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George Haven Putnam
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 516 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln.

Wood and Edmonds:  233, 456.

Wood, Fernando:  309.

Wolfe, Sir James:  353.

Wolseley, F. M. Viscount:  217, 218, 229-30, 285.

Yazoo:  350, 352.

Young Men’s Lyceum:  69.

Zeruiah, her sons:  445.

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Reprinted by permission from

LINCOLN’S OWN STORIES

told by Anthony Gross

VI

THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF

Delegations from Baltimore called to protest against the “pollution” of the soil of Maryland by the feet of the soldiers marching across it to fight against the South.  They had no difficulty in understanding the President’s reply: 

“We must have troops; and, as they can neither crawl under Maryland nor fly over it, they must come across it.”

When the war had actually begun he delighted in the soldiers’ grim humor in the face of death.  He told story after story about the “boys,” laughing, with tears in his gray eyes, at their heroism in danger.  He never laughed at the private soldier, except in the pride of his hearty patriotism.  But he made constant fun of the assumptions of generals and other high officials.  The stories he most enjoyed telling were of the soldiers’ scoffing at rank and pretension.  He delighted in the following: 

A picket challenged a tug going up Broad River, South Carolina, with: 

“Who goes there?”

“The Secretary of War and Major-General Foster,” was the pompous reply.

“Aw!  We’ve got major-generals enough up here—­why don’t you bring us up some hardtack?”

On another occasion a friend burst into his room to tell him that a brigadier-general and twelve army mules had been carried off by a Confederate raid.

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