America's Greatest President

hanna260

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Location
Just Around the Riverbend
Is there any record of Lincoln ever losing his temper? My readings about the man are general in nature relating to the ACW. Despite issues with his cabinet, generals, family, or life I cannot recall a single incident where he just simply blew his top. Again, I have not studied his life so my knowledge is lacking in this area.

Interesting question, theoldman. I don't know if this necessarily counts as losing his temper but Team of Rivals describes shortly after Gettysburg, and Lee escaping how despondent and angry he felt. "On only one or two occasions have I ever seen the president so troubled, so dejected, and discouraged," Welles wrote." (pg. 536). It then goes on to describe Lincoln writing a letter to Meade, which was quite.... upset, " He wrote he was "distressed immeasurably... by the magnitude of the misfortune involved in Lee's escape. He was within your easy grasp, and to have closed upon him would, in connection with our other late successes, have ended the war. As such, the war is prolonged indefinitely." (pg. 536)

It was never sent.
 

Kenneth Almquist

Corporal
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
During Feb. 1862 McClellan planned an offensive to secure Winchester Va. to protect the B&O rail lines. Part of his plan was to provide canal boats so they could be used in conjunction with heavy timbers to secure a permanent bridge that was to be built over the Potomac River. Michael Burlingame in his second volume of Abraham Lincoln: A Life, describes what happened next:
"On February 27, when those vessels tried to enter a lift lock in order to move from the Chesapeake and Ohio canal to the river, they proved six inches too wide. The entire operation had to be called off, prompting the usually humorless Chase to quip that the Winchester expedition had died of lockjaw. Horace White of the Chicago Tribune, who aptly described the fiasco as 'Ball’s Bluff all over again, minus the slaughter" reported that Lincoln was in 'a h[el]l of a rage' and 'swore like a Phillistine' upon learning of it. He banged his fist on a table and exclaimed: 'Why in hell didn’t he measure first!'

It probably didn't help his temper that McClellan was “well satisfied” with how things were going, according to McClellan's own account.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Is there any record of Lincoln ever losing his temper? My readings about the man are general in nature relating to the ACW. Despite issues with his cabinet, generals, family, or life I cannot recall a single incident where he just simply blew his top. Again, I have not studied his life so my knowledge is lacking in this area.

theoldman,

How about this one?

From the book, 1864: Lincoln At The Gates Of History, by Charles B. Flood, chapter 1, The Beleaguered Giant, pg 17:

"Lincoln usually treated his visitors patiently, but sometimes the constant strain under which he lived overcame him, and on one occasion this man of great mental power demonstrated the physical strength still possessed by the Illinois frontier woodsman who in his youth often swung an ax for hours as he felled trees. One of Lincoln's secretaries described the incident, unique in recorded presidential behavior. A man who had called on Lincoln almost every day for weeks was shown in, and proceeded to ask again for a government position that the president had repeatedly told him he was not going to be given. When Lincoln once more told him politely that the post he sought was not to be his, the man said, in what this eyewitness called "a very insolent tone," that the president was treating him unjustly.

[Lincoln] looked at the man steadily for a half-minute or more, then slowly began to lift his long figure from its slouching position in the chair. He rose without haste, went over to where the man was sitting, took him by the coat collar, carried him bodily to the door, threw him in a heap outside, closed the door, and returned to his chair....He said not a word then, or afterward, about the incident."

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

ole

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Near Kankakee
theoldman,

How about this one?

From the book, 1864: Lincoln At The Gates Of History, by Charles B. Flood, chapter 1, The Beleaguered Giant, pg 17:

"Lincoln usually treated his visitors patiently, but sometimes the constant strain under which he lived overcame him, and on one occasion this man of great mental power demonstrated the physical strength still possessed by the Illinois frontier woodsman who in his youth often swung an ax for hours as he felled trees. One of Lincoln's secretaries described the incident, unique in recorded presidential behavior. A man who had called on Lincoln almost every day for weeks was shown in, and proceeded to ask again for a government position that the president had repeatedly told him he was not going to be given. When Lincoln once more told him politely that the post he sought was not to be his, the man said, in what this eyewitness called "a very insolent tone," that the president was treating him unjustly.

[Lincoln] looked at the man steadily for a half-minute or more, then slowly began to lift his long figure from its slouching position in the chair. He rose without haste, went over to where the man was sitting, took him by the coat collar, carried him bodily to the door, threw him in a heap outside, closed the door, and returned to his chair....He said not a word then, or afterward, about the incident."

Sincerely,
Unionblue
Neat story. I'll believe it is true.
 

ole

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Near Kankakee
This is going to get political really quickly I fear.
Of course it is. Nobody set a time limit on it. Just waiting for someone to propose Jimmy Carter.

I'll propose Washington followed very closely by Lincoln. Washington set up this country. Lincoln kept it according to Washington's aims. We've nothing like either since.
 

adraco4

Cadet
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Location
NC
Is there any record of Lincoln ever losing his temper? My readings about the man are general in nature relating to the ACW. Despite issues with his cabinet, generals, family, or life I cannot recall a single incident where he just simply blew his top. Again, I have not studied his life so my knowledge is lacking in this area.
There was the time he invented the choke slam! Carl Sandburg, in his book on Lincoln's early life, describes that he dabled in amateur wrestling. In one match, his opponent cheated by stomping on Lincoln's toe. Lincoln was so angry, he grabbed the guy by the neck, lifted him off the ground, shook him like a rag doll, then slammed him on the ground again.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2015
Location
Oberlin, Ohio
I believe William McKinley was the most influential ACW veteran/president...even more so than Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, or Harrison.

Perhaps a thread on this would be appropriate?

I also believe Lincoln was the greatest president.
 
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