History Lessons

As I mentioned in the past, I find the Civil War interesting. Partially because to the relationships the leaders had before the war started. Robert E. Lee served under Winfield Scott in the Mexican War as an engineer. He was also the presiding officer that took John Brown into custody after the John Brown Raid.

This week in 1862 President Abraham Lincoln met with retired General Winfield Scott, a hero of the Mexican War and the commander of all Union forces at the outbreak of the Civil War. Scott, aged and infirm, still possessed a sharp military mind. More important, he was one of the few impartial advisors surrounding Lincoln.

On June 23, Lincoln took a train from Washington to West Point, New York, and called on Scott the following day to discuss Union strategy in Virginia. Lincoln had doubts about George McClellan’s ability to lead the Army of the Potomac, which was stuck in a stalemate with Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia outside of Richmond. He also sought Scott’s opinion on the various Federal armies operating in northern Virginia. Scott recommended that Irwin McDowell’s corps be sent to aid McClellan on the James Peninsula, since a defeat of Lee at Richmond would, in Scott’s words, “be a virtual end of the rebellion.”

Although it may have been sound advice, Lincoln did not move McDowell’s force. McClellan had provided no evidence to Lincoln that he would effectively apply the reinforcements against Lee. Instead, Lincoln consolidated McDowell’s corps with the commands of John C. Frýmont and Nathaniel Banks, who had recently been bested by Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley. John Pope, under whom Frýmont refused to serve and so went on inactive duty, led the newly formed Army of Virginia. This new army would face its first test in August at the Second Battle of Bull Run, where it suffered a humiliating defeat. More than anything, this visit fueled Lincoln’s disenchantment with military advice. Lincoln spent the war’s first two and a half years learning about military affairs and searching for the right advisor. He would not find that voice until the fall of 1863 from Ulysses S. Grant.

And now Flags for July, they will go up June 30th and retrieve July 7th. Volunteers are always needed. On the 4th of July, there will be a free hotdog cookout at the Hut for members of the Legion-Auxiliary and their families. 1230 to 1330 so everyone can get off to other activities.

State Convention approaches July 14-16 in Norman OK at the beautiful Embassy Suites. Currently Commander O’Leary and Vice Commander Swinford are planning on attending. If you are a member and in good standing let us know. It is a great experience!

Don’t forget our regular meetings continue the first and third Thursdays of the month at 7:00 PM. Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings in June are still scheduled for biscuits and gravy and always a cup of Joe (coffee to the civilians). Keep your eye on the weather in case things have to be postponed. That will be most likely if the storms bring strong winds and lightning. If you are a veteran come on by. If you have a good story it may end up in print. Also keep up with us at website “americanlegion142.org”.

 

 

About Gary Lanham

Authors the weekly article "News from the Hut", about local American Legion Post #142 in Hominy, OK. Read his weekly articles in the "Hominy News Progress".
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