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(Slate)   "Let him fight instead of being shot." A Lincoln   (slate.com) divider line 68
    More: Cool, Spanish-American War, court martial, Gettysburg Address, Annie Oakley, Abraham Lincoln, death sentences  
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12324 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Aug 2012 at 1:53 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-03 03:19:53 AM  
In 1863, the archivists told us, the Army's Judge Advocate General sentenced Michael Delaney to death for deserting his Colorado regiment in 1862. Delaney's case file was passed up to President Abraham Lincoln, who reviewed death sentences from court martials. In the file sent to Lincoln, the judge noted that Delaney had been captured while fighting for a different Colorado regiment: In other words, he had deserted, but then re-enlisted. Seeing this, Lincoln overturned the death sentence. He wrote on Delaney's file:

"Let him fight instead of being shot. A Lincoln"


So it's like a draft?
 
2012-08-03 08:51:51 AM  
FTFA:
In the file sent to Lincoln, the judge noted that Delaney had been captured while fighting for a different Colorado regiment: In other words, he had deserted, but then re-enlisted.

This was relatively common back then, when regiments were raised by individual officers (usually a colonel, often commissioned by the state, not the federal government) by inducing people to enlist with cash bonuses. A man would enlist in a regiment, collect his bonus, and then if another regiment was being raised reasonably close, he'd desert his old regiment and sign up for the new one for the extra cash.

Usually, they wouldn't get caught, and in the era of handwritten records, a person could often get away with that sort of thing and still collect a pension after their service. This guy got caught because of unusual circumstances, but I think Lincoln recognized that this guy was just motivated to desert by greed, not cowardice, and that given the circumstances, it was in the interest of all concerned to just give him a pass.
 
2012-08-03 10:39:39 AM  
Anyone know whether the guy survived the war? I've been looking online, but no luck.
 
2012-08-03 10:45:47 AM  

scottydoesntknow: Anyone know whether the guy survived the war? I've been looking online, but no luck.


Dude would be like in his 160's. I doubt he's online.
 
2012-08-03 10:46:50 AM  

dittybopper: scottydoesntknow: Anyone know whether the guy survived the war? I've been looking online, but no luck.

Dude would be like in his 160's. I doubt he's online.


160? He's probably using AOL.
 
2012-08-03 10:56:11 AM  

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: dittybopper: scottydoesntknow: Anyone know whether the guy survived the war? I've been looking online, but no luck.

Dude would be like in his 160's. I doubt he's online.

160? He's probably using AOL.


CSAOL?
 
2012-08-03 12:09:16 PM  
Yeah, but did he earn his Red Badge of Courage?
 
2012-08-03 12:35:48 PM  
I counted eight words. He used the old-timey "in stead" for in lieue of which is where instead comes from. So in summary, Abe used in stead in stead of instead.
 
2012-08-03 01:55:22 PM  
Shooting deserters is pretty farked up. They are deserting because they don't want to die. If you're giving them no choice, you could be forcing them into a corner and they could act out, much like in the case of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.

Let deserters go. They were worthless to you no matter what.
 
2012-08-03 01:58:09 PM  

dittybopper: scottydoesntknow: Anyone know whether the guy survived the war? I've been looking online, but no luck.

Dude would be like in his 160's. I doubt he's online.


You owe me a new penis.

/spilled hot sauce in lap after laughing.
//no actual damage to penis.
///pants are probably boned though.
 
2012-08-03 01:59:09 PM  
Did you say Abe Lincoln?

i.ytimg.com
 
2012-08-03 01:59:35 PM  

brap: I counted eight words. He used the old-timey "in stead" for in lieue of which is where instead comes from. So in summary, Abe used in stead in stead of instead.


He could have used "in the stead of", but he was being brief.
 
2012-08-03 02:00:52 PM  

dittybopper: This guy got caught because of unusual circumstances, but I think Lincoln recognized that this guy was just motivated to desert by greed, not cowardice, and that given the circumstances, it was in the interest of all concerned to just give him a pass.


It's the Republican Way!
 
2012-08-03 02:01:30 PM  
Some day, history will know him as The Lincoln.
 
