“Military Successes and Presidential Aspirants”

new york herald

September 27, 1864

Collection: The Civil War
Publication: The New York Herald
Date: September 27, 1864
Title: MilitarySuccesses and PresidentialAspirants – The Real Heroes
MilitarySuccesses and PresidentialAspirants – The Real Heroes
of Our War.
It would be extremely amusing were it not so pitiable to
watch the efforts being made by the various partisans of Mr.
Lincoln and General McClellan to appropriate, each for the
benefit of his particular candidate, the glory of the recent
series of magnificent victories achieved by the genius of
Grant, Sheridan and Sherman on land, and the noble old Viking
Farragut in the waters of Mobile Bay. “Another campaign
document in favor of Mr. Lincoln,”scream the partisan papers
in Mr. Lincolninterest whenever the telegraph brings us
tidings of some new success achieved by Grant, Sheridan or
Sherman. “The credit donbelong to you at all,”shout in
chorus the partisan McClellan papers. “The glory of every
victory must be credited to Little Mac, and we can prove his
title to the glory by firing bigger guns and more guns of the
triumph than ever you dared to salute with.”The result is
that we are deafened with incessant cannonadings in the lower
part of the city, and that all nervous old ladies now taken
the precautions of stuffing their ears with cotton before
venturing in the vicinity of our City Hall Park.
All this is the sheerest nonsense and something worse. It
is an attempt of the Presidential partisans on either side to
array their candidates in borrowed plumes – plumes rudely
plucked form the wings of the four great war eagles of our
country and age – Grant, Sherman, Sheridan and Farragut. To
Grant, as the directing mind of all our army combinations,
must be given the supreme credit for every militarysuccess
achieved by Sherman and Sheridan, while to these two latter
will be accorded the honor, only second to that of General
Grant – the honor of having faithfully, zealously and
magnificently carried out in executive details the great plans
confined to their genius, experience and valor by the wise
selection of the Lieutenant General. As to Admiral Farragut,
no leaf from the thick laurel wreaths that adorn his brow can
be claimed in any other quarter. He is sole judge and master
of his own movements, and may be said to have succeeded rather
in despite of the notorious blunders and inefficiency of the
Navy Department than through any assistance derived from Mr.
Rip Van Winkle Welles.
The true issues of our Presidential campaign can never be
overloaded in the popular mind by the smoke of salutes fired
in honor of victories with which neither Mr. Lincoln nor
General McClellan can have any further connection than belongs
to the humblest citizens; and any attempt to secure
popularity for either candidate on such grounds should be at
once denounced as an attempt either to retain or to obtain
power and popularity on and fraudulent pretences.”
This Presidential contest, now narrowed down to two candidates
by the withdrawal of General J. C. Fremont, will be decided in
public judgment by a comparison of the relative fitness of
General McClellan and Mr. Lincoln for the responsible duties
of the chief executive of the nation. It will not be
forgotten that our present militarysuccesses are solely due
to Mr. Lincoln being compelled by the strong will of General
Grant to cease all intermeddling with our armies; and General
McClellan, we should imagine, has been himself too long a
soldier to countenance these silly attempts of his partisans
to decorate him with honors not his own. The two candidates
are up before the American people for judgment on their
antecedents, abilities, characters and the diversity of policy
which they represent; and on these issues alone will the
final vote be recorded. Any attempts, therefore, to bolster
up either by firing salutes for victories in the field are
both unwise and dishonest.
The men who to-day stand out before the country, and who
will eventually stand out on the page of history, as the great
men of our war for national preservation, were not so much as
mentioned in either of the partisan conventions by which Mr.
Lincoln and General McClellan were put in nomination. The
time for doing justice to Grant, Sheridan, Sherman and
Farragut will not have arrived until after the completion of
their work. The best the people can now do is to select that
candidate who will least embarrass the concluding operations
of these leviathans of our civil conflict; and in years to
come, when peace and unity shall have been restored through
their exertions and successes, our country will know how to
repay its real heroes with a magnificence and even prodigality
of gratitude.

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