This Week in the Civil War - 502

Feb 8, 2013

On February 7, 1863, a commentator for the London Illustrated News wrote a bitterly critical assessment of the Union’s conduct of the American Civil War.  The commentator was especially unsparing in his criticism of President Lincoln. 

He observed that while the President was seemingly a “well-meaning man,” he had unfairly placed the burden of victory squarely on Union soldiers, as though sheer bravery could compensate for the incompetence of their officers and commander-in-chief. 

He noted that Union soldiers over the past year had gone over to “slaughter with a courage that makes it shocking to see how badly they are handled by their leaders.”  Had they been led by British officers, the commentator speculated, they “would have had another story to tell than one of incessant disaster and defeat.”