Courage & Security in War

Security at Mr. Lincoln’s White House

“I see hundreds of strangers every day, and if anybody has the disposition to kill me he will find the opportunity,” said President Abraham Lincoln to aide John Nicolay. “To be absolutely safe I should lock myself up in a box.” Lincoln added: “I cannot discharge my duties and withdraw myself entirely from danger of an assault.”1 The president was fatalistic about his life. Of the military escort that accompanied him to and from the Soldiers Home, Lincoln told a friend that it had been “forced upon him by the military men, that he could see no certain protection against assassination if it was determined to take away his life.” He contended: “It seemed to him like putting up the gap in only one place when the fence was down all along.”2 Indeed, after he visited Richmond in April 1864 just shortly before he was assassinated, Lincoln acknowledged: “I walked alone on the street, anyone could have shot me from a second-story window.”3

Journalist Noah Brooks recalled that one “night, as we walked back to the White House through the grounds between the War Department buildings and the house, I fancied that I saw in the misty moonlight a man dodging behind one of the trees. My heart for a moment stood still, but, as we passed in safety, I came to the conclusion that the dodging figure was a creature of the imagination. Nevertheless, as I parted from the President at the door of the White House, I could not help saying that I thought his going to and fro in the darkness of the night, as it was usually his custom, often alone and unattended, was dangerous recklessness. That night, in deference to his wife’s anxious appeal, he had provided himself with a thick oaken stick. He laughed as he showed me this slight weapon, and said, but with some seriousness: ‘I long ago made up my mind that if anybody wants to kill me, he will do it. If I wore a shirt of mail, and kept myself surrounded by a body-guard, it would be all the same. There are a thousand ways of getting at a man if it is desired that he should be killed. Besides, in this case, it seems to me the man who would come after me would be just as objectionable to my enemies — if I have any.'”4 President Lincoln told artist Francis B. Carpenter: “I do not see what the rebels would gain by killing or getting possession of me. I am but a single individual, and it would not help their cause or make the least difference in the progress of the war. Everything would go right on just the same.”5

Nevertheless, son Robert was upset when he learned in January 1865 that his father sometimes went alone to the telegraph office in the middle of the night. “Accordingly, it is my memory that on a number of occasions he came to my room after I had fallen asleep, and said that he wanted to go over, whereupon I dressed myself hastily and accompanied him.”6 Lincoln’s aides and friends also worried. “The President was frequently alone in his room evening after evening – the whole East Wing unoccupied except by himself and a sleepy messenger in the ante-room, and ingress and egress entirely unobstructed,” wrote aide William O. Stoddard. “We never discussed the subject much, for some reason, but I believe that both Mr. [John] Nicolay and Col. [John] Hay, as well as myself, thought more about it than we ever confessed. At least we spent many an evening in our offices, with a sharp eye and ear open for the footstep in the hall, when we would have been puzzled to give a good reason for our presence, other than that in some vague and unaccountable way we were ‘on guard.’ In the latter part of the war a formal guard was kept, both at the White House and when the President was at the Soldiers’ Home.”7 Lincoln was concerned about the image of a heavy bodyguard might present. He once observed: “It would never do for a president to have guards with drawn sabers at his door, as if he fancied he were or were trying to be, or were assuming to be, an emperor.”8 Security in the Lincoln White House was almost non-existent at first but more important given the proximity of Confederate sympathizers to the nation’s capital. “I have perfect confidence in those who are around me — in every one of your men,” Lincoln told his bodyguard of a possible assassination attempt. “I know no one could do it and escape alive. But if it is to be done, it is impossible to prevent it.”9 On Friday night, April 14, 1865, the assigned Lincoln bodyguard, John Parker, deserted his post, thus making assassination impossible to prevent.

