Abraham Lincoln, Volume II eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 309 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln, Volume II.

[37] For interesting statements about this Altoona conference see McClure, Lincoln and Men of War-Times, 248-251.

[38] Blaine, i. 439.

[39] It was understood that he had not favored the principal anti-slavery measures of the Thirty-seventh Congress, on the ground measures of the Thirty-seventh Congress, on the ground that they were premature.

[40] The foregoing-statistics have been taken from Mr. Elaine, Twenty Years of Congress, i. 441-444.

[41] Later, legislation enabled the soldiers in the field to vote; but at this time they could not do so.

[42] For account of these matters of retaliation and protection of negroes, see N. and H. vol. vi. ch. xxi.



The clouds of gloom and discouragement, which shut so heavily about the President in the autumn of 1862, did not disperse as winter advanced.  That dreary season, when nearly all doubted and many despaired, is recognized now as an interlude between the two grand divisions of the drama.  Before it, the Northern people had been enthusiastic, united, and hopeful; after it, they saw assurance of success within reach of a reasonable persistence.  But while the miserable days were passing, men could not see into the mysterious future.  Not only were armies beaten, but the people themselves seemed to be deserting their principles.  The face and the form of the solitary man, whose position brought every part of this sad prospect fully within the range of his contemplation, showed the wear of the times.  The eyes went deeper into their caverns, and seemed to send their search farther than ever away into a receding distance; the furrows sank far into the sallow face; a stoop bent the shoulders, as if the burden of the soul had even a physical weight.  Yet still he sought neither counsel, nor strength, nor sympathy from any one; neither leaned on any friend, nor gave his confidence to any adviser; the problems were his and the duty was his, and he accepted both wholly.  “I need success more than I need sympathy,” he said; for it was the cause, not his own burden, which absorbed his thoughts.  The extremists, who seemed to have more than half forgotten to hate the South in the intensity of their hatred of McClellan, had apparently cherished a vague faith that, if this procrastinating spirit could be exorcised, the war might then be trusted to take care of itself.  But after they had accomplished their purpose they were confronted by facts which showed that in this matter, as in that of emancipation, the President’s deliberation was not the unpardonable misdoing which they had conceived it to be.  In spite of McClellan’s insolent arrogance and fault-finding, his unreasonable demands, and his tedious squandering of invaluable time, Mr. Lincoln, being by nature a man who contemplated the consequence of

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