Monday, November 7, 2011

Pick Me! Pick Me!

This entry comes from The War Within the Union High Command: Politics and Generalship During the Civil War, by Thomas J. Goss.  It concerns Benjamin Butler, a prominent Massachusetts politician turned General, who has a reputation of being an ineffectual Civil War leader.  But apparently it wasn't for lack of ambition.
In his diary on November 8, 1861, Lincoln aid John Hay recorded a letter from Benjamin Butler to the President.

Gen’l Wool has resigned. Gen’l Fremont must. Gen’l Scott has retired.
I have an ambition, and I trust a laudable one, to be Major-General of the United States Army.
Has anybody done more to deserve it? No one will do more. May I rely upon you, as you may have confidence in me, to take this matter into consideration?
I will not disgrace the position. I may fail in its duties.
P.S. I have made the same suggestion to other of my friends.

General Benjamin Butler from Library of Congress via Wikimedia

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