Lincoln’s courage was an important element in the Union’s eventual victory in the Civil War. Aide John Hay wrote in his diary in late April 1864: “The Prest tells a queer story of [General Montgomery] Meigs. When [General George B.] McClellan lay at Harrison’s land, Meigs came one night to the President & waked him up at Soldiers’ Home to urge upon him the immediate flight of the Army from that point – the men to get away on transports and the horses to be killed as the [army?] could not be saved. ‘Thus often,’ says the President, ‘I who am not a specially brave man have had to sustain the sinking courage of these professional fighters in critical times.'”

“When it was proposed to station [George Henry W.] Halleck here in general command, he insisted, to use his own language, on the appt of a General-in-Chief who should be held responsible for results. We appointed him & all went well enough until after [General John] Pope’s defeat, when he broke down – nerve and pluck all gone – and has ever since evaded all possible responsibility — little more since than a first rate clerk.10

“Lincoln and [Secretary of State William H.] Seward were aware that there were men who wanted to kill them, but both were careless about personal security,” wrote Seward biographer Walter Stahr. “Seward wrote to [John] Bigelow in 1862 that ‘assassination is not an American practice or habit, and one so vicious and so desperate cannot be engrafted into our political system.’”11 Lincoln had a larger security detail at the end of the Civil War than did Winston Churchill; Lincoln lived virtually on the edge of a war front. Given his proximity to Confederate lines, there was more opportunity for an attack on the president. In the fall of 1862, Company K, which was assigned to guard the Lincolns – including on the president’s trips to and from the Soldiers Home — became a surrogate family for young Tad Lincoln. Lincoln chronicler David Von Drehle wrote: “Lincoln sometimes joined Tad with his newfound pals for a game of checkers or a chat about army life. Now and then the president would walk over to a campfire for a cup of strong coffee; one day he watched with delight as two brothers in the company donned a blanket and pretended to be an elephant. At night, he would occasionally pace up and down at the edge of the camp, lost in thought until something caused a swell of rising voices or a burst laughter.”12

Both Lincoln and Churchill were peripatetic individuals who might move suddenly about the country or to a war front. Union General Egbert L. Viele recalled being asked to join a trip to the Virginia war front in May 1862: “For obvious reasons the departure of the President from Washington at such a moment and for such a purpose was kept a profound secret; and when, without any previous intimation, I was requested by the secretary of war, late in the afternoon of the 4th of May, 1862, to meet him within an hour at the Navy Yard, with the somewhat mysterious caution to speak to no one of my movements, I had no conception whatever of the purpose or intention of the meeting.” Together with Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton and Secretary of the Navy Salmon P. Chase, President Lincoln managed during this trip to plan and execute the capture of Norfolk from the Confederates.”13

Both Abraham Lincoln and Winston enjoyed getting away from security. Winston Churchill customarily traveled with just two detective-bodyguards, who alternated on duty. One day, Prime Minister Churchill managed to elude one of the Scotland Yard detectives who usually accompanied him. As Churchill drove up to Downing Street, he told an aide: “I bet Thompson is mad because I got away from him.” Private Secretary John Martin observed security at No. 10 Downing Street could be as deficient as it was at the Lincoln White House where visitors sometimes walked in off the street: “Working in the Private Secretaries’ room just inside the front door, I noticed an unfamiliar major in the lobby and asked who he was. It turned out that he had tested our security by walking unidentified past a saluting sentry, entered the house unchallenged, went upstairs and asked a housemaid to direct him to the Prime Minister’s bedroom. Only on return to the front door was his imposture discovered.”14

Churchill himself breached security. “One night the Prime Minister decided to go to the roof of the Annexe building to watch an air raid which was taking place,” recalled secretary Elizabeth Nels. “He did this sometimes, despite all persuasion to the contrary. The night was cold, but wrapped in his coat he found a comfortable seat on the roof and professed himself warm. His companions became anxious for his welfare, but there he remained. Suddenly the party was dispersed by the arrival of a somewhat bothered officer from the lower regions, who reported that downstairs the place was full of smoke, they could none of them work – and would the P.M. please mind not sitting any longer on the chimney, where he had unknowingly perched himself. No wonder he felt nice and warm.”15 Much as Churchill liked his bodyguards, he did not like them interfering with his routines. “Churchill had a strong dislike of ostentatious precautions for his safety,” wrote historian Gerald Pawle. “If he walked anywhere in London plain-clothes detectives were always closely but unobtrusively at hand. Travelling by road he was accompanied only by one police car, following behind.”16

