September 25, 1862: Cowardly president doesn’t lead troops in the field

Hard to imagine the mindset that expected the president to take the field in person, even in the 19th century. Why didn’t Obama shoot Osama face to face?

From the Richmond Daily Dispatch:


The Federal President.

It was given out six months ago that the head of the Yankee Government intended to take the field in person, an announcement which was received with equal satisfaction by his own subjects and by the people of the South. The former were delighted with the prospect of being led to the field by the Executive Chief of their Government, and the latter with the chance of bringing his career to a speedy termination. But the public expectation has been doomed to hopeless disappointment. Whilst there is not a Government in Europe whose King, or even whose Queen, would not, under the same circumstances, have inspired their soldiers by appearing upon the battle-field; and whilst the Southern President, in conformity with the universal custom of the head of a nation involved in such a strife, has shared the perils and the glories of the battle, this pusillanimous creature, who has involved the whole land in blood and tears, remains snugly ensconced in Washington, surrounded by his servile legions and protected by gunboats, never having once come, from the beginning of the war, within the sound of a hostile gun. With the exception of showing his gaunt carcass at bloodless parades, this wretched representative man of Yankeedom has contented himself with ordering his countrymen to the shambles, and never for a moment coming within the smell of gunpowder. We should think the Yankee nation, which is so frantic on the subject of military prowess would be ashamed of such a President. Even the Queen of Naples, a delicate, youthful woman, only a few years ago, exposed herself to the perils of a terrible bombardment, demonstrating that a despot has more sympathy with her people than a United States President, and a woman more chivalry and courage than Abraham Lincoln. Coming from a State which has furnished the United States its best and bravest troops in this war, the cowardice of Lincoln has become more conspicuous and shameful. Yet this is the creature who will listen to no counsels of peace, who even thrusts into prison those of his own section who dare to hint the propriety of putting a stop to bloodshed, and is as reckless of the lives and happiness of others as he is careful and cautious of his own.

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