Abraham Lincoln, Volume II eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 377 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln, Volume II.
in his own mind, wrought out his conclusions by the toil of his own brain, carried his entire burden wholly upon his own shoulders, and in every part and way met the full responsibility of his office in and by himself alone.  It does not appear that he ever sought to be sustained or comforted or encouraged amid disaster, that he ever endeavored to shift upon others even the most trifling fragment of the load which rested upon himself; and certainly he never desired that any one should ever be a sharer in any ill repute attendant upon a real or supposed mistake.  Silent as to matters of deep import, self-sustained, facing alone all grave duties, solving alone all difficult problems, and enduring alone all consequences, he appears a man so isolated from his fellow men amid such tests and trials, that one is filled with a sense of awe, almost beyond sympathy, in the contemplation.


[4] This language was too vague to make known to us now what Sumner’s demand was; for one of the questions bitterly in dispute soon became:  what forces were properly to be regarded as available “for the defense of the city.”

[5] McClellan says that he offered to General Hitchcock, “who at that time held staff relations with his excellency, the President, and the secretary of war,” to submit a list of troops, to be left for the defense of Washington, with their positions; but Hitchcock replied that McClellan’s judgment was sufficient in the matter.  McClellan’s Report, 683.  Vol.  II.

[6] By letter to the adjutant-general, wherein he requested the transmission of the information to the secretary of war. Report of Comm. on Conduct of the War, ii. pt. i. 13.  The addition in the Report is erroneous, being given as 54,456 instead of 55,456.

[7] See Comte de Paris, Civil War in America, i. 626, 627.

[8] See discussion by Swinton, Army of Potomac, 108 et seq.

[9] Perhaps he was not justified in counting upon it with such apparent assurance as he had done.  Webb, The Peninsula, 37-42.

[10] General Webb says that this question is “the leading point of dispute in the campaign and may never be satisfactorily set at rest.”  But he also says:  “To allow the general to remain in command, and then cut off the very arm with which he was about to strike, we hold to have been inexcusable and unmilitary to the last degree.”  Swinton condemns the withholding McDowell (Army of the Potomac, 104), adding, with fine magnanimity, that it is not necessary to impute any “really unworthy motive” to Mr. Lincoln!

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Abraham Lincoln, Volume II from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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