The prime minister’s retreat at Chequers was defended by a squadron of 150 Guardsmen, but the primary danger was from German bombing. On moonlight nights, Churchill would instead stay at the less conspicuous Ditchley Park, the Oxfordshire home of Ronald Tree. MP Harold Nicolson wrote of the Churchills’ move to Ditchley Park, “It is quite a business. First come two detectives who scour the house; then thirty-five soldiers plus officers turn up to guard the great man through the night; then two stenographers with masses of papers; then Professor Lindemann, Brendan Bracken and the Private Security on Duty; and finally Winston and Clemmie.”17 Churchill bodyguard Walter H. Thompson noted that there were persistent worries for Churchill’s safety at Chequers. “Enemy bombers were now beginning to come over this spot in increasing numbers on their way from London to the midlands. I recall one occasion when a German bomber passed over, seemed to recognize the place or at least to want to con it once more, and turned and repassed it, then did the same thing from many different angles for a period of minutes.” Fortunately for Churchill’s safety, high altitude bombing was notoriously inaccurate. Churchill’s attitude was nonchalant: “Let me know when they start dropping the bombs.”18

Nazi bombing of London presented even more difficulties for protecting Churchill’s safety – since he was deliberately dismissive all attempts to keep him safe. “At the beginning of the Battle of Britain, on hearing the Alert the Prime Minister would carry on his work and even when the bell was rung he ignored every request to go into the air raid shelter,” wrote Thompson.19 Private Secretary Martin wrote the aftermath of a bomb that fell in near Downing Street. “The mess in the house was indescribable – windows smashed in all directions, everything covered with grime, doors off hinges and curtains and furniture tossed about in a confused mass. Fortunately the PM has been using the basement and was dining there at the time at the opposite side of the house, with steel shutters closed, so was none the worse.”20 Military aide Joan Bright recalled: “The undamaged basement of the bombed Carlton Hotel in the Haymarket became a haven for many leading Whitehall figures. General [Hastings] Ismay preferred it to his club ‘because,’ he said, ‘I don’t have to put on a cheerful face and look confident when my fellow-members ask me how the war’s going’. Each to his table could be sure of swift, quiet service and no need for dissimulation before returning to long nights of work.”21 Even dinner at Downing Street was not safe. Bodyguard Thompson required on dinner with cabinet officials when bombs landed nearby. “Mr. Churchill left his guests. He went out to the kitchen and ordered the staff there to go to the shelter. Shortly another hit occurred between the Treasury and Number Ten. This destroyed the kitchen only fifteen or twenty seconds after he had cleared it. It lifted the kitchen floor and flattened it against the kitchen wall.”22

Churchill told his family in June 1940: “You can each take a dead German with you” if Britain was invaded. “But, Papa,” replied daughter-in-law Pamela Churchill, “I don’t know how to shoot a gun, I haven’t got a gun.” Pamela recalled: “He looked at me very severely and said ‘you can go into the kitchen and get a carving knife.'”23 Historian Martin Gilbert wrote that in early August 1940, Churchill left Chequers briefly for a nearby rifle range, firing a rifle at 200, 300 and 400 yards, and also firing a revolver ‘with considerable accuracy’ as [aide John] Colville noted, ‘while smoking a cigar’. He also gave his view that the ‘best way of killing Huns’ was to use snub-nosed bullets.’”24 General Ismay wrote of the lifeboat drill on a transatlantic trip to the 1943 Washington conference: “The Prime Minister insisted on having a machine-gun mounted in the boat to which he was allotted. He was determined to resist capture if we were torpedoed, and it was a mercy that the occasion for such a strange duel was unlikely to arise.”25

During the war, Churchill was frequently seen testing rifles. He repeatedly made it clear that it was ready personally to confront any Nazi invaders. Churchill bodyguard Walter H. Thompson wrote that Churchill practiced with firearms at shooting ranges “in the basements of various buildings as well as one in his own house. Familiarity with weapons is more than half of their protective potential; having the feel of them in one’s hand and forearm, the sense of the weight of them and their position on one’s person helps make action almost reflexive if their use is required.” Thompson wrote: “I had to watch him all the time. He would draw his gun and pop it into sudden view and say roguishly and with delight: ‘You see, Thompson, they will never take me alive! I will get one or two before they can shoot me down.’ He hated to be criticized…and the time I had to fling my body against his or grab him and toss him behind a post or truck or pile of rubble, the protests that went up!” Thompson noted that Churchill “distinguished himself many times during the war when he tested weapons….Near the war’s end, while practicing with me at outdoor targets, with officers of the guard in competition and firing an old Colt .45, only one of Churchill’s bullets was on the firing of the bullseyes, the other nine being dead centers.”26

Churchill generally had a confidence in his own invulnerability. Thompson recalled that during Churchill’s Florida vacation in January 1941, a shark was spotted and tentatively identified as a sand shark which would do no harm. “I am not so sure about that,” responded Churchill. “I want to see his identity card before I trust myself to him.” He asked Thompson to keep a lookout as he sat in the water. When the shark did not reappear, “My bulk must have frightened him away.”27 Travelling aboard ship and plane to foreign destinations was particularly dangerous. Aboard a British battleship on the way home from the Placentia Bay Conference with President Franklin Roosevelt, bodyguard Thompson “rehearsed Mr. Churchill in his first and second duties: the physical mechanics of escape; and his movements from one position to another in the event we were attacked. He added his own plan: if it appeared he would fall into enemy hands he would shoot it out, keeping his last bullet for himself.”28

In May 1940 as France collapsed, there was discussion in the British war cabinet of a possible cease fire and negotiations with Germany. Churchill was adamant: “If at last this long story is to end, it were better it should end, not through surrender, but only when we are rolling senseless on the ground.”29 In his World War memoirs, Churchill recalled meeting with junior cabinet officers on May 28, 1940: “There is no doubt that had I at this juncture faltered at all in the leading of the nation I should have been hurled out of office. I was sure that every Minister was ready to be killed quite soon, and have all his family and possessions destroyed, rather than give in. In this they represented the House of Commons and almost all the people. It fell to me in these coming days and months to express their sentiments on suitable occasions. This I was able to do because they were mine also. There was a white glow, over-powering, sublime, which ran through our Island from end to end.”30

Several weeks later on July 5, “Churchill went to the Central War Room, together with Beaverbrook, to see [Field Marshal Edmund] Ironside’s ‘work map’. Both men were ‘pleased’, Ironside noted in his diary, and he added: ‘One cannot help Winston enough, although he seems to have enough courage for everybody,” wrote biographer Martin Gilbert.31` General Hastings Ismay wrote of visiting the London Docks area with Churchill in September 1940 after a particularly heavy German bombing: “Our first stop was at an air-raid shelter in which about forty persons had been killed and many more wounded by a direct hit, and we found a big crowd, male and female, young and old, but all very poor. One might have expected them to be resentful against the authorities responsible for their protection; but, as Churchill got out of his car, they literally mobbed him. ‘Good old Winnie,’ they cried. ‘We thought you’d come and see us. We can take it. Give it ‘em back.’ Churchill broke down, and as I was struggling to get to him through the crowd, I heard an old woman say, ‘You see, he really cares; he’s crying.’ Having pulled himself together, he proceeded to march through docklands as breakneck speed. I could never understand how he managed it. He was no longer a young man, and normally he never took any exercise at all.”32 Historian Richard Holmes wrote that “Ismay was the most alike to Winston in spirit, and the bond between them was sealed in a conversation on 12 June 1940 after their penultimate conference with the demoralized French leaders. When Winston commented, ‘It seems we fight alone’, Ismay replied that he was glad of it and that ‘We’ll win the battle of Britain.’ Winston gave him a sharp look of one who knows a resonant phrase when he hears it, then said, ‘You and I will be dead in three months’ time’, to which Ismay replied, ‘Quite possibly, but we’ll have a hell of a good time those last seven days.’”33

