The disciples had their hands full when their Lord and Master was crucified. I do not measure my little boy as any kind of lord but he was my son, a promise. The father in me does not go away. I go, now, to curry Old Abe. I would like to chop wood a while. White House Summer Again I am besieged by office seekers. I can name a hundred: Whitney, Schurz, Collaman, Blair, Wallace. They seek posts as consuls, envoys, inspectors, paymasters, commissioners, postmasters. Although I now have fixed hours, they intrude. Favors, all wish favors! I am accused of nepotism by the press, by staff and cabinet members. How would they shuffle the cards? Responsible positions are wrestled over by Vermonters and New Yorkers vying with Missourians and Ohioans. Note: Speak to Capt. Dobson about 683
V OICES FROM THE P AST balloon observations. Work out telegraphic communication with the balloon observer. August 20th I woke early. It is already hot. No breeze. I look out of the windows at the tents of the wounded. Behind the tents is the river, flattened by the heat. I have been inside of each tent several times. I have seen inside some of those men; I listen; I wait and listen. There are men with letters from home, men with Bibles beside them. Men or boys. Perhaps there is no essential difference when one is wounded. Man or boy is lost. There is no catching up for him. His trip home will show him a different world; if he goes home in a coffin—his homecoming makes that home unreal forever. One boy shows me a minié ball extracted from his leg. One man tells me how much we need a balloon corps. Another grasps my hand but can’t say a word. At the very back of the tent someone is playing a harmonica, the “Camp Town Races”...or so it was yesterday. The White House Summer Today I have been able to pardon two boys accused of dereliction of duty, Company K, while on guard near Washington. Regardless of reports I feel that they had carried the Union on their bayonets. Cramer and Phillips will have a second chance. The heat of the afternoon has been oppressive; to cool me off, my mulatto brought me a cool drink on her famous tray; then a chaplain and a private spun stories of regimental pets. Once again I heard of the eagle in the 8th Wisconsin 684
L INCOLN ’ S J OURNAL Volunteers. He is still alive after being in battles in seven states. His six-and-a-half-foot wingspread has been crippled by bullets; they say he screams when his Corps sees action. A Minnesota unit manages to keep a half-grown bear; they swear he is the best picket-duty man. A black and white dog, named Jacko, has been dubbed a “brave soldier dog,” because he has been wounded twice, while his men were in action. I have also learned that there are gamecocks, a coon, and several badgers in the field. Mascots all.
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- Spring '14