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The thing about history is that it's a great big, wonderful story. General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, 1951. Major General Joseph Hooker Library of Congress : Letter to Major General Joseph Hooker Joseph Hooker, called "Fighting Joe," was the third in a succession of commanding Union generals President Lincoln appointed in his search for victories during the Civil War. The obvious ones that come to mind are Lincoln (he fired McClellan and some others for ineffectiveness, I believe), Truman (he fired Douglas MacArthur) and Obama. did or did not do was irrelevant to the ultimate outcome, why make an issue out of the Army generals’ demands for a few days’ halt just 50 miles from Baghdad? While the quote is false, the spirit of it is something that Lincoln did speak to. Cordially, john mckenna, brooklet, ga. Ronald E Franklin (author) from Mechanicsburg, PA on July 11, 2018: Fremont was certainly widely known and highly admired before the Civil War. On March 4, 1864, Lincoln signed this certificate making Ulysses S. Grant a lieutenant general, a rank previously held only by George Washington. But the general who acquired the nickname of Tardy George never learned that lesson. He would simply lock down security at his headquarters so tightly that no officer from Washington would be able to get through to deliver any order replacing him. Why did Lincoln fire General McClellan? Fremont, however, had no intention of taking his fate lying down. Often accompanied by celebrated frontiersman Kit Carson, Fremont led five expeditions between 1842 and 1853, surveying and mapping routes through what is now the Midwest and on to Oregon and California. During his time though he was one of the most famous Americans that live and is one of the most romantic figures in our history that nobody knows about even though so many things that are named after him. Abraham Lincoln's Invention of Presidential War Powers: Facing the unprecedented crisis of civil war in 1861, President Abraham Lincoln invoked his "war power" as commander-in-chief to "take any measure which may best subdue the enemy." He preserved the Union during the U.S. Civil War and brought about the emancipation of slaves. After a long funeral procession, he was buried near his home in Springfield, IL. Illegal for them to do that while in the military. That was what he understood his constitutional duty to be, despite his personal desire that all men should be free. With little apparent regard for the national political implications of such an action, he issued his proclamation totally on his own, without even notifying the president of his intention. So both Fremonts, whatever their intentions and whatever wonderful accomplishments they may have had in other spheres, failed in their Civil War assignments in the only way that really counts. But his attempt was shortsighted, and would actually have done harm to the cause if Lincoln hadn't intervened. Gen. Douglas MacArthur had the same relationship with President Truman as McClellan had with Lincoln. Ambrose Everett Burnside (May 23, 1824 – September 13, 1881) was an American soldier, railroad executive, inventor, industrialist, and politician from Rhode Island.He served as the Governor of Rhode Island from 1866 to 1869, and as a United States Senator for Rhode Island from 1875 until his death.. As a Union Army Luckily the ending of slavery was a major result of the horrible war. Wikimedia Commons. Lincoln was certainly a shrewd politician and administrator. Thanks, NateB11. The point is that he perceived her that way, which doomed any chance she had of accomplishing her mission of saving her husband's job. He was a patient president because Fremont failed him but he dint hesitate to give him a second chance; that show Fremont was a grate character in the US military. He had a different strategy for winning that war. Fremont had accumulated at his headquarters aides and bodyguards numbering literally in the hundreds. To my mind, our greatest president. A tortured relationship ends when President Abraham Lincoln removes General George B. McClellan from command of … His explanation didn’t seem to comfort the newly unemployed general. Why did Hunter do the same thing as Fremont, and yet, he went on with being Fired ? That someone of McClellan's brilliance would not see Lincoln's greatness and capitalize on the fact that he must work with this president, despite what he might feel about him personally. Ronald E Franklin (author) from Mechanicsburg, PA on June 27, 2017: Thanks, Mark, for some interesting comments. Excerpts: How do you think modern commanders in chief and their generals compare with Lincoln and McClellan? The president’s instruction was that if Fremont was on the brink of a battle with the enemy, he was not to be relieved. The Union Army employed hundreds of generals during the Civil War. President Lincoln had faith in Ulysses S. Grant when few people did. Once the war was over, Fremont was able to regain a measure of his old prominence. After the Capitol insurrection, President-elect Joe Biden expressed his disgust by saying, ‘This is not who we are.’ But what if it is? Thus it was probable that Fremont would be on the lookout for any messenger from Lincoln attempting to deliver such orders to him. In the summer of 1861, two very different but equally brilliant leaders formed a partnership that journalist-turned-Civil War writer John Waugh calls a "serious failure." He actually did a lot for the nation. By late October 1861, less than four months after appointing him, the president was ready to relieve Fremont of his command. DEAR SIR: On receipt of this, with the accompanying enclosures, you will take safe, certain, and suitable measures to have the inclosure addressed to Major-General Fremont delivered to him with all reasonable despatch, subject to these conditions only, that if, when General Fremont shall be reached by the messenger,–yourself or any one sent by you,–he shall then have, in personal command, fought and won a battle, or shall then be in the immediate presence of the enemy in expectation of a battle, it is not to be delivered but held for further orders. Waugh suggests that had McClellan respected, trusted, and embraced his commander in chief, the war could have ended much more quickly. Delivery of Lincoln’s letter to Curtis, with the accompanying orders relieving General Fremont, was entrusted to Leonard Swett, an Illinois attorney who was a long-time personal friend of the president’s. But between his ego and his obtuseness, the Civil War was not his finest hour! Ron is a student of the American Civil War and writes about it frequently. Fremont’s published accounts and maps were a crucial resource for settlers during their westward migration. It is interesting how history can get twisted ( fake news has always been with us). 