2012-08-03 02:01:41 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Shooting deserters is pretty farked up. They are deserting because they don't want to die. If you're giving them no choice, you could be forcing them into a corner and they could act out, much like in the case of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.

Let deserters go. They were worthless to you no matter what.


Yeah, and then if there's a draft people can just opt out. Sort of like a volunteer kind of thing.
 
2012-08-03 02:02:23 PM  

enik: AverageAmericanGuy: Shooting deserters is pretty farked up. They are deserting because they don't want to die. If you're giving them no choice, you could be forcing them into a corner and they could act out, much like in the case of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.

Let deserters go. They were worthless to you no matter what.

Yeah, and then if there's a draft people can just opt out. Sort of like a volunteer kind of thing.


If you need a draft, you're probably fighting a war that isn't worth fighting.
 
2012-08-03 02:03:48 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Shooting deserters is pretty farked up. They are deserting because they don't want to die. If you're giving them no choice, you could be forcing them into a corner and they could act out, much like in the case of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.

Let deserters go. They were worthless to you no matter what.


You shoot deserters because you want to make it clear to the other soldiers that advancing toward the enemy MAY get you shot, but running the other way CERTAINLY will. The reckless Heroic courage the Russian soldiers showed in defense of Stalingrad came less from patriotic zeal and more from squads of Zampolits (political officers) who would execute on the spot anyone who appeared to be retreating.
 
2012-08-03 02:04:09 PM  
upload.wikimedia.org

"Fahrvergnügen" A Lincoln
 
2012-08-03 02:04:32 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Shooting deserters is pretty farked up. They are deserting because they don't want to die. If you're giving them no choice, you could be forcing them into a corner and they could act out, much like in the case of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.

Let deserters go. They were worthless to you no matter what.



Useless? Not at all.
Most grunts are out there simply as bullet catchers. He'll be standing in front of the soldier who volunteered and didn't skip out on his word.
 
2012-08-03 02:04:54 PM  
DEAR MADAM:
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours very sincerely and respectfully,
 
2012-08-03 02:05:50 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: enik: AverageAmericanGuy: Shooting deserters is pretty farked up. They are deserting because they don't want to die. If you're giving them no choice, you could be forcing them into a corner and they could act out, much like in the case of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.

Let deserters go. They were worthless to you no matter what.

Yeah, and then if there's a draft people can just opt out. Sort of like a volunteer kind of thing.

If you need a draft, you're probably fighting a war that isn't worth fighting.


WWII: not worth fighting
 
2012-08-03 02:07:56 PM  

Mambo Bananapatch: AverageAmericanGuy: enik: AverageAmericanGuy: Shooting deserters is pretty farked up. They are deserting because they don't want to die. If you're giving them no choice, you could be forcing them into a corner and they could act out, much like in the case of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.

Let deserters go. They were worthless to you no matter what.

Yeah, and then if there's a draft people can just opt out. Sort of like a volunteer kind of thing.

If you need a draft, you're probably fighting a war that isn't worth fighting.

WWII: not worth fighting


Conversely, no draft was needed for Iraqistan. 9/11 was turned into the greatest recruiting drive ever.
 
2012-08-03 02:09:35 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: enik: AverageAmericanGuy: Shooting deserters is pretty farked up. They are deserting because they don't want to die. If you're giving them no choice, you could be forcing them into a corner and they could act out, much like in the case of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.

Let deserters go. They were worthless to you no matter what.

Yeah, and then if there's a draft people can just opt out. Sort of like a volunteer kind of thing.

If you need a draft, you're probably fighting a war that isn't worth fighting.


www.historyguy.com
disagrees
 
2012-08-03 02:10:54 PM  
img201.imageshack.us
RIP not sayin its aliens hair Lincoln
 
2012-08-03 02:15:02 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: enik: AverageAmericanGuy: Shooting deserters is pretty farked up. They are deserting because they don't want to die. If you're giving them no choice, you could be forcing them into a corner and they could act out, much like in the case of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.

Let deserters go. They were worthless to you no matter what.

Yeah, and then if there's a draft people can just opt out. Sort of like a volunteer kind of thing.

If you need a draft, you're probably fighting a war that isn't worth fighting.


