Home page Jews in the Civil War Jews in the Wild West History of Palestine The Occident Virtual Library


332 Pennsylvania Ave. 

Washington, Dec. 13, 1861

My dear Sir,

You have no doubt rec'd my first letter in which I have the substance of my interview with the President. As he wished me to call again on the following day, I readily availed myself of his invitation but, much to my regret, he was unable to see me as he had important public business to transact with the Governor of Indiana and foreign ambassadors. He sent me, however, a note in which he states that "he is not forgetting my case and will lay it before the Cabinet today (Friday)." It may be some days before I know the result of their deliberations. At all events, I have succeeded in obtaining the favorable consideration of the President, which I entirely attribute to the excellent letters of introduction to him. All the public officers from the President down to the Members of Congress have so much to occupy their attention, that unless an extraordinary amount of political influence is brought to bear upon this, you may solicit for weeks an interview without obtaining it. Under the circumstances, I consider myself very fortunate in having accomplished so much in a few days.

I had yesterday a long conversation with the Hon. L.A. Conkling, M.C. on the same subject. He informed me that he had rec'd the petition of the Board of Delegates in reference to this matter, but, as no date was attached to the document, he sent it back to you, and would bring the matter up in the House of Representatives as soon as the petition is returned to him with the necessary addition of the date. I feel quite sure, that he will do his best to promote the object of the Board of Delegates.

I found, of course, no difficulty in obtaining a Pass for the camps and hospitals. All the passes are limited to the day for which they are issued, as this would have been very inconvenient to me, I obtained a special pass for the month of December, which can be renewed ad infinitum. I lost no time in visiting the camps and hospitals, where several Jewish soldiers soon recognized me, and expressed great satisfaction at the object of my mission. I was yesterday beyond Forts Corcoran and Bunyon in Virginia, and will proceed next week to the front lines. Full particulars I will communicate to you, as soon as I shall have visited the leading camps and Hospitals in Virginia and Darmistown Rd. where Gen. Banks army is located.

I am staying at present at Brown's Hotel and am on the lookout for suitable lodgings, which, I regret to say, are very expensive; there are two Jewish lodging houses here, but the accomodations are not suitable, as I am anxious to be in a central locality for the various duties I may have to attend to. I will, therefore, take a bedroom in the southern part of the city, and take my meals in one of the Jewish boarding houses.

If you have anything to communicate to me, please send it to Messrs Philip & Solomons, 332 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington.

Believe me,

Very respectfully yrs

A. Fischel

Henry I. Hart, Esq., President of the Board of Delegates, New York

Fischel Letters