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[199] purpose, massive in intellect, sleepless in energy,— Stanton loomed grandly among the most important characters of his time. He was harsh and blunt in speech, abrupt and careless in manner, severe and sometimes cruel in his judgments, vindictive and relentless in his punishments. Yet his friendships were warm, his friends devoted, and in his family he was tenderly loved. For little children he had an especial charm: they were always fond of him. His genius was broad as well as vigorous, his administrative faculty prodigious, his penetration keen; but his great characteristic was the resistless energy which trampled down obstacles, overcame all opposition, endured no delays, and either infused others with his own ardor or subjected them to his will. It is perhaps easy to be energetic when one is omnipotent; and in time of war, at the head of a war department, with a nation at his back,—a minister—if ever, in a republic, is omnipotent. Still, a weak man would have failed even under these circumstances. He would have found the machine too ponderous, the task too gigantic, the weapons unwieldy. But, whatever his faulted, Stanton was not weak. He fired the engine and worked it too. He was at once stoker and engineer. He organized and administered his department with consummate skill as well as power. He accomplished what the nation and the general-in-chief required. He created and maintained the army.

As long as Grant was in supreme command, Stanton was his loyal and efficient ally, and supported him with all the vigor of his intense nature. He sent him every man that he could raise, and

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Edwin M. Stanton (3)
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