Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Abe Lincoln - Living Inside the Beltway Bubble

Reading Lincoln's daily chronology (The Lincoln Log Website), I was amazed at Lincoln's reluctance to travel. Basically, Lincoln spent the whole war in Washington D.C. except for trips to the Army of the Potomac.

Lincoln never visited the Armies of West or conferred with Halleck, Grant, Rosecrans or Sherman in Kentucky, Tennessee or Cairo/St Louis. Further, Lincoln only made 4 visits to the "Home-front" during the war:

  • June 23-25 1862 Lincoln took a nine hour train trip to West Point to visit General Scott. Arrives 3 AM June 24th 1862 at West Point. Spends the day with Scott and visiting West Point. Returns to DC, stopping at Jersey City to make an impromptu 10 minute speech;
  • November 18-19 1863 - took 5 hour train trip to Gettysburg, spent the night there, and next morning dedicated the cemetery & made the famous Speech. By Midnight he was back in DC;
  • April 18-19 1864 - Goes to Baltimore to attend Sanitary Fair and gives speech.
  • June 16-17 1864 Goes to Philadelphia for 1 day to attend the "Great Central Fair" for the US Sanitary Commission. Leaving DC at 7 AM - he got to Phlly at 11 AM, went the fair, attended the banquet and made a speech. The next day, he left Philly at 8 AM and was back in DC by Noon.
That's all his wartime travel - except trips to visit the AoP and Richmond in April 1865.

By Comparison Jeff Davis made many trips to visit the rest of the Confederacy and the armies of the West.

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