AMONG those to whom the President had shown his North Carolina Proclamation before its issuance was Carl Schurz, one of the leading political generals of the Civil War, who urged him vehemently not to take "any steps that could not be retracted." When he found the Chief Executive determined upon the Holden appointment, the General sought to persuade him to eliminate "that one passage limiting the rights of suffrage."1
This importunate presidential adviser, Carl Schurz, was of German birth. In his youth, he had taken part in the revolutionary activities of 1848 and, following their suppression, had escaped to the safe asylum of the United States. An alert, intense, energetic man, keenly interested in public affairs, Schurz attached himself to the Anti-slavery cause, and soon was on the road to Radicalism.
Upon the outbreak of the war, Schurz was quickly catapulted into the rank of major general; probably the political advisability of thus advancing a German-American was no impediment. Schurz's military career was not impressive and several of the commanders under whom be served became prejudiced against him. In November, 1862, following McClellan's various disasters and the Administration's setback at the polls, the General undertook to instruct the President how to win the war. The defeat, he wrote Lincoln, had been "the Administration's own fault." It had occurred because Lincoln bad admitted his opponents to his counsels and had put the army into enemy hands. The Administration "forgot the great rule that if you are true to your friends, your friends will be true to you. . . . Let us be commanded by generals whose heart is in the war. . . ."2
Lincoln's answer was a stinging rebuke to the General. "Be assured, my dear sir," he wrote, "there are men who have 'heart in it' and think you are performing your part as poorly as you think I am performing mine." The President continued: "I must say I need success more than I need sympathy, and that I have not seen a so much greater evidence of getting success from my sympathizers than from those who are denounced