Private Secretary Martin noted that in November 1940, Churchill set off Ditcley Park when word came that a raid was expected on London that night. Churchill “immediately called to the driver to return to Downing Street. He was not going to sleep quietly in the country while London was under what was expected to be a heavy attack.” Instead, that night Coventry was targeted.34 General Ismay wrote: “He never took wholly unjustifiable risks; but if he thought, or could persuade himself to think, that any benefit would result from his doing so, his sense of duty was powerfully reinforced by his natural inclination. He had all the instincts of the warrior. He had far too much imagination to be fearless, but he was pre-eminently brave. He would have liked to be in the forefront of the battle, instead of having to stay behind and make the decisions which sent others to their death.”35

“One night the Prime Minister decided to go to the roof of the Annexe building to watch an air raid which was taking place,” remembered Churchill secretary Elizabeth Layton. “He did this sometimes, despite all persuasion to the contrary. The night was cold, but wrapped in his coat he found a comfortable seat on the roof and professed himself warm. His companions became anxious for his welfare, but there he remained. Suddenly the party was dispersed by the arrival of a somewhat bothered officer from the lower regions, who reported that downstairs the place was full of smoke, they could none of them work – and would the P.M. please mind not sitting any longer on the chimney, where he had unknowingly perched himself. No wonder he felt nice and warm.”36 Bodyguard Thompson noted that Churchill “often rushed to [the roof] on hearing the sirens. Sometimes he’d run about first, hunting for his fieldglasses. Then he would stand and watch the effects of the bombing and gunfire. He’d count the fires. And he’d time explosions by their flashes, then count the interval to judge their distance – five seconds per mile. No persuasion of any kind would stop him….He had given instructions to be notified immediately when an air raid was pending. With his thick siren suit, Air Force overcoat and cap, his gas mask and with his steel helmet on his head, he’d go to the roof and there stand out in the open, smoking a cigar and watching. This was the ancient Marlborough burning within.”37

Churchill’s bodyguard wrote: “Driving from Dover to Ramsgate, we saw a fighter plane shot down and Churchill immediately asked our driver to take us as close to the point where it would crash as we could get. We arrived at the spot. Churchill jumped out and proceeded on foot with me at his side. This was an unnecessary risk, as the Germans did a great deal of strafing and always shot off whatever they still had aboard before scooting for home again. Firemen had arrived just before us. Flames were shooting up. We had not been able to determine whether it was a German fighter or one of our own.” For bodyguards, the stress was unending. Thompson wrote that “through my long years of service to Winston Churchill to the very end, it does not seem I ever for one night had enough sleep.”38

Prime Minister Churchill was naturally drawn to the war front. During the Battle of Britain, that front was a domestic one. General “Pug” Ismay later wrote: “The Operations Room of No 11 Group, Fighter Command, was Churchill’s favourite port of call at his period. It was the nerve centre from which he could follow the course of the whole air battle.”39 Churchill wanted to go ashore in Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Only the personal intervention of King George prevented his participation. The king threatened to go with Churchill, writing him: “I don’t think I need emphasize what it would mean to me personally, and to the whole Allied cause, if at this juncture a chance bomb, torpedo, or even a mine, should remove you from the scene; equally a change of Sovereign at this moment would be a serious matter for the country and Empire. We should both, I know, love to be there, but in all seriousness I would ask you to reconsider your plan.”40 In early memoirs, Churchill explained: “A man who has to play an effective part in taking, with the highest responsibility, grace and terrible decisions of war may need the refreshment of adventure. He may need also the comfort that when sending so many others to their death he may share in a small way their risks.”41

