President Lincoln Is Worn Out Physically and Mentally

July 15, 1862

General George B. McClellan writes President Lincoln: “I was amused at a couple of telegrams yesterday urging me to the offensive as if I were unwilling to take it myself!!  It is so easy for people to give advice — it costs nothing!  But it is a little more difficult for poor me to create men & means, & to wipe out by mere wishes the forces of the enemy.  I confess that I sometimes become provoked.  I have 16,600 men sick in camp!!!  And but 85,000 for duty.  I could not bring 70,000, at most 75,000, into battle — & it is so easy to attack from 150,000 to 170,000 brave men entrenched with that number!!”  McClellan clearly perceived President Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton as his enemies. McClellan writes New York lawyer Samuel L. M. Barlow: I do not believe that Stanton will go out of office – he will not willingly, & the Presdt has not the nerve to turn him out — at least so I think.  Stanton has written me a most abject letter — declaring that he has ever been my best friend etc etc!!!”

Illinois Senator Orville H. Browning writes: “At the Presidents this morning — He was in his Library writing, with directions to deny him to every body.  I went in a moment.  He looked weary, care-worn and troubled.  I shook hands with him, and asked how he was.  He said ‘tolerably well’   I remarked that I felt concerned about him — regretted that troubles crowded so heavily upon him, and feared his health was suffering.   He held me by the hand, pressed it, and said in a very tender and touching tone — ‘Browning I must die sometime’, I replied ‘your fortunes Mr President are bound up with those of the Country, and disaster to one would be disaster to the other, and I hope you will do all you can to preserve your health and life’.   He looked very sad, and there was a cadence of deep sadness in his voice.   We parted I believe both of us with tears in our eyes.”

Published in: on July 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

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