1-3 I am not sure but I do know 4. One of the more extraordinary episodes in the American Civil War took place when President Abraham Lincoln decided to relieve Major General John C. Fremont of his command. Certainly McClellan did. Instead, he forwarded them, accompanied by the following letter, to General Samuel R. Curtis in St. Louis, who would be charged with overseeing the transfer of power from Fremont to his replacement. How Abraham Lincoln Fired General John C. Fremont. Unfortunately the US Army had no experience in creating armies the size of the Civil War armies. Some politicians and Lincoln advisers urged Lincoln to fire the general. Way to go! You can be the most brilliant strategist in the world but, if you don't have that better-rounded aspect to your approach, then you are not going to succeed. Also in Omaha and Des Moines. In fact, he was forthright that his purpose in all he did during that war was to preserve the Union. McClellan, Burnside, Hooker, Meade, and then Grant? Four reasons. Howard Schneider from Parsippany, New Jersey on October 07, 2013: Wonderful piece of history, Ron. But both failed in their missions. He stuck to it regardless. When the Civil War broke out, President Lincoln appointed the Pathfinder a Major General and Commander of the Department of the West, based in St. Louis, Missouri. Lincoln and McClellan: The Troubled Partnership Between a President and His General, California Do Not Sell My Personal Information Request. What union general said "war was hell"? Republicans aligned themselves closely with Trump when it meant winning votes from his base. In the spring of 1862, there were many calls for the replacement of Grant. President Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant didn’t meet often in person. It is unfair to lay all the responsibility at Lincoln's door. Congrats on a well-deserved Hub of the Day! Any process would be greatly expedited since the president is set to leave office in less than two weeks, though it’s possible it would drag out beyond his departure on Jan. 20. The Echo Mountain Complex fire took dozens and … But after he failed to trap and defeat a force under Confederate General Stonewall Jackson, the president reassigned Fremont and his army, moving them from being an independent command to being one of several corps in the Army of Virginia under General John Pope. It is more important to know that we are on God's side." That, in turn, subjected the president to extensive criticism in the press and from the more radical members of his own party who were demanding immediate abolition. Ronald E Franklin (author) from Mechanicsburg, PA on February 05, 2018: As you say, Rochelle, Fremont was highly accomplished in many areas of life; he just wasn't a good general. This was not, however, the end of John Fremont’s military career. Dates: October 15, 1818-May 10, 1885; State: Ohio; Highest Rank Attained: Major General Plus, he implemented public policies in his department that gained him powerful enemies both in Missouri and in Washington. McClellan's was his hubris. But with a kind of proconsular arrogance that did not sit well with Lincoln, ... Lincoln & His Generals, p. 36-37. Their success or failure would be measured not by some abstract appraisal of their noble intentions, but by how well Fremont's "manager," who of course was Abraham Lincoln, believed the general was helping him do his job. With no battle in sight, he had no choice but to turn over the command to General Hunter. Pickens consulted with Beauregard, the local Confederate commander. What fort in south Carolina was attacked by the Massachusetts 54th Regiment? McClellan did achieve some political success, as he was elected governor of New Jersey in 1876. For a town to be able to say he laid out their street plan should be a point of civic pride. It became obvious that he could never gain enough support to supersede Lincoln, and he eventually withdrew his candidacy. Major General Ralph Baker (2 Star)-U.S. Army Commander of the Combined Joint Task Force Horn in Africa (April 2013) The assassination had occurred on Good Friday, and on the following Sunday, memorable as “Black Easter,” hundreds of speakers found a sermon in the event. They were pushed to the sidelines because they lost the support of the President of the United States. In May 1864 Fremont was nominated by a radical faction of the Republican Party to replace Lincoln as the party’s candidate in the presidential election to be held that November. It is also more likely that Lincoln sacked McClellan for political rather than military reasons. But President Lincoln knew his man. As it turned out, there was no time. The Justice Department announced charges against 13 people Friday in connection with the deadly Pro-Trump riots at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday. What was McClellan's greatest flaw? McClellan became basically the darling of the Democrats. Glad I found this site. Once in command of the Union armies, Grant undertook a relentless and bloody campaign against Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Get the latest local news from Lincolnshire. You're right about Fremont. Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on August 16, 2015: Loved this hub when it first came out. Port Lincoln resident Chris Coote said on Monday conditions were similar to the December 2009 fire, which destroyed several properties and burnt 650ha. But Fremont wasn’t ready to give up yet. From what i've read that's about it, but I was watching this documentary on Gettysburg and it said that Lincoln fired 5 generals before appointing Meade, making Meade the 6th. Lincoln understood that the timing of Fremont's action would work against winning the war, and in turn, would work against the eventual emancipation of all the slaves. Any help in this regard will be Greatly appreciated. Lincoln's notification had been made to the governor of South Carolina, not the new Confederate government, which Lincoln did not recognize. He is widely considered to be one of our greatest presidents, if not our greatest. I think so. The press and the politicos hammered President Lincoln in regard to the initial rumors of General Grant’s failures at the Battle of Shiloh. Even now I think he's more remembered for his accomplishments as the great Pathfinder than for his relative lack of success as a military commander. Lincoln as Commander in Chief A self-taught strategist with no combat experience, Abraham Lincoln saw the path to victory more clearly than his generals I put a great deal of blame on McClellan for his stubbornness and inability to see Lincoln's greatness. President Lincoln, however, was entirely unmoved by her imperious manner. During the War Between the States, the president squabbled constantly with the U.S. Abraham Lincoln - Abraham Lincoln - Reputation and character: “Now he belongs to the ages,” Stanton is supposed to have said as Lincoln took his last breath. He seemed especially shrewd about handling people, as this episode demonstrates. Then we see a few retired officers hire onto news orgs to consult. I have a lot of sympathy for Fremont. Thanks, Barack. After the Whig party collapsed, Lincoln joined the new Republicans and McClellan the Democrats. Edward Bates (September 4, 1793 – March 25, 1869) was an American lawyer and politician. “(This fire) is in the same vicinity. First, Lincoln knew himself early on to be a neophyte at war. And it was the undoing of both those men. In 1994 Oxford University Press published Lincoln's Generals. How many commanding generals did Lincoln go through throughout the Civil War? They may have a gift for it, like Dwight Eisenhower had, but by and large they tend to look on politics with some disdain. His explorations seized such a hold on the popular imagination that he became known as the “Pathfinder.”. Lincoln took his commander in chief role seriously and often took an active part in the campaigns, at least before he finally found Grant. Recognizing that any unknown officer might have difficulty getting through Fremont’s self-protective cordon, Captain McKinney disguised himself as a country farmer. Lincoln was frustrated how McClellan didn't strike Lee after Antietam and how Lee blocked his advance into Richmond. The president knew that Fremont would do everything he could, short of outright mutiny, to avoid being replaced. Find out what's going on in Lincolnshire with breaking news and more from the Lincolnshire Live news team. So I looked for a book at my local library about Frémont and found only kids books. In the decades before the war he had gained nationwide fame by leading exploratory expeditions to the American far west. In the spring of 1863, Senator Benjamin Wade came to see the President and insisted that the American people demanded that he dismiss Grant because the campaign to take Vicksburg had bogged down. Although he had been born in the South (in Savannah, Georgia), he was a loyal, and in many ways highly commendable American patriot. Throughout his life Lincoln expressed a strong philosophical love for the patent system. Although he lost to Democrat James Buchanan, scoring a very respectable 114 electoral votes to Buchanan’s 174, Fremont retained an excellent reputation based on his pioneering exploits. On this day in 1864, President Abraham Lincoln promoted Ulysses S. Grant, a major general in the U.S. Army, to the rank of lieutenant general. Search for: HOME; ABOUT US; SERVICES; INSPECTION REPORTS; MEDIA; CONTACT US; Facebook; Google; Designed by … By Timothy P. Townsend, Historian, Lincoln Home National Historic Site "Hold on with a bulldog grip, and chew and choke as much as possible." Captain Boyden had managed to get through to General Hunter with the order for him to take over Fremont’s command. What was Lincoln's? To be a general of McClellan's caliber, how can one not be supremely confident? Irate at receiving the dreaded order, Fremont angrily slammed his fist on the table and demanded of McKinney, “Sir, how did you get through my lines?” McKinney, his mission successfully completed, cheerfully explained his ruse. I think you have to be, yes. Lincoln’s model and his drawings are now on display in the Smithsonian. But McClellan was no match for Lincoln. Unfortunately the US Army had no experience in creating armies the size of the Civil War armies. General Ambrose Burnside; He led a disastrous attack in the hills south of Fredricksburg and was complained about by other officers. To me, this is one of the more remarkable letters in American presidential history. Call Now: 0845 519 9059 E-Mail: info at safe2use dot com Try Our Free Risk Assessment Tool He would probably begin to see whether there were any characteristics that McClellan exhibited that some of his generals now are exhibiting. Major General Meade. Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on February 05, 2018: Fremont led a very complex and interesting life. On their way back from Sumter, the aides Chesnut, Chisholm, and Lee stopped at Fort Johnson to inform Captain George S. James that he might fire a signal gun at the specified time. This gallery provides an overview of several of the key Union generals who contributed to the Union's cause and helped guide its armies to victory. Our Locations. At one session on January 10, 1862, the President told Generals McDowell and William Franklin that he was “in great distress, and as he had been to General [George B. McClellan’s] house and the General did not ask to see him, and as he must talk to somebody, he [desired] to obtain our opinion as to the possibility of soon commencing active operations wit the Army of the Potomac. Lincoln should have given McClellan everything he wanted 16, 2015: Thanks. 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