatever on the subject from Mr. Stickney; indeed, it is the
first I have heard of it at all.
The Department may rely, however, that I shall not await instructions to operate
in any possible way against the rebels, though the attack on Charleston is the
primary object, and must have precedence over all others, unless the
Department should direct otherwise.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. A. DAHLGREN, Rear-Admiral, Cmdg. /South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington,!). C.
U. S. SHIP VERMONT,
Port Royal Harbor, S. C.,
December 14, 1863.
SIR: Mr. S. D. Stickney,
U. S. tax commissioner for the State of Florida, who has just arrived from
Washington, has been on board this morning, and states that a brigade of
infantry under General Birney and a body of cavalr}' is about being sent out to
operate in Florida, to land at St. John's River, and that the cooperation of the
gunboats is desired in this matter.
They will make the base of their operations at Fernandina. A State government
is to be set in operation as soon as practicable.
I suppose that you have been, or will be, apprised of this from Washington;
nevertheless, I think it best to inform you of what I have heard.
I told Mr. Stickney that in order to have the cooperation of the gunboats, the
admiral's directions would be necessary, as he had remarked to me that he
would wish to have them.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. REYNOLDS, Commander and Senior Officer Present
|Direct Tax Commissioner
Lyman D. Stickley
Arrives in Florida
|Major John Hays - Lincoln's Secretary
Secretary of the Navy - Gideon Welles