At least wait until the final draft. Rough drafts are rarely usable.
 
2012-08-03 02:15:13 PM  
Somebody put up a brass plaque, the worthless liebutturds at Slate said something nice about a Republican in an election year. I guess that's their version of fair and unbiased reporting.
 
2012-08-03 02:16:22 PM  
Abe Lincoln would have been the greatest Internet troll in history if he'd been born in the late 20th century. Check this action from the Second Inaugural Address:

Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged.

Burn.
 
2012-08-03 02:16:58 PM  
Is this before or after he killed vampires?
 
2012-08-03 02:18:23 PM  

OscarTamerz: Somebody put up a brass plaque, the worthless liebutturds at Slate said something nice about a Republican in an election year. I guess that's their version of fair and unbiased reporting.


Fair and unbiased reporting? I'm pretty sure that's not their motto, unlike some other place I've heard of.
 
2012-08-03 02:18:25 PM  
heartinghistory.files.wordpress.com
 
2012-08-03 02:18:59 PM  

OscarTamerz: Somebody put up a brass plaque, the worthless liebutturds at Slate said something nice about a Republican in an election year. I guess that's their version of fair and unbiased reporting.


That's some concise and pointed trolling right there. +1.
 
2012-08-03 02:21:50 PM  

UseUrHeadFred: DEAR MADAM:
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours very sincerely and respectfully,


I always get kinda teary eyed when I read that....
 
2012-08-03 02:22:10 PM  

OscarTamerz: Somebody put up a brass plaque, the worthless liebutturds at Slate said something nice about a Republican in an election year. I guess that's their version of fair and unbiased reporting.


I suspect Honest Abe would shrink back in horror if he saw the Republican party of today. So they weren't really saying something nice about a Republican, at least in the way you're suggesting.

Still, not bad. 2/10. You lost a point for using the idiotic term "liebutturds".
 
2012-08-03 02:24:47 PM  

p4p3rm4t3: [img201.imageshack.us image 436x640]
RIP not sayin its aliens hair Lincoln


That's why he wore a stovepipe hat. Think how tall his hair was by the time he became president.
 
2012-08-03 02:30:35 PM  

cwheelie: UseUrHeadFred: DEAR MADAM:
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours very sincerely and respectfully,

I always get kinda teary eyed when I read that....


Likewise. I can't imagine coming up with a note that approaches adequacy for such a terrible occurrence, but he actually manages it. The Civil War (or perhaps simply that era?) seems to have produced some really exceptional users of English. I also love the letter from Sullivan to Sarah Ballou. I think I understand a little better those that "hold their manhoods cheap" when I read that.
 
2012-08-03 02:35:59 PM  
Also "Died gloriously on the battlefield" is language I would punch somebody for. War is terrible. If you don't stand against the invaders, they come and kill you; if you do stand against the invaders, you murder a bunch of innocent men that have families and are driven by a few hate-mongering psychos in their ranks... or BEHIND their ranks (generals love war), before they kill you anyway. In the end, people die on both sides.

War seems to do something to good men, it turns them into murderers and rapists. It doesn't even give you a choice: if nobody will go to fight, then when the armies come you will all die.

Where the hell is the glory in all this? You have five sons who died TERRIBLY on the battlefield, after murdering dozens of other peoples' sons, husbands, and fathers who had themselves murdered dozens of other peoples' sons, husbands, and fathers! This whole thing is awful!
 
2012-08-03 02:36:01 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Shooting deserters is pretty farked up. They are deserting because they don't want to die. If you're giving them no choice, you could be forcing them into a corner and they could act out, much like in the case of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.

Let deserters go. They were worthless to you no matter what.



Depends on how one defines "worthless".

t2.gstatic.com
 
2012-08-03 02:38:11 PM  
I imagine that having to hand-write everything put a premium on brevity and succintness, even in the world of politics. In contrast to today, where skimming over even a slight detail results in the opposition nitpicking to score political points.
 
2012-08-03 02:40:33 PM  

UseUrHeadFred: I imagine that having to hand-write everything put a premium on brevity and succintness, even in the world of politics. In contrast to today, where skimming over even a slight detail results in the opposition nitpicking to score political points.


