Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 75,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Stanton, Edwin McMasters (1814-1869) to Rev. Herman Dyer

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC07102 Author/Creator: Stanton, Edwin McMasters (1814-1869) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 18 May 1862 Pagination: 15 p. : envelope : 4 Prints ; 25.3 x 20 cm.

Summary of Content: Secretary of War Stanton writes to his friend Reverend Dyer about Union strategy in Peninsula Campaign, responding to criticism in the press. He expresses condemnation of General McClellan. Stanton insists that Lincoln agrees with him concerning the defense of Washington. He also expresses his thoughts about his position: "I knew that everything I cherish and hold dear would be sacrificed by accepting this office. But I thought I might help to save the country and for that I am willing to perish." Written on four folios.

Background Information:

People: Stanton, Edwin McMasters, 1814-1869
Dyer, Herman, fl. 1862

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Subjects: Civil WarMilitary HistoryUnion GeneralUnion ForcesLincoln's CabinetPresidentWashington, D.C.Patriotism

Sub Era: The American Civil War

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources