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PragerU: How Lincoln Changed The World In Two Minutes

Our "enduring national values"

The Gettysburg Address is a pivotal moment in the history of the United States. President Abraham Lincoln delivered the brief but momentous speech during one of America's darkest periods, just a few months after the bloodiest battle of America's bloodiest war. Army War College Professor Doug Douds explains in a new Prager University video how the speech helped restore the "enduring national values" of a war-torn and divided America.

"President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address is one of the most famous speeches ever given. It is stunning in its brevity: ten sentences, 272 words, and delivered in just over two minutes … few have said more with less," says Douds.

"Lincoln delivered the address on November 19, 1863," Douds explains. "He was in Gettysburg to dedicate a national military cemetery to the Union soldiers who fell at the Battle of Gettysburg four months earlier. The North’s victory here was one of the pivotal battles of the American Civil War."

The primary reason Lincoln's speech resonates so strongly, Douds suggests, is that the president reiterates in a concise and profound manner the "enduring national values" expressed in the Declaration of Independence.

"Lincoln goes back in time, not to the signing of the Constitution, but to the Declaration of Independence. The Constitution, in forming our government, was the product of many compromises … most notably, slavery. In contrast, the Declaration of Independence declares our enduring national values. In one sentence, Lincoln summarizes the American project: liberty for all and equality of all," says Douds.

"Lincoln’s assertion is two-fold. First, the United States is unique. No nation was ever founded on a commitment to liberty and equality. And the Civil War was a trial to see if a nation based on such lofty ideals could survive," he says.

Watch the video below:



https://www.dailywire.com/news...-minutes-jacob-airey


"The United States government is the largest criminal enterprise on earth."
-rduckwor
 
Posts: 13281 | Location: St. Louis, MO | Registered: April 03, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A. Lincoln was just another mealy-mouthed politician. He was mocked, despised and reviled by his contemporaries UNTIL he was assassinated! Thereupon, he somehow become some kind of all-wise, far seeing demigod.

He "preserved the union" in the same manner as a man would "preserve" his marriage by beating the wife (who has left him) senseless and dragging her home by the hair!

And what’s with all that false modesty that Lincoln continually feigned? Was Jefferson pretentious? Was Adams? Franklin? Lee? Davis? Why do some people need to project a false image? "The world will little note nor long remember what we say here. . ." Does anyone really believe Lincoln meant that? Face it. The guy was an extremely ambitious political, legal and literary genius masquerading as a backwoods lawyer. Abe was slicker than Johnnie Cochran summing up for O. J., pushing an agenda that killed way more than two people. Thanks to his incomparable rhetorical skills, Lincoln has heretofore been found not guilty of killing 670,000 people and one constitution.


Below is a passage from the great H.L. Mencken's essay on Abraham Lincoln.

Mencken was virtually alone among American political commentators in not joining the cult of Lincoln. He seems to be the sole writer to realize that Lincoln was at heart just another politician.

This passage on the Gettysburg Address was a classic:


The Gettysburg speech is at once the shortest and the most famous oration in American history. Put beside it, all the whoopings of the Websters, Sumners and Everetts seem gaudy and silly. It is eloquence brought to a pellucid and almost child-like perfection—the highest emotion reduced to one graceful and irresistible gesture. Nothing else precisely like it is to be found in the whole range of oratory. Lincoln himself never even remotely approached it. It is genuinely stupendous.
But let us not forget that it is oratory, not logic; beauty, not sense. Think of the argument in it! Put it into the cold words of everyday! The doctrine is simply this: that the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg sacrificed their lives to the cause of self-determination — “that government of the people, by the people, for the people,” should not perish from the earth. It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in that battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves. What was the practical effect of the battle of Gettysburg? What else than the destruction of the old sovereignty of the States, i. e., of the people of the States? The Confederates went into battle an absolutely free people; they came out with their freedom subject to the supervision and vote of the rest of the country—and for nearly twenty years that vote was so effective that they enjoyed scarcely any freedom at all. Am I the first American to note the fundamental nonsensicality of the Gettysburg address? If so, I plead my aesthetic joy in it in amelioration of the sacrilege.
Here's another great Mencken quote that applies to the Civil War and other such endeavors:

"In human history a moral victory is always a disaster, for it debauches and degrades both the victor and the vanquished."
Truer words were never spoken. And there are lots more of them where that came from.

Also, if you're interested in more about how Mencken saw the Civil War, read "The Calamity of Appomattox."

And then there's his debunking of yet another "great" president (FDR) who destroyed what was left of our constitution after Lincoln got done with it. theamericanmercury.org/2010/05/franklin-delano-roosevelt-an-obituary/

By Paul Mulshine | The Star Ledger http://blog.nj.com/njv_paul_mu...he_gettysburg_a.html


------------------------------------------------------------
"I have resolved to fight as long as Marse Robert has a corporal's guard, or until he says give up. He is the man I shall follow or die in the attempt."

Feb. 27, 1865 Letter by Sgt. Henry P. Portson 'B' Co. 31st GA Vol. Inf.
 
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Originally posted by pillboxesghost:
A. Lincoln was just another mealy-mouthed politician. He was mocked, despised and reviled by his contemporaries UNTIL he was assassinated!


Mostly by journalists. He was elected, twice.


quote:

Below is a passage from the great H.L. Mencken's essay on Abraham Lincoln.

Mencken was virtually alone among American political commentators in not joining the cult of Lincoln. He seems to be the sole writer to realize that Lincoln was at heart just another politician.




What was Mencken?




Luckily, I have enough willpower to control the driving ambition that rages within me.

When you had the votes, we did things your way. Now, we have the votes and you will be doing things our way. This lesson in political reality from Lyndon B. Johnson

"Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible." - Justice Janice Rogers Brown
 
Posts: 44302 | Location: Texas hill country | Registered: July 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What pillboxesghost said.

I've never been able to fully comprehend the way Lincoln worship has invaded the conservative take on history.

Here's a quick read for some more tidbits of truth that aren't taught:

https://www.amazon.com/Lincoln...rds=lincoln+unmasked

Lincoln ranks right up there in my mind with FDR, Wilson, and LBJ where massive and unconstitutional expansions of the federal government are concerned.

ETA: JALLEN - Mencken was an influential journalist and political satirist who had quite the career writing for the Baltimore Sun. You'd like a lot of his stuff, I think.

-Rob




http://www.electrobburton.org

I predict that there will be many suggestions and statements about the law made here, and some of them will be spectacularly wrong. - jhe888

A=A
 
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quote:
Originally posted by pillboxesghost:
...He was mocked, despised and reviled by his contemporaries UNTIL he was assassinated!...

Historically incorrect. What you are referring to occurred early in his first administration, but it turned around beginning in 1863.


"While not every Democrat is a horse thief, every horse thief is a Democrat." HORACE GREELEY
 
Posts: 1496 | Location: Central NC | Registered: May 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by BurtonRW:
What pillboxesghost said.

I've never been able to fully comprehend the way Lincoln worship has invaded the conservative take on history.

Here's a quick read for some more tidbits of truth that aren't taught:

https://www.amazon.com/Lincoln...rds=lincoln+unmasked

Lincoln ranks right up there in my mind with FDR, Wilson, and LBJ where massive and unconstitutional expansions of the federal government are concerned.

ETA: JALLEN - you're kidding about Mencken, right?

-Rob


In what way?

Mencken was, gasp, a journalist. Yes, he does have a great many pithy, some might say, cynical, quotes.




Luckily, I have enough willpower to control the driving ambition that rages within me.

When you had the votes, we did things your way. Now, we have the votes and you will be doing things our way. This lesson in political reality from Lyndon B. Johnson

"Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible." - Justice Janice Rogers Brown
 
Posts: 44302 | Location: Texas hill country | Registered: July 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by JALLEN:
quote:
Originally posted by BurtonRW:
What pillboxesghost said.

I've never been able to fully comprehend the way Lincoln worship has invaded the conservative take on history.

Here's a quick read for some more tidbits of truth that aren't taught:

https://www.amazon.com/Lincoln...rds=lincoln+unmasked

Lincoln ranks right up there in my mind with FDR, Wilson, and LBJ where massive and unconstitutional expansions of the federal government are concerned.

ETA: JALLEN - you're kidding about Mencken, right?

-Rob


In what way?

Mencken was, gasp, a journalist. Yes, he does have a great many pithy, some might say, cynical, quotes.


I edited my post to be helpful, figuring that since he was a local Baltimore guy, perhaps his work wasn't as widely appreciated as it is around here.

