This Week in the Civil War - 719
On Tuesday, December 8, 1863 in his annual message to Congress read to both congressional houses on the following day, President Abraham Lincoln reported that the nation’s foreign relations were peaceful and friendly for the most part, that the western territories were in satisfactory condition despite isolated Indian difficulties, that the blockade of the Southern coastline was increasingly efficient, and that the balance in the U.S. Treasury was over $5,300,000. Lincoln optimistically declared, “The crisis which threatened to divide the friends of the Union is past.”
The president acknowledged that the Mississippi River was firmly in Union hands, the enemy was being pushed back at many points, and that emancipation was working. To those who fought for the Union, the president expressed his eternal gratitude.