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to serve three years more.
He would not give me a chance to argue my case.
The audience was at an end. He waved his hand to me.
I was then dismissed from the august presence of the Honorable Secretary of War.
My father was waiting for me in the hallway, who saw by my countenance that I was not successful. I said to my father:
Let us go over to Mr. Lincoln; he may give us more satisfaction.
He said it would do no good, but we went over. Mr. Lincoln's reception room was full of ladies and gentlemen when we entered, and the scene was one I shall never forget.
On her knees was a woman in the agonies of despair, with tears rolling down her cheeks, imploring for the life of her son, who had deserted and had been condemned to be shot. I heard Mr. Lincoln say:
Madam, do not act this way, it is agony to me; I would pardon your son if it was in my power, but there must be an example made or I will have no army.
At this speech the woman fainted. Lincoln motioned to his attendant, who picked the woman up and carried her out. All in the room were in tears.
But, now changing the scene from the sublime to the ridiculous, the next applicant for favor was a big, buxom Irish woman, who stood before the President with arms akimbo, saying:
“Mr. Lincoln, can't I sell apples on the railroad? " Lincoln said: Certainly, madam, you can sell all
But she said: " You must give me a pass, soldiers will not let me.”
Lincoln then wrote a few lines and gave it to her, who said:
" Thank you, sir; God bless you.”
This shows how quick and clear were all this man's decisions.
I stood and watched him for two hours, and he dismissed each case as quickly as the above, with satisfaction to all.
My turn soon came. Lincoln turned to my father and said:
Now, gentlemen, be pleased to be as quick as possible with your business, as it is growing late.”
My father then stepped up to Lincoln and introduced me to him. Lincoln then said:
“Take a seat, gentlemen, and state your business as quick as possible.
There was but one chair by Lincoln, so he motioned my father to sit, while I stood. My father stated the
, business to him as stated above. He then said:
“ Have you seen Mr. Stanton?"
We told him yes, that he had refused. He (Mr. Lincoln) then said:
“Gentlemen, this is Mr. Stanton's business; I cannot interfere with him; he attends to all these matters, and I am sorry I can not help you.”
He saw that we were disappointed, and did his best to revive our spirits. He succeeded well with my father, who was a Lincoln man, and who was a staunch Republican.
Mr. Lincoln then said:
“Now, gentlemen, I will tell you what it is; I have thousands of applications like this every day, but we can not satisfy all for this reason, that these positions are like office seekers—there are too many pigs for the
The ladies who were listening to the conversation placed their handkerchiefs to their faces and turned away. But the joke of Old Abe put us all in a good hu
We then left the presence of the greatest and most just man who ever lived to fill the Presidential chair.
Where the President's Mind Wandered. An amusing, yet touching instance, of the President's pre-occupation of mind, occurred at one of his levees when he was shaking hands with a host of visitors passing him in a continuous stream. An intimate acquaintance received the usual conventional hand-shake and salutation, but perceiving that he was not recognized, kept his ground instead of moving on, and spoke again; when the President, roused to a dim consciousness that something unusual had happened, perceived who stood before him, and seizing his friend's hand, shook it again heartily, saying:
“ How do you do? How do you do? Excuse me for not noticing you. I was thinking of a man down South.”
He afterwards privately acknowledged that the “man down South” was Sherman, then on his march to the Lincoln and the Preacher.
An officer of the Government called one day at the White House and introduced a clerical friend.
" Mr. President,” said he, “allow me to present to you my friend, the Rev. Mr F., o-4. He has expressed a desire to see you and have some conversation with you,
and I am happy to be the means of introducing him."
The President shook hands with Mr. F., and desiring him to be seated took a seat himself. Then his countenance, having assumed an air of patient waiting, he said: “I am now ready to hear what you have to say.”
Oh, bless you, sir,” said Mr. F., “I have nothing special to say; I merely called to pay my respects to you, and, as one of the million, to assure you of my hearty sympathy and support.”
“My dear sir,” said the President, rising promptly, his face showing instant relief, and with both hands grasping that of his visitor, “I am very glad to see you, indeed. I thought you had come to preach to me!'
Lincoln and Little “ Tad."
The day after the review of Burnside's division some photographers, says Mr. Carpenter, came up to the White House to make some stereoscopic studies for me of the President's office. They requested a dark closet in which to develop the pictures, and without a thought that I was infringing upon anybody's rights, I took them to an unoccupied room of which little “ Tad” had taken possession a few days before, and with the aid of a couple of the servants had fitted up a miniature theatre, with stage, cur
tains, orchestra, stalls, parquette and all. Knowing that the use required would interfere with none of his arrangements, I led the way to this apartment.
Everything went on well, and one or two pictures had been taken. when suddenly there was an uproar. The operator came back to the office and said that “ Tad” had taken great offense at the occupation of his room without his consent, and had locked the door, refusing all admission.
The chemicals had been taken inside, and there was no way of getting at them, he having carried off the key. In the midst of this conversation “Tad "burst in, in a fearful passion. He laid all the blame upon me—said that I had no right to use his room, and the men should not go in even to get their things. He had locked the door and they should not go there again---they had no business in his room!”
Mr. Lincoln was sitting for a photograph, and was still in the chair. He said, very mildly, “Tad, go and unlock the door.” Tad went off muttering into his mother's room, refusing to obey. I followed him into the passage, but no coaxing would pacify him. Upon my return to the President I found him still patiently in the chair, from which be had not risen. He said: “ Has not the boy opened the door?” I replied that we could do nothing with him -he had gone off in a great pet. Mr. Lincoln's lips came together firmly, and then, suddenly rising, he strode across the passage with the air of one bent on punishment, and disappeared in the domestic apartments. Directly he returned with the key to the theatre, which he unlocked himself.
Tad,” said he, half apologetically,“ is a peculiar