I interpreted your question to mean that you did not know who he was. Sorry I missed the sarcasm.

-Rob




http://www.electrobburton.org

I predict that there will be many suggestions and statements about the law made here, and some of them will be spectacularly wrong. - jhe888

A=A
 
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quote:
Originally posted by BurtonRW:


I edited my post to be helpful, figuring that since he was a local Baltimore guy, perhaps his work wasn't as widely appreciated as it is around here.

I interpreted your question to mean that you did not know who he was. Sorry I missed the sarcasm.

-Rob


As I collect quotes, I have come to know of Mencken. He isn't quite up there with Churchill and Mark Twain, but he isn't that far behind them in terms of quotable insights.

As long as I’ve attention on this, what is this all about?

quote:
Lincoln ranks right up there in my mind with FDR, Wilson, and LBJ where massive and unconstitutional expansions of the federal government are concerned.




Luckily, I have enough willpower to control the driving ambition that rages within me.

When you had the votes, we did things your way. Now, we have the votes and you will be doing things our way. This lesson in political reality from Lyndon B. Johnson

"Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible." - Justice Janice Rogers Brown
 
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I've never been able to fully comprehend the way Lincoln worship has invaded the conservative take on history.


I think Lincoln worship has become nothing more than safe virtue signaling much like we see with the 'me too' movement. Right or wrong, Lincoln is venerated. But now is has become politically correct to do so and politically incorrect to oppose that worship. I think that is why Stampy Feet loved to compare himself to Lincoln. It was virtue signaling before it got that label. Plenty to admire about Lincoln and equal amounts to oppose about him but we must never venerate people. Only true principles are worthy of our devotion and reverence. People being flawed by nature will eventually disappoint and the true principles associated with them discredited.



...but resist, we much. We must, and we will much, about that, be committed. Al Sharpton 2011
 
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quote:
Originally posted by pillboxesghost:
quote:
Originally posted by stiab:
quote:
Originally posted by pillboxesghost:
...He was mocked, despised and reviled by his contemporaries UNTIL he was assassinated!...

Historically incorrect. What you are referring to occurred early in his first administration, but it turned around beginning in 1863.


Cold Harbor fought Late May/early June of 1864 . Ulysses S. (aka "The Butcher") Grant took 10,000 casualties in about ten minutes. He thereupon reported his losses as "not severe".

Why would the battle-tested commander of all Union forces call the casualties of Cold Harbor not severe when they were the worst he had ever seen? How could he get away with such a gross misrepresentation when a virtual host of press correspondents followed the Union army’s every move? And why, once the truth came out, did he never come under even the mildest censure from his superiors? The answer seems to lie in a cover-up that involved not only Grant, but high-ranking members of President Abraham Lincoln’s administration — a cover-up that related directly to the powerful stresses that civil war was placing on the American system of representative government.

If Grant purposely understated the extent of the defeat at Cold Harbor, he may have done so because he realized that bad news from the Virginia front could turn the already frustrated Northern citizenry completely against the war effort. This would present major problems for the Lincoln administration, especially now, on the eve of the Republican convention, with the party just five days away from settling on its candidate for the November presidential election. Lincoln was clearly the party favorite, but as the war dragged on and the patience of the haggard Northern populace wore thinner, he was vulnerable. And if Lincoln was vulnerable, so was his general-in-chief.

The growing impatience of the Northern people was part of the reason why Grant had returned to the battle-scarred region between Fredericksburg and Richmond — and led him to initiate the Battle of Cold Harbor and the disastrous charge. Grant believed he was very close to destroying General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. If he could do so, the war would be over, and Lincoln would have no more worries about keeping the support of a people weary of war. Grant was convinced that if he could draw Lee’s army out into the open, he could inflict losses that Lee would be unable to replace. It was a matter of simple mathematics. Because the North had twice as many soldiers, if battlefield casualties accelerated equally on both sides, the Union army would soon be the only one left standing.

I stand by my assertion that Lincoln was not popular with the Northern public! The "Church of Lincoln" was formed only after his assassination! He WAS mocked, despised and reviled by his contemporaries during his presidency (1861 thru 15 April 1865).


JALLEN --- I always read your posts and 99.9% of the time admire your arguments.


However, quote:

Originally posted by pillboxesghost:
A. Lincoln was just another mealy-mouthed politician. He was mocked, despised and reviled by his contemporaries UNTIL he was assassinated!


Mostly by journalists. He was elected, twice.

I'm sure you're aware that about 13,000 Northern journalists had good reason to despise A. Lincoln. He had them hauled before military tribunals (no trial by jury) and jailed for printing anything derogatory about his "War of Northern Aggression".

"He was elected twice." --- The "dirty tricks" of his subordinates tilted things in his favor It is my understanding that Lincoln won the 1864 election only thru the overwhelming voting block of the Union army -- the general public did not give him an overwhelming majority. I may have to dig to find the facts to back up my assertion; but I'm pretty sure they're availablr.


------------------------------------------------------------
"I have resolved to fight as long as Marse Robert has a corporal's guard, or until he says give up. He is the man I shall follow or die in the attempt."

Feb. 27, 1865 Letter by Sgt. Henry P. Portson 'B' Co. 31st GA Vol. Inf.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by pillboxesghost:


Originally posted by pillboxesghost:
A. Lincoln was just another mealy-mouthed politician. He was mocked, despised and reviled by his contemporaries UNTIL he was assassinated!


Mostly by journalists. He was elected, twice.

I'm sure you're aware that about 13,000 Northern journalists had good reason to despise A. Lincoln. He had them hauled before military tribunals (no trial by jury) and jailed for printing anything derogatory about his "War of Northern Aggression".

"He was elected twice." --- The "dirty tricks" of his subordinates tilted things in his favor It is my understanding that Lincoln won the 1864 election only thru the overwhelming voting block of the Union army -- the general public did not give him an overwhelming majority. I may have to dig to find the facts to back up my assertion; but I'm pretty sure they're availablr.


Get to digging.

I find it hard to believe that there were 13,000 Northern journalists total, much less unanimous against Lincoln, hardly even less in jail. In that state of dubiosity, I call bull feathers.

In a quick perusal of the topic, I see references to suspending the writ of habeas corpus, 14,000 arrested, apparently gently, no telling how many journalists, mostly southerners. I also saw that the Confederacy imposed the death penalty for possession on anti-slavery writings and had some 4,000 political prisoners. I saw a statement attributed to Lincoln that it is hard to verify quotations found on the Internet.

I recently read the Memoirs of Grant, published by Mark Twain. The battles he reports are so graphically reported in terms of tactics and casualties that I can’t imagine ~25 years later he would find motive to prevaricate on the one you refer to. I guess I have to look it up.




Luckily, I have enough willpower to control the driving ambition that rages within me.

When you had the votes, we did things your way. Now, we have the votes and you will be doing things our way. This lesson in political reality from Lyndon B. Johnson

"Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible." - Justice Janice Rogers Brown
 
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Originally posted by darthfuster:
Plenty to admire about Lincoln and equal amounts to oppose about him but we must never venerate people. Only true principles are worthy of our devotion and reverence. People being flawed by nature will eventually disappoint and the true principles associated with them discredited.

Well said, darthfuster.

I grew up reading the Lincoln biographies written for children which venerated the man.
Now, I am conflicted on Lincoln and furthermore I can see that Lincoln himself was conflicted on the civil war.

There is no doubt that before Lincoln's presidency the federal government was much smaller and less powerful and the states were much more autonomous and powerful. It was an unintentional consequence of the war.


"The United States government is the largest criminal enterprise on earth."
-rduckwor
 
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Originally posted by pillboxesghost:

Cold Harbor fought Late May/early June of...

If you read his (auto)biography then you know that was his greatest regret of the war. Trying to connect Cold Harbour to Lincoln hatred is too many dots.


"While not every Democrat is a horse thief, every horse thief is a Democrat." HORACE GREELEY
 
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Here we go again.
Roll Eyes

The Civil War was 153 years ago.

Can we please stop trying to re-fight it?


 
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Here we go again.
Roll Eyes

The Civil War was 153 years ago.

Can we please stop trying to re-fight it?


There is no refight. It is important to understand the political changes which resulted, and evaluate the acts and omissions of the leaders.




Luckily, I have enough willpower to control the driving ambition that rages within me.

When you had the votes, we did things your way. Now, we have the votes and you will be doing things our way. This lesson in political reality from Lyndon B. Johnson

"Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible." - Justice Janice Rogers Brown
 
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If you want to understand the reverence for Lincoln, then and now, read the most beautiful elegy ever written: "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" by Walt Whitman.

https://www.poetryfoundation.o...-the-dooryard-bloomd


______________________________________________________

"You get much farther with a kind word and a gun than with a kind word alone."
 
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quote:
Originally posted by stiab:
quote:
Originally posted by pillboxesghost:
...He was mocked, despised and reviled by his contemporaries UNTIL he was assassinated!...

Historically incorrect. What you are referring to occurred early in his first administration, but it turned around beginning in 1863.


Yes, thank you Grant and Sherman. (said Lincoln)
 
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Originally posted by JALLEN:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by pillboxesghost:


Originally posted by pillboxesghost:



Get to digging.

I find it hard to believe that there were 13,000 Northern journalists total, much less unanimous against Lincoln, hardly even less in jail. In that state of dubiosity, I call bull feathers.

In a quick perusal of the topic, I see references to suspending the writ of habeas corpus, 14,000 arrested, apparently gently, no telling how many journalists, mostly southerners. I also saw that the Confederacy imposed the death penalty for possession on anti-slavery writings and had some 4,000 political prisoners. I saw a statement attributed to Lincoln that it is hard to verify quotations found on the Internet.

I recently read the Memoirs of Grant, published by Mark Twain. The battles he reports are so graphically reported in terms of tactics and casualties that I can’t imagine ~25 years later he would find motive to prevaricate on the one you refer to. I guess I have to look it up.



Here's part one paragraph on Cold Harbor from "Grant's Memoirs". The first line is somewhat famous.

"I have always regretted that the last assault at Cold Harbor was ever made. At Cold Harbor no advantage whatever was gained to compensate for the heavy loss we sustained. Indeed, the advantages, other than those of relative losses, were on the Confederate side".

The following paragraphs may be found at: historynet.com/battle-of-cold-harbor.htm Please read J.L. Chamberlin's comments in the final two paragraphs carefully. Army reports were being censored/manipulated for political purposes.

I have triple spaced and underlined Grant's original (grossly misleading) report of 2 PM, June 3rd. (it appears eleven paragraphs down)). Please compare it to Geo. Meade's report of June 4th., immediately below. Were they at the same battle??

“HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC 8 A.M. JUNE 4, 1864 I have only time to write you that we had a big battle yesterday, on the field of the old Gaines's Mill battle-ground, with the positions of the contending forces reversed. The battle ended without any decided results, we repulsing all attacks of the enemy and they doing the same; losses estimated about equal on both sides; ours roughly estimated at seven thousand five hundred in all. I had immediate and entire command on the field all day, the Lieutenant General honoring the field with his presence only about one hour in the middle of the day. The papers will, however, undoubtedly inform you of all his doings, and I will therefore confine myself to mine.” (Geo. Meade's report)

https://books.google.com/books...8&id=Kr7jU0hGkgEC&q="Great+howl"#v=onepage&q="immediate and entire"&f=false



Grant had done nothing for which he could be charged or disciplined. His distortion of the truth in communications to the War Department might have been influenced by conflicting reports from the battlefield, or perhaps by faulty intelligence, or any of a number of other circumstances that can leave a commander misinformed. But his subsequent telegraphic messages did little to correct the initial error, and for the rest of his life, on the few occasions when Grant mentioned Cold Harbor, he did so with embarrassment and shame.

For the first time during Grant’s campaign in that summer of 1864, correspondents from Democratic newspapers failed to exploit a bloody Federal setback and the horror of a battle’s aftermath, even though the Battle of Cold Harbor had given them plenty of ammunition on both counts. In a matter of minutes, three Union corps had suffered more casualties than they had in 20 hours of terrible fighting at the Bloody Angle of Spotsylvania. And for three days after the battle, the no-man’s land between the armies bore unspeakable horrors.

What occurred on June 3 should have appeared in banner headlines and sparked severe condemnation in the Democratic press. When a Union defeat of similar proportion had occurred at Fredericksburg in December 1862, newspapers immediately published the reports from the field, and the nation plunged into its deepest despair of the war. Yet the stories of June 4, 5, and 6, 1864, were simply reprints of verbatim releases from the War Department or accounts furnished by reporters from pro-administration newspapers.

It was more than a week before the Democratic press began reporting the actual events of June 3, and even then they relied on the syndicated reports of Republican correspondents. Stories syndicated by the Philadelphia Inquirer, New York Tribune, and New York Times served as the basis for the first detailed reports published by the anti-Lincoln press. Even as late as June 8, the Columbus Crisis, a rabidly Democratic newspaper, gave top billing to less important stories and buried accounts of Cold Harbor.

By the time newspapers such as the World and the Age finally published details of the Battle of Cold Harbor, it was too late. The Republicans had already renominated Lincoln and adopted a platform calling for the passage of a constitutional amendment to prohibit slavery throughout the United States. On the military side, the Army of the Potomac had already begun preparing for its next big move. The potentially devastating news of the worst Union defeat of the war had been kept from the public long enough that its impact was muted by other, more current events.

The Democratic press failed to exploit this defeat for several reasons. The three correspondents from the World who reported on the Army of the Potomac were unavailable to file reports. The principal reporter had been captured by Confederates, and the other two correspondents were ill. So they relied on the account of the June 3 fighting filed by the Times reporter.

Another reason was that foul weather on the Virginia Peninsula had caused problems with telegraph transmission. A War Department statement released at 10:00 p.m. on June 3 read,Nothing has been heard from General Grant since his dispatch dated at 7 o’clock yesterday morning. Grant’s telegraph message with the clause Our loss was not severe was sent at 2:00 p.m. on June 3, the day of the infamous charge, but was not reported as received until 7:55 the next morning. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton promptly assigned blame:Telegraphic communication has been delayed by a violent storm on the peninsula yesterday evening and last night and cannot be re-established before sometime tomorrow. Perhaps the breakdown of the telegraph at the same time as the Cold Harbor defeat was a coincidence. If so, it was a coincidence that spared the Lincoln administration a major backlash from the populace.

Some Democratic correspondents may have left the battlefield to attend the Republican nominating convention in Baltimore. Though the convention did not begin until four days after the Cold Harbor tragedy, it is very likely that on June 3 the reporters were already in transit.

Southern newspapermen knew that Grant’s army had been dealt a devastating defeat at Cold Harbor. So when they saw innocuous descriptions of the battle in the Northern press, they assumed that Grant had telegraphed false accounts of the battle to protect Lincoln’s renomination prospects. In fact, in the only message Grant ever sent the War Department about Cold Harbor, the complete text read:



We assaulted at 4:30 this a.m., driving the enemy within his entrenchments at all points, but without gaining a decided advantage. We now occupy a position close to the enemy and in some places within fifty yards. Our loss was not severe, nor do I suppose the enemy lost heavily. We captured over three hundred prisoners mostly from Breckenridge’s command.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My Note: Yes, I'd call the above prevarication. Prevarication is defined as: to speak falsely or misleadingly, deliberately mislead or create an incorrect impression; lie.

It was not simply by accident that the travesty and tragedy of the Battle of Cold Harbor was not officially acknowledged by the government until after the war. If Grant had been hesitant to report the extent of the defeat, he probably had the support of War Secretary Stanton, who also was trying to spare Lincoln from the public outcry that bad news from the front would spark. Stanton released a slightly more candid report on Cold Harbor on June 4.Another official report, not from Grant estimates our killed and wounded at 3,000, read an article in the June 6 edition of the World. Even this updated number was less than a third of the army’s total loss from May 31 to June 3 and less than half of those who fell during 10 minutes of the battle’s initial charge.

The Philadelphia Age, apparently more aware of the lost opportunity than its sister paper, the World, published an editorial on the Lincoln administration’s misleading reports in its June 9 edition:

We think Mr. Stanton might be a little more explicit in his telegrams about the condition of affairs in Virginia. He has of late been very meager in giving intelligence. From his dispatches we can scarcely find out that there was fought one of the bloodiest battles of the war, yet, until yesterday, no one knew its result. If Mr. Stanton knew the public anxiety there is in the public mind to hear the truth about Virginia, he would be a little more explicit in his dispatches…. They have lost all significance as candid reports of military operations.

But Stanton knew all too well — perhaps better than anyone else in the country — what an impact the Cold Harbor tragedy could have had on the public just before the Republican convention. And no one else in the country was in a better position to screen the information that passed from the battlefield to the press. So, inclement weather or not, Stanton released vague dispatches, and in doing so confirmed that he was not only the civilian administrator of the army, but a member of the incumbent political family.

The inaccurate battle reports may have stemmed from the refusal of a proud commander and a politically astute cabinet officer to acknowledge that the army had been ordered to make a suicidal attack. Or perhaps it was the general policy of the army high command to withhold or understate the truth of unfavorable battle results. Union Colonel Joshua L. Chamberlain commented on the situation in the summer of 1864 in his book The Passing of the Armies. He wrote about the movement of the Army of the Potomac as it emerged from the Wilderness in May:

Then the rushing, forced flank-movements, known and over matched by the ever-alert; followed by reckless front attacks, where highest valor was deepest loss; buffetings on bloody angles; butcherings in slaughter pens, — all the way down to the fateful Chickahominy once more — a campaign under fire for twenty-seven days and nights together; morning reports at last not called for and when we asked explanation our superiors answered, — confidentially, lest it seem disloyal; ‘Because the country would not stand it, if they knew.




As for the political prisoners incarcerated without a trial.

"No careful work on the numbers of civilians arrested by military authorities or for reasons of state has ever been done by a historian, and those historians who have attempted an estimate previously have been writing with the goal of defending Lincoln in mind. Even so, the lowest estimate is 13,535 arrests from February 15, 1862, to the end of the war. At least 866 others occurred from the beginning of the war until February 15, 1862. Therefore, at least 14,401 civilians were arrested by the Lincoln administration. If one takes the population of the North during the Civil War as 22.5 million (using the 1860 census and counting West Virginia but not Nevada), then one person out of every 1,563 in the North was arrested during the Civil War."

quod.lib.umich.edu/j/jala/2629860.0005.103/--lincoln-administration-and-arbitrary-arrests?rgn=main;view=fulltext

I stand corrected -- journalists did not form the majority of Lincoln's political prisoners. However, there were many thousands of "dissidents" jailed. I did find the passage which I incorrectly recalled and misquoted:

"In contrast, Lincoln was the First Amendment’s greatest enemy. In 1839, Alexis de Tocqueville had written: "Among the twelve million people living in the United States, there is not one single man who has dared to suggest restricting the freedom of the press." Just twenty-five years later, Lincoln, true to his Federalist and Hamiltonian roots, felt no compunction whatever about jailing during the Civil War a total of thirteen thousand Northern civilians who had expressed views critical of Lincoln or his war. According to historian Arthur Ekirch, this was often done "without any sort of trial or after only cursory hearings before a military tribunal."

mises.org/library/dilorenzo-and-his-critics-lincoln-myth

The above paragraph incorrectly states these were northern civilians jailed --- very many were not.

I am also incorrect, Lincoln handily won the popular vote in 1864 (55% to 44.9 %).. The military did vote overwhelming for Lincoln (78%). However, there were a lot of "games" being played with the troops to "encourage" the democrat soldiers to vote republican. Military vote probably didn't make any difference when Atlanta fell (about nine weeks prior to the presidential election).


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"I have resolved to fight as long as Marse Robert has a corporal's guard, or until he says give up. He is the man I shall follow or die in the attempt."

Feb. 27, 1865 Letter by Sgt. Henry P. Portson 'B' Co. 31st GA Vol. Inf.
 
Posts: 1032 | Location: Coastal NC | Registered: December 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
goodheart
Picture of sjtill
posted Hide Post
There are two subjects that I've found will arouse extremely strong and diametrically opposite opinions on SigForum:
1. Evangelical Christianity
2. Lincoln and the Civil War

I have learned that no opinions are ever changed by the inflammatory comments made, so other than making this observation, I will not take part.


_________________________
"the difficulty of making new laws isn't some bug ... it's the point of the design, the better to preserve liberty"--Justice Neil Gorsuch, in his first "dissent"
 
Posts: 13328 | Location: One hop from Paradise | Registered: July 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
No double standards
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by sjtill:
There are two subjects that I've found will arouse extremely strong and diametrically opposite opinions on SigForum:
1. Evangelical Christianity
2. Lincoln and the Civil War

I have learned that no opinions are ever changed by the inflammatory comments made, so other than making this observation, I will not take part.


You make a lot of sense doc, don't get dragged into the mud.




"Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women. When it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it....While it lies there, it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it"
- Judge Learned Hand, May 1944
 
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