1861: “I Could Become Dictator…”

Gazette665 Blog Series 1861: In Their Words

July 27 / 61 Washington D.C. Saturday

I have been assigned to the command of a Division – composed of Depts of N.E. Va (that under McDowell) & that of Washington (now under Mansfield) – neight of them like it much – especially Mansfield, but I think they must ere long become accustomed to it, as there is no help for it…

I find myself in a new & strange position here – Presdt, Cabinet, Genl Scott & all deferring to me – by some strange operation of magic I seem to have come the power of the land. I almost think that were I to win some small success now I could become Dictator or anything else that might please me – therefore I won’t be Dictator. Admirable self-denial! I see already the main causes of our recent failure – I am sure that I can remedy these & am confident that I can lead these armies of men to victory once more. I start tomorrow very early on a tour through the lines on the other side of the river – it will occupy me all day long ( a rather fatiguing ride it will be – but I will be able to make up my mind as to the state of things. Refused invitations to dine today from Genl Scott & four Secy’s – had too many things to attend to… Continue reading