New law: All political correspondence must be hand-written by the issuer personally. No word processors, no staff writers... just a quill, ink, and paper. So let it be written (by hand), so let it be done.
 
2012-08-03 02:46:57 PM  
I was todl this story as a child.
 
2012-08-03 02:50:26 PM  

cwheelie: UseUrHeadFred: DEAR MADAM:
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours very sincerely and respectfully,

I always get kinda teary eyed when I read that....


Too bad only 2 of the brothers actually died and the other three did eventually get back to MA. Bonus: One of those three actually deserted!
 
2012-08-03 02:55:37 PM  
Found the video clip I was looking for.

Link
 
2012-08-03 03:00:36 PM  
Behold. Judgment over law. Beautiful.
 
2012-08-03 03:03:23 PM  

Magorn: AverageAmericanGuy: Shooting deserters is pretty farked up. They are deserting because they don't want to die. If you're giving them no choice, you could be forcing them into a corner and they could act out, much like in the case of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.

Let deserters go. They were worthless to you no matter what.

You shoot deserters because you want to make it clear to the other soldiers that advancing toward the enemy MAY get you shot, but running the other way CERTAINLY will. The reckless Heroic courage the Russian soldiers showed in defense of Stalingrad came less from patriotic zeal and more from squads of Zampolits (political officers) who would execute on the spot anyone who appeared to be retreating.


Likes where this is going:

fc04.deviantart.net

"Choose your next words with exceptional care."
 
2012-08-03 03:03:33 PM  
Abe Lincoln? Pfft...RINO.
 
2012-08-03 03:07:06 PM  

bluefoxicy: Also "Died gloriously on the battlefield" is language I would punch somebody for. War is terrible. If you don't stand against the invaders, they come and kill you; if you do stand against the invaders, you murder a bunch of innocent men that have families and are driven by a few hate-mongering psychos in their ranks... or BEHIND their ranks (generals love war), before they kill you anyway. In the end, people die on both sides.

War seems to do something to good men, it turns them into murderers and rapists. It doesn't even give you a choice: if nobody will go to fight, then when the armies come you will all die.

Where the hell is the glory in all this? You have five sons who died TERRIBLY on the battlefield, after murdering dozens of other peoples' sons, husbands, and fathers who had themselves murdered dozens of other peoples' sons, husbands, and fathers! This whole thing is awful!


You sound female.

Violence is almost never the answer, of course, but sometimes, rarely, it's the *ONLY* answer.
 
2012-08-03 03:08:17 PM  

bluefoxicy: Also "Died gloriously on the battlefield" is language I would punch somebody for. War is terrible. If you don't stand against the invaders, they come and kill you; if you do stand against the invaders, you murder a bunch of innocent men that have families and are driven by a few hate-mongering psychos in their ranks... or BEHIND their ranks (generals love war), before they kill you anyway. In the end, people die on both sides.

War seems to do something to good men, it turns them into murderers and rapists. It doesn't even give you a choice: if nobody will go to fight, then when the armies come you will all die.

Where the hell is the glory in all this? You have five sons who died TERRIBLY on the battlefield, after murdering dozens of other peoples' sons, husbands, and fathers who had themselves murdered dozens of other peoples' sons, husbands, and fathers! This whole thing is awful!


You really aren't thinking the whole thing through, but I'm not going to correct you. I'll let you figure out the things you didn't consider. Not for me to stand in the way of your personal growth.

/yes war is horrible, but not everything you said always applies
 
2012-08-03 03:13:47 PM  
I wish they would shoot deserters now.
I had a lot of fun gathering up deserters.
a few weeks or a decade

america has a volunteer military
don't sign yer name if you don't have the fortitude.
 
2012-08-03 03:17:52 PM  
It's amazing discussion of the Civil War and the Iraq War somehow got into the same thread together. Opposite sides of the necessity scale, don't you think?
 
2012-08-03 03:18:39 PM  

Lunchlady: Too bad only 2 of the brothers actually died and the other three did eventually get back to MA. Bonus: One of those three actually deserted!


And yet somehow the letter is still amazing despite those extremely well-known things.
 
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