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of bitterness. In fact there was pity among the slaves for their former owners. The wild rejoicing on the part of the emancipated colored people lasted but a brief period, for I noticed that by the time they had returned to their cabins there was a change in their feelings. The great responsibility of being free, of having charge of themselves, of having to think and plan for themselves and their children, seemed to take possession of them. It was very much like turning a youth of ten or twelve out into the world to provide for himself. To some it seemed that now they were in actual possession of it, freedom was a more serious thing than they had expected to find it. Some of the slaves were seventy or eighty years old; their best days were gone. Besides, deep down in their hearts there was a strange and peculiar attachment to "old marster" and "old missus and to their children, which they found it hard to think of breaking off. Gradually, one by one, stealthily at first, the older slaves began to wander from the slave quarters back to the big house to have a whispered conversation with their former owners as to the future.
279 Grant at Vicksburg. General Grant had from the first assumed an aggressive policy and had won substantial victories that were disapproved of by Halleck, his superior, on technical grounds. The president, just then irritated by the indecision of his generals, was urged to remove him but his reply was, “ I can't spare this man. He fights." He then raised Grant to the rank of major general. Grant continued his aggressive policy and at Vicksburg forced the surrender of Pemberton with about 30,000 men and 172
279 Letter to Meade. The battle of Gettysburg was fought on the three first days of July 1863. Lee had dreamed of taking Philadelphia but the repulse given him by General Meade was so severe that had it been followed up the popular belief was that the war would have been ended shortly.
282 Letter to Mrs. Lincoln. After the death of William Lincoln, Thomas, or "Tad," seemed to grow especially dear to his father. Colonel John Hay writes:
"Tad" was a merry, warm-blooded, kindly little boy, perfectly lawless and full of odd fancies and inventions, the chartered libertine of the executive mansion. He ran continually in and out of his father's cabinet, interrupting his gravest labors and conversations with his bright, rapid and very imperfect speech,--for he had an impediment which made his articulation almost unintelligible until he was nearly grown. He would perch upon his father's knee, and sometimes even on his shoulder, while the most weighty conferences were going on. Sometimes, escaping from the domestic authorities, he would take refuge in that sanctuary for the whole evening, dropping to sleep at last on the floor, when the president would pick him up and carry him tenderly to bed.
1 284 Letter to J. C. Conklin. The Republicans of Illinois held a mass meeting in Springfield and J. C. Conklin was chairman of the committtee on arrangements that invited Lincoln to be present and speak. In June 1863 a meeting had been held in Springfield in opposition to the national government, as part of a movement to form a northwestern confederacy, and this was the answer. Lincoln thought he had written rather a good letter." Its success was immense; Mr. Nicolay calls it Lincoln's "last stump speech.'
289 Gettysburg address. Critics are agreed that this brief speech ranks with the world's great orations. At the time Lincoln said to a friend: 'It is a flat failure. The people won't like it." The next day Edward Everett, who delivered the long oration of the day, wrote to Lincoln: “I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you
did in two minutes." Mrs. Lincoln remarks that her husband seemed to think "more than ever" on religious matters" about the time he went to Gettysburg."
291 Letter to Governor Hoadley. The president's leniency and willingness to pardon military offenders gave great dissatisfaction to the war department and officers in the field, who claimed that he destroyed discipline. Lincoln seemed incapable of ordering the death of anyone. He called the instances of cowardice in the face of the enemy "leg cases and asked: "If the Lord gives a man a pair of cowardly legs how can he help their running away with him?" One of the most touching instances of his pardoning an offender is that of William Scott. Scott was a mere boy and had offered to go on guard for a sick comrade after forty-eight sleepless hours, with the result that he was found asleep at his post and was sentenced to be shot. The president visited him in his tent, talked with him, looked at the photographs of the people at home which the boy carried with him, then informed him that he should not be shot on the morrow. He added that Scott owed him a great deal and asked if he intended to pay the debt. The astonished boy tried to express his gratitude and, misunderstanding, explained that with the bounty and his pay and the folks at home and the "boys" he thought he could in time raise $500 or $600. Lincoln said that the debt was far more than that and could be paid only by courage and attention to duty. Scott proved himself worthy and fought until desperately wounded some time after. With his last words he sent a message to Lincoln to say that he had tried to pay the debt and thought in his last moments of the president's kind face and thanked him once again for having permitted him to fall a soldier in battle rather than as a coward at the hands of his comrades.
296 Fort Pillow. Forrest, the Confederate cavalry
man, reported that at Fort Pillow 13 April 1864 he had in thirty minutes stormed a fort manned by 700 and captured the entire garrison, killing 500. The majority of the killed were colored soldiers. The Confederate loss he put at 20 killed and 60 wounded. To this report, slightly exaggerated, Lincoln refers. On 1 May 1863, the Confederate congress had passed a joint resolution which prescribed that white officers of negro Union soldiers should “if captured be put to death or be otherwise punished at the discretion of the court." This command was never carried out, and the Fort Pillow incident is the only record of cruelty to negro troops. The president did not retaliate. About a year before the battle of Fort Pillow Lincoln discussed with the negro orator Douglass the propriety of a retaliatory measure to the resolutions of the Confederates. Douglass says:
I shall never forget the benignant expression of his face, the tearful look of his eye, and the quiver in his voice when he deprecated a resort to retaliatory measures. "Once begun," said he, "I do not know where such a measure would stop." He said he could not take men out and kill them in cold blood for what was done by others. If he could get hold of the persons who were guilty of killing the colored prisoners in cold blood the case would be different, but he could not kill the innocent for the guilty.
298 Letter to Grant. Grant was put in command of all the armies of the north in March 1864. He was invested with the rank of lieutenant general, before the civil war only twice conferred, once on Washington and once on Scott. Grant from the first was gladly allowed to take matters largely in his own hands. In reply to the letter of the president here given Grant wrote: "From my first entrance into the volunteer service of the country to the present day I have never had a cause of complaint. I have been astonished
at the readiness with which everything asked for has been yielded, without even an explanation being asked. Should my success be less than I desire and expect the least I can say is the fault is not with you.”
Grant in his Memoirs tells a characteristic story of the way Lincoln referred to army conditions past and present. The president told him the following story: "At one time there was a great war among the animals and one side had great difficulty in getting a commander who had sufficient confidence in himself. Finally they found a monkey by the name of Jocko who said he thought he could command their army if his tail could be made a little longer. So they got more tail and spliced it on to his caudal appendage. He looked at it admiringly and then he thought he ought to have a little more still. This was added and again he called for The splicing process was repeated many times until they coiled Jocko's tail around the room filling all the space. Still he called for more tail and there being no other place to coil it they began wrapping it around his shoulders. He continued his call for more and they kept on winding the additional tail round him until its weight broke him down.” Grant replied: "Mr. President, I will not call for more assistance unless I find it impossible to do with what I already have."
300 Renomination. Lincoln was renominated for president 7 June 1864. There was some opposition from both conservatives and radicals but it amounted to little. Secretary of the Treasury Chase was a rival for nomination and a dissatisfied section put up Frémont. Andrew Johnson of Tennessee was nominated for vice president. McClellan was the Democratic candidate.
302 Memorandum. The great loss of life in Grant's operations against Richmond, the arguments of Greeley who disagreed with Lincoln, the defection of Chase who resigned