Best Lincoln Stories Tersely Told
by J. E. Gallaher
Pub. in 1898




A slight variation of the traditional sentry story is related by C. C. Buel, in the current Century. It was a cold, blusterous winter night. Says Mr. Buel:

"Mr. Lincoln emerged from the front door, his lank figure bent over as he drew tightly about his shoulders the shawl which he employed for such protection; for he was on his way to the War Department, at the west corner of the grounds, where in times of battle he was wont to get the midnight dispatches from the field. As the blast struck him he thought of the numbness of the pacing sentry, and turning to him said: ‘Young man, you’ve got a cold job to night; step inside, and stand guard there.’

"‘My orders keep me out here,’ the soldier replied.

"‘Yes,’ said the President, in his argumentative tone; ‘but your duty can be performed just as well inside as out here, and you’ll oblige me by going in.’

"‘I have been stationed outside,’ the soldier answered, and resumed his beat.

"‘Hold on there!’ said Mr. Lincoln, as he turned back again; ‘it occurs to me that I am commander-in-chief of the army, and I order you to go inside.’"


Page 81-82



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