Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.
Abraham Lincoln (180965)
I could as easily bail out the Potomac River with a teaspoon as attend to all the details of the army.
Attributed to President ABRAHAM LINCOLN by General James B. Fry.Allen Thorndike Rice, Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln, chapter 22, p. 393 (1886).
This supposedly had been part of Lincolns response to a young volunteer soldier who had come to Lincolns office asking his help with a grievance. The story has been repeated in numerous books on Lincoln: Alexander K. McClure, Abe Lincolns Yarns and Stories, p. 162 (1904); Ida M. Tarbell, The Life of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 2, p. 153 (1917); and Caroline T. Harnsberger, The Lincoln Treasury, p. 14 (1950).