In March 1944, Germany renewed its bombing of Britain – this time with rockets. A Churchill aide how the prime minister responded to the raid: “The Prime Minister’s only reaction was to have his coat and tin hat got ready so that as soon as the guns opened fire he might proceed to the roof of the building to get a better view of the proceedings. On more than one occasion he replied to my reports ‘Let ‘em come. We can deal with ‘em.’ The question of taking shelter never seemed to enter his head and it was only as a result of much pressure by his personal staff that he could be made to realise that there was some modicum of personal danger. When the All Clear had sounded he often went out to see what damage had been done and to encourage those who had suffered.”42 But the nature of the rockets affected Churchill’s natural bravado. Thomspon noted that Churchill “would have still made these ascents except for one thing: no sufficient warning of their approach could be given him.”43 On June 15, 1944, Churchill heard sounds of a V1 rocket after he had retired for the night. Aide Christopher Dodd recalled that aides headed outside: “As we reached the door leading to St James’s Park, we met the PM, who had already been out to see for himself…exemplifying the PM’s energy and (hair-raising!) disregard for personal danger.”44

When Confederates under General Jubal Early invaded Maryland in July 1862 and then threatened the nation’s capital, President Lincoln went to Fort Stevens to watch the military action. An observer near him was killed and the president was ordered down from the battlements. Historian Michael Burlingame noted that Lincoln “became the first and only sitting American president to come under serious enemy fire,” adding that Lincoln “had been exposed less dangerously during the Norfolk Campaign in the spring of 1862.”45 Historian Matthew Pinsker wrote: “According to the recollection of a surgeon on duty at the Fort’s infirmary, the president and first lady arrived at the scene ‘unattended, except by their coachman’ because the ‘superbly mounted squadron of cavalry’ lagged far behind. He recalled that the couple passed through the hospital ward first, consoling the wounded and encouraging the doctors, before heading up to the parapet or primary defensive wall.”46 Lincoln scholar Daniel Mark Epstein contended: “The president of the United States’ visit to Fort Stevens at midday of July 11, 1864, and his subsequent conduct there that afternoon, was not prudent, or rational, or carefully considered. The military dangers were manifest.”47 Lincoln ignored them. Journalist Noah Brooks wrote that “his calm unconsciousness of danger while the bullets were flying thick and fast about him was ample proof that he would not have dropped his musket and run, as he believed he certainly would, at the first sign of physical danger.”48

After Churchill’s sail off the French coast, Field Marshal Jan Smuts told Churchill: “I think the captain of the ship was rather cross with you for ordering him to fire on the German batteries” since the ship was also within range of the German guns. “That’s what I did it for. I wanted them to fire,” responded Churchill.49

Churchill did witness the Allied invasion of southern France on August 15, 1944. On August 26, Churchill accompanied British General Harold Alexander to the Italian war front. “Alexander and his aide-de-camp,” recalled Churchill in his memoirs, “went off to reconnoitre towards a grey stone building which our troops were holding, which was said to give a good close-up view. It was evident to me that only very loose fighting was in progress. In a minutes the aide-de-camp came back and brought me to his chief, who had found a very good place in the stone building, which was in fact an old chateau overlooking a rather sharp declivity. Here one certainly could see all that was possible. The Germans were firing with rifles and machine-guns from thick scrub on the farther side of the valley, about five hundred yards away. Our front line was beneath us. The firing was desultory and intermittent. But this was the nearest I got to the enemy and the time I heard most bullets in the Second World War.”50

On Christmas Eve, 1944, Churchill decided that he needed to go immediately to Athens where communist rebels were threatening a military takeover. Once arriving by air, Churchill was taken to the HMS Ajax. As he was giving dictation to a secretary, shells landed near the ship. “There – you bloody well missed us!….Come on– try again!”51 The next day, Churchill
was on the ship’s bridge when more shells landed near them. “I have come to Greece on a mission of peace, Captain. I bear the olive branch between my teeth. But far be it for me to interