Friday, September 2, 2011

Old Fuss and Feathers Don't Look First Rate Today

This entry comes from My Diary North and South by William Howard Russell.
Russell was an Irish reporter with The Times and is considered to have been one of the first modern war correspondents.
 September 2, 1861.

. . . .I have heard several people say lately, "I wish old Scott would go away," by which they mean that they would be happy to strike him down when his back was turned, but feared his personal influence with the President and his Cabinet. Two months ago, and his was the most honoured name in the States: one was sickened by the constant repetition of elaborate plans, in which the General was represented playing the part of an Indian juggler, and holding an enor mous boa constrictor of-a Federal army in his hands, which he was preparing to let go as soon as he had coiled it completely round the fright ened Secessionist rabbit; "now none so poor to do him reverence." Hard is the fate of those who serve republics. The officers who met the man in the street to-day passed him by with out a salute or mark of recognition, although he wore his uniform coat, with yellow lapels and yellow sash; and one of a group which came out of a restaurant close to the General's house, exclaimed, almost in his hearing, "Old fuss and feathers don't look first-rate to-day."
Winfield Scott, July 1861 from Library of Congress Collection

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