Chapter 1

  1. From 1996 to 2000, C.A. Tripp worked with Philip Nobile on the early drafting of this book, principally of this chapter, the original draft of which was written by Mr. Nobile.   After disagreement on various points of interpretation, methodology, and wording, the relationship came to an end.

  2. A portion of the Leech quote appears in Charles Shively, Drum Beats.

  3. Chamberlin, History of the One Hundred and Fiftieth Regiment, vi-vii.

    “Nothing has been set down here without careful authentication and, where the memory of witnesses has clashed in respect to any important incident, everything possible has been done to reconcile disagreements and reach an actual fact…And if my book, which is truly a labor of love, have [sic] no other merit, it is at least, or aims to be, a faithful presentation of the truth.   (italics in the original)

     In the passage, Chamberlin also reveals the sources he used to construct his narrative: "The narrative of the campaigns of the 150th 'its tent-life, marches and battles' has been drawn from all available sources 'chiefly from diaries kept by enlisted men and from letters written from the field, supplemented by the recollections of field-, staff-, and line-officers, as well as of the rank and file. Nothing has been set down without careful authentication and, where the memory of witnesses has clashed in respect to any important incident, everything possible has been done to reconcile the disagreement and reach the actual fact.'"

  4. Chamberlin, History of the One Hundred and Fiftieth Regiment, 41-42.

  5. Turner and Turner, Mary Todd Lincoln, 475.

    “My disease is of a womanly nature.”

    Mary Todd Lincoln wrote this sentence in a letter to her friend Rhoda White in May 1868. The quoted sentence,   according to the Turners, was 'violently crossed out in black ink on the original letter; it cannot be determined whose sense of discretion dictated the excision.' The letter reads:

    "My Dear Mrs White:

    It has been quite a time, since I have had the pleasure of hearing from you & in fact, I believe you are owing me a letter. This, however, will not deter me from writing you to day, as serious considerations prompt me to do so. I am permitted to sit up, whilst I write you a few lines as for the past three weeks, I have been seriously sick. My disease is of a womanly nature, which you will understand has been greatly accelerated by the last three years of mental suffering. Since the birth of my youngest son, for about twelve years I have been more or less a sufferer.”

  6. From "The President’s Guard," 1888 Meadville Tribune article by Derickson, in Michael Burlingame’s unpublished notes and letters of Ida Tarbell. See also Tripp Database, Notes and Letters, 112.

    “In the spring of 1863, Congress passed what was known as the Enrollment Act, establishing the Provost Marshall’s Bureau.   Finding my duties very light, I told the President that I thought my lieutenants could take care of him and the company and suggest that he appoint me provost.   His reply was that if he had the appointment he would give it to me at once; ‘but,’ said he, ‘the members of congress think these appointments all belong to them.’   He asked me if I knew our member of congress and whether he was my friend.   I replied that I knew him very well, but that he was not a citizen of our country, and I had not spoken to him on the subject.   He said, ‘Well, you had better write him, anyway.   I did so, and in a short time received a reply, stating that before receiving my letter, he had received fifteen other applications; and among so many good men, it was hard for him to make the choice.   I handed this reply to the President, who after reading it said, ‘Very well, if he cannot make the choice, we will have to make one for him.’”

  7. Tarbell, The Life of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 2, 155.

    “This kindly relation, begun with the Captain, the President extended to every man in the company.”          

    A slightly more complete quote reads: "This kindly relation begun with the captain, the President extended to every man in the company.   It was their pride that he knew every one of them by name.   'He always called me Joe,' I heard a veteran of the guard say, a quaver in his voice.   He never passed the men on duty without acknowledging their salute, and often visited their camp."

  8. Tarbell, Life of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 2, 156.

    “Every member of the guard now living can quote verbatim the note which the President wrote settling the matter [of keeping Company K].”

