Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 363
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James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
 
Page 363
 
 
by helping the Secretary of War in various matters of detail which came within their sphere.  25
  The Stanton of tradition is a stern man, standing at a high desk, busy and careworn, grumbling, fuming and swearing, approached by every subordinate with fear, by every officer except the highest with anxiety, by the delinquent with trepidation. The Stanton of the Official Records is a patient, tactful, unobtrusive man, who, bearing a heavy responsibility, disposes of business promptly, who takes a firm grasp of many and various facts and conditions and adapts himself to circumstances, keeping always in view the great result to be achieved. No one accustomed to affairs can go through the correspondence of the summer of 1864 without arriving at a high opinion of Stanton’s executive ability. He was patient and consideration with those to whom Patience and consideration were due but, when he believed himself in the right, he was unyielding and resolute. He was wise in his conduct of affairs, but it is a wonder that on top of the trials of three years he and Lincoln were not crushed by the disappointments and cares which fell to their lot from May to September, 1864.  26
  The burden of the war told perceptibly on Lincoln. His “boisterous laughter,” wrote John Hay, “became less frequent year by year; the eye grew veiled by constant meditation on momentous subjects; the air of reserve and detachment from his surroundings increased. He aged with great rapidity.” The change in Lincoln is shown in two life masks, one made in 1860, the other in the spring of 1865. The face of 1860 belongs to a strong healthy man, is “full of life, of energy, of vivid aspiration. The other,” continued Hay, “is so sad and peaceful in its infinite repose that St. Gaudens insisted when he first saw it that it was a death mask. The lines are set as if the living face like the
 

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