State, whose ten years in the Senate had acquainted him with our relations to foreign, powers, may have been lulled into the innocent belief that the Executive
would have no fixed or definite views on international questions.
So also of the other Cabinet officers
; but alas for their fancied security!
It was the old story of the sleeping lion.
Old politicians, eying him with some distrust and want of confidence, prepared themselves to control his administration, not only as a matter of right, but believing that he would be compelled to rely upon them for support.
A brief experience taught them he was not the man they bargained for.
Next in importance to the attack on Fort Sumter
, from a military standpoint, was the battle of Bull Run
How the President
viewed it is best illustrated by an incident furnished by an old friend1
who was an associate of his in the Legislature of Illinois
, and who was in Washington
when the engagement took place.
“The night after the battle,” he relates, “accompanied by two Wisconsin
Congressmen, I called at the White House
to get the news from Manassas
, as it was then called, having failed in obtaining any information at Seward
's office and elsewhere.
Stragglers were coming with all sorts of wild rumors, but nothing more definite than that there had been a great engagement; and ”