    Tarbell also tells of Lincoln's empathy for Company K. "Once in passing when the men were at mess, he called out, 'That coffee smells good, boys; give me a cup.' And on another occasion he asked for a plate of beans, and sat down on a camp-stool and ate them'. [A] nd many a gift to the White House larder from enthusiastic supporters of the administration was sent to the boys 'now a barrel of apple butter, now a quarter of beef. On holidays, Mrs. Lincoln made it a rule to provide Company K with a turkey dinner.'"

  9. Whitney, Life on the Circuit With Lincoln, 54.

    “[It was] as if he wooed me to close intimacy and familiarity,”

    A more complete quote reads: "I well recollect how kindly and cordially [Lincoln] aided and advised me about my business at court, it being my first appearance at the bar. I did not feel the slightest delicacy in approaching him for assistance: it seemed as if he wooed me to close intimacy and familiarity, at once; and this from no selfish   motive at heart toward a young lawyer just commen cing his career.

    He sat on the bench, for the judge, for awhile for that term; and my first motion in court was made before him. I remember with what benignity he acted in this time that tried the soul of a fledgling at the bar; but how little did either he or I think that the hand that entered my first court order would eventually sign the death warrant of American slavery.'"

  10. Lincoln did talk about rail-splitting with his confidante Noah Brooks, who wrote about the exchange in a Harper's New Monthly Magazine article (July, 1865): 222-230.   . See also Fehrenbacher and Fehrenbacher, Recollected Words of Abraham Lincoln, 43.

    From the text: Beyond those with whom he shared his private life, Lincoln seemed seldom if ever to have mentioned the fiction of his fame as a rail splitter.   In the Collected Works, for instance, only once, and then only to his special confidant   Noah Brooks, does he mention a word of it.

    A slightly more complete quote from Recollected Words of Abraham Lincoln, 43: "During the same visit to the army in Virginia , Lincoln responded to a question from Brooks about his experience as a railsplitter: 'Now let me tell you about that.   I am not a bit anxious about my reputation in that line of business; but if there is anything in this world that I am a judge of, it is of good felling of timber, but I don't remember having worked by myself at splitting rails for one whole day in my life...I recollect that, sometimes during the canvass for the office I now hold, there was a great mass meeting, where I was present, a with a great flourish several rails were brought present, and with a great flourish several rails were brought into the meeting, and being informed where they came from, I was asked to identify them, which I did, with some qualms of conscience, having helped my father to split rails, as at other odd jobs.   I said if there were any rails which I had split, I shouldn't wonder if those were the rails."

  11. Lamon, Recollections of Abraham Lincoln, 304.

    “…it was a logo ‘heard everywhere and rails were to be seen on nearly everything, even on the stationary.”

    The passage reads: "It has been said that the term 'rail-splitter' which became a leading feature of the campaign in 1860 originated at the Chicago convention when Mr. Deland of Ohio, who seconded the nomination of Mr. Lincoln, said: 'I desire to second the nomination of a man who can split rails and maul Democrats.'

    Gov. Oglesby one week before at the State Convention at Decatur introduced into the assemblage John Hanks, who bore on his shoulder two small rails surmounted by a banner with this inscription: 'Two rails from a lot made by Abraham Lincoln and John Hanks in the Sangamon Bottom in the year 1830.'

    For six months Rail-splitter was heard everywhere and rails were to be seen on nearly everything, even on stationery. One of the Lincoln delegates said: 'These rails represent the issue between labor free and labor slave, between democracy and aristocracy.'"

  12. Fehrenbacher and Fehrenbacher, Recollected Words of Abraham Lincoln, 43.

    “Now let me tell you about that.   I am not a bit anxious about my reputation in that line of business; but if there is anything in this world that I am a judge of, it is a good felling of timber, but I don’t remember having worked by myself at splitting rails for one whole day in my life…I recollect that sometime during the canvass for the office I now hold, there was a great mass meeting where I was present, and with a great flourish several rails were brought into the meeting, and being informed where they came from, I was asked to identify them, which I did, with some qualms of conscience, having helped my father split rails, as at other jobs.   I said if there were any rails which I had split, I shouldn’t wonder if those were the rails.”

