Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 324
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James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
 
Page 324
 
 
moreover, the failure to capture this stronghold was not at this time regarded as so serious a mishap as later it came to be. Kindness of heart and humanity rather than disappointment in his general were shown in his words when contemplated battles were spoken of. “I cannot pretend to advise,” he said, “but I do sincerely hope that all may be accomplished with as little bloodshed as possible.” 1  4
  Horace Porter has given an interesting account of this visit, which one loves to dwell upon for a moment in the midst of the gloom which had settled down on the Army of the Potomac and was soon to spread over the country. The President on horseback, wearing a high silk hat, a frock coat and black trousers, rode with Grant along the line. A civilian mounted was always an odd sight amid the crowd of uniformed and epauletted officers; and Lincoln, although a good horseman, was always awkward and, being now covered with dust, presented “the appearance of a country farmer riding into town, wearing his Sunday clothes.” But the character of the man disarmed the American soldiers’ keen sense of the ridiculous and as the word was passed along the line that “Uncle Abe is with us” he was greeted with cheers and shouts that came from the heart. He visited a division of colored soldiers who had won distinction by their bravery in an assault on the works of Petersburg. They flocked around the liberator of their race, kissing his hands, touching his clothes for the virtue they conceived to be in them, cheering, laughing, singing hymns of praise, shouting, “God bress Massa Lincoln.” “De Lord sabe Fader Abraham.” “De day of jubilee am come, shuah.” His head was bare, his eyes were full of tears, his voice broke with emotion. As no picture of Lincoln would be complete without humor atop of pathos, we may see him the same evening,
 
Note 1. Horace Porter. [back]
 

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