American Leaders

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Wins at Antietam and Fredericksburg.

Outmanoeuvres Hooker at Chancellorsville.

Successes at Gettysburg and at the second battle of Bull Run.

Grant changes the fortune of war for the North.

Confederate dearth of necessaries and "dear money".

Lee's retreat and capitulation at Appomattox.

His personal characteristics.

Skill shown in his military career.

His manoeuvring tactics and masterful strategy.

High name among the great captains of history.

Gains of his leadership, in spite of "a lost cause".

Latter days, and presidency of Washington College, Lexington, Va.



Sherman's March to the Sea _After the painting by F.O.C. Darley_.

James Monroe _After the painting by Gilbert Stuart, City Hall, New York_.

Andrew Jackson _After a photograph from life_.

Henry Clay _From a daguerreotype_.

Martin Van Buren _From a daguerreotype_.

Daniel Webster _After a drawing from a daguerreotype_.

John C. Calhoun _From a daguerreotype_.

James K. Polk _From a daguerreotype_.

Abraham Lincoln _After an unretouched negative from life, found in 1870_.

General George B. McClellan _After a photograph from life in the possession of the War Department, Washington, D.C._

Ulysses S. Grant _After the painting by Chappel_.

Assassination of President Lincoln _After the drawing by Fr. Roeber_.

Robert E. Lee _From a photograph_.





It is very seldom that a man arises from an obscure and humble position to an exalted pre-eminence, without peculiar fitness for the work on which his fame rests, and which probably no one else could have done so well. He may not be learned, or cultured; he may be even unlettered and rough; he may be stained by vulgar defects and vices which are fatal to all dignity of character; but there must be something about him which calls out the respect and admiration of those with whom he is surrounded, so as to give him a start, and open a way for success in the business or enterprise where his genius lies.

Such a man was Andrew Jackson. Whether as a youth, or as a man pursuing his career of village lawyer in the backwoods of a frontier settlement, he was about the last person of whom one would predict that he should arise to a great position and unbounded national popularity. His birth was plebeian and obscure. His father, of Scotch-Irish descent, lived in a miserable hamlet in North Carolina, near the South Carolina line, without owning a single acre of land,--one of the poorest of the poor whites. The boy Andrew, born shortly after his father's death in 1767, was reared in poverty and almost without education, learning at school only to "read, write, and cipher;" nor did he have any marked desire for knowledge, and never could spell correctly. At the age of thirteen he was driven from his native village by its devastation at the hands of the English soldiers, during the Revolutionary War. His mother, a worthy and most self-reliant woman, was an ardent patriot, and all her boys--Hugh, Robert, and Andrew--enlisted in the local home-guard. The elder two died, Hugh of exposure and Robert of prison small-pox, while Andrew, who had also been captured and sick of the disease, survived this early training in the scenes of war for further usefulness. The mother made her way on foot to Charleston, S.C., to nurse the sick patriots in the prison-ships, and there died of the prison fever, in 1781. The physical endurance and force of character of this mother constituted evidently the chief legacy that Andrew inherited, and it served him well through a long and arduous life.

At fifteen the boy was "a homeless orphan, a sick and sorrowful orphan," working for a saddler in Charleston a few hours of the day, as his health would permit. With returning strength he got possession of a horse; but his army associates had led him into evil ways, and he became indebted to his landlord for board. This he managed to pay only by staking his horse in a game of dice against $200, which he fortunately won; and this squared him with the world and enabled him to start afresh, on a better way.

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