    The reason for the Fehrenbacher's doubts about the anecdote 'apart from a generalized mistrust of Brooks as an eyewitness' was that, 'Lincoln would surely have remembered that the rails incident was staged at the Republican state convention in Decatur on May 9, 1860.'"

  13. From "The President’s Guard," 1888 Meadville Tribune article by Derickson, in Michael Burlingame’s unpublished notes and letters of Ida Tarbell. See also Tripp Database, Notes and Letters, 112.

    “In the spring of 1863, Congress passed what was known as the Enrollment Act, establishing the Provost Marshall’s Bureau.   Finding my duties very light, I told the President that I thought my lieutenants could take care of him and the company and suggest that he appoint me provost.   His reply was that if he had the appointment he would give it to me at once; ‘but,’ said he, ‘the members of congress think these appointments all belong to them.’   He asked me if I knew our member of congress and whether he was my friend.   I replied that I knew him very well, but that he was not a citizen of our country, and I had not spoken to him on the subject.   He said, ‘Well, you had better write him, anyway.   I did so, and in a short time received a reply, stating that before receiving my letter, he had received fifteen other applications; and among so many good men, it was hard for him to make the choice.   I handed this reply to the President, who after reading it said, ‘Very well, if he cannot make the choice, we will have to make one for him.’”

  14. From "The President’s Guard," 1888 Meadville Tribune article by Derickson, in Michael Burlingame’s unpublished notes and letters of Ida Tarbell. 

    At the hour appointed, Mr. Lincoln’s so Tad, then about 12 years old, came to where I had the company in charge and informed me that the president and the governor were waiting on the lawn on the south side of the White House.   I immediately marched up and saluted the inspecting officers, and after maneuvering the company for a short time, I put it in charge of lieutenant Getchell, who marched the company to their quarters.     After a handshaking and a few words complimentary to the company, Mr. Lincoln said to me quietly, ‘Captain, I was over to the war department, yesterday, and that little matter of ours is all right.’   I thanked him for his kindness, when we separated.   The next day, I received my appointment, and made my arrangements to leave for home.   I bid a final farewell to the president and his family, feeling conscious and proud of the fact that I had friend and acquaintance one of the kindest and greatest men this country has ever produced.”

  15. Letter from Charles Derickson to Ida M. Tarbell, Long Notes, Tripp Database, 85.

    “Little Tad sent for me to come to the White House to see him, his father and he both being somewhat indisposed, it was the time the President was reported to have small pox.   [ Acctually, varioloid, a less deadly but still dangerous form of smallpox he first felt November 19, 1863, while giving his Gettysburg Address.]   I spent two or three hours with them that afternoon, very pleasantly, in referring to the [recent runaway horse] accident and congratulating the President on his escape.   He said that he had been in several runaways and was never frightened by horses, but about the worse scared he ever was, was when he was a young man, he had been hauling wood with a yoke of steers and going through the woods with an empty wagon, sitting on the hounds with his legs hanging down on either side; something frightened the steers, they started to run and every time the wheels would strike the root of a tree he would bound up in the air; he held on the best he could; they finally got out into an open field where he got them stopped.   He also told me about Colonel Ellsworth and how he tried to have him not go into the service at the time but could not prevail on him to wait a while.   He said Ellsworth read law in his office and was the first officer killed in Virginia, he got a field glass and pointed out to the house in Alexandria in which he was killed.   He also related several other stories which I cannot now recall.”

  16. Tarbell, Life of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 2, 156.

    “Every member of the guard now living can quote verbatim the note which the President wrote settling the matter [of keeping Company K].”

    Tarbell also tells of Lincoln's food- empathy for Company K. "Once in passing when the men were at mess, he called out, 'That coffee smells good, boys; give me a cup.' And on another occasion he asked for a plate of beans, and sat down on a camp-stool and ate them'. [A] nd many a gift to the White House larder from enthusiastic supporters of the administration was sent to the boys 'now a barrel of apple butter, now a quarter of beef. On holidays, Mrs. Lincoln made it a rule to provide Company K with a turkey dinner.'"

