All the way from his election to his assassination President Lincoln was bitterly disparaged by many as "uncouth," weak, vacillating, uneducated, ugly - a "gorilla," some called him. but even as he sent hundreds of thousands of them to their deaths, Lincoln was much beloved by his soldiers in the Union Army during the Civil War; it were their votes which proved instrumental in Lincoln's successful re-election in 1864.
Who can define such a mysterious and subtle thing as inspired leadership?
"Hush'd Be the Camps To-Day"
by Walt Whitman
(May 4, 1865)
No more for him life's stormy conflicts,
Nor victory, nor defeat -- no more time's dark events,
Charging like ceaseless clouds across the sky.
But sing poet in our name,
Sing of the love we bore him -- because you, dweller in
camps, know it truly.
As they invault the coffin there,
Sing -- as they close the doors of earth upon him -- one verse,
For the heavy hearts of soldiers.