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I have not communicated my plans to him or to the Secretary of War.
The only suggestion the President made — and it was merely a suggestion, not a definite plan — was entirely impracticable, and it was not again referred to in our conversations.
He told me in our first private interview a most amusing anecdote regarding a delegation of cross-roads wiseacres, as he called them, who came to see him one day to criticize my conduct in paroling Pemberton's army after the surrender at Vicksburg, who insisted that the men would violate their paroles, and in less than a month confront me anew in the field, and have to be whipped all over again.
Said Mr. Lincoln: I thought the best way to get rid of them was to tell them the story of Sykes's dog. Have you ever heard about Sykes's yellow dog?
said I to the spokesman of the delegation.
He said he hadn't. Well, I must tell you about him, said I.
Sykes had a yellow dog he set great store by, but there were a lot of small boys around