  17. Kinsey, et al., Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, 638.

    From the text: “But for Derickson to have attained sufficient affect ional and physical arousal for it to have been mutually and repeatedly satisfying would imply, indeed demonstrate, a marked homosexual response-the essence of his bisexuality-amounting to the Kinsey rating of at least 2: predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual.”

    Kinsey elaborates, "Some of the males who are involved in one type of relation at one period in their lives, may have only the other type of relation at some later period. There may be considerable fluctuation of patterns from time to time. Some males may be involved in both heterosexual and homosexual activities within the same period of time. For instance, there are some who engage in both heterosexual and homosexual activities in the same year, or in the same month or week, or even in the same day. There are not a few individuals who engage in group activities in which they may make simultaneous contact with partners of both sexes."

  18. Kinsey, et al., Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, 638.

    From the text: “But for Derickson to have attained sufficient affect ional and physical arousal for it to have been mutually and repeatedly satisfying would imply, indeed demonstrate, a marked homosexual response-the essence of his bisexuality-amounting to the Kinsey rating of at least 2: predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual.”

    Kinsey elaborates, "Some of the males who are involved in one type of relation at one period in their lives, may have only the other type of relation at some later period. There may be considerable fluctuation of patterns from time to time. Some males may be involved in both heterosexual and homosexual activities within the same period of time. For instance, there are some who engage in both heterosexual and homosexual activities in the same year, or in the same month or week, or even in the same day. There are not a few individuals who engage in group activities in which they may make simultaneous contact with partners of both sexes."

  19. David V. Derickson to AL, Headquarters of the Provost Marshall, Twentieth District, Meadville, Pennsylvania, 3 June 1864, Lincoln MSS, Library of Congress.

    Letter from Provost Marshall Derickson, June 3, 1864, to his commander-in-chief:

    "I have the honor to inform you that I have been appointed Delegate from this District to the Baltimore [Republican] convention.

                    It would give me much pleasure to be present and vote for your re-nomination, but owing to the condition of the Draft in my district, it is not proper for me to be absent at this time.   I have therefore appointed J. H. Lenhart, Esq. of this place as my Substitute, who will vote on all occasions as your friends may desire.

                    I enclose the proceedings of the conference from which you will see that I received a unanimous vote, for which compliment I am indebted [more] to the fact that I was known to be your warm friend than to my own personal popularity.   I mention this fact merely [sic] to show you that our whole District are in favor of your re[e] lection."

  20. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years, vol. 4, 406.

    “From Meadville, Pennsylvania, had come two-hundred [men] marshaled by Captain Derickson and some of his boys who had served with Lincoln’s White House bodyguard,”

    Sandburg's full description of the funeral train's stop at Cleveland reads: "A slow rain began falling and seemed in accord. Along Euclid Avenue to the park moved a procession of more than six thousand. A crowd that stretched for blocks near the city park gave way in order, making a path. Over the coffin Bishop Charles Pettit Mc Ilvaine read from the Episcopal burial service. 'We brought nothing into the world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. The Lord gave, and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the Name of the Lord. Man, that is born of woman, hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. Of whom may we seek for succor, but of Thee, O Lord?' The rain fell heavier and seemed in tune with the dirges of the bands. Nine thousand an hour passed the coffin the first four hours, the number diminishing in late afternoon and mounting higher in the evening and night. At ten o'clock when the park gates were shut it was said that more than one million pilgrims from northern Ohio had paid their homage. From Detroit had come five hundred with two brass bands. From Meadville, Pennsylvania, had come two hundred marshaled by Captain Derickson and some of his boys who had served with Lincoln's White House bodyguard."

     

All rights reserved. Copyright Estate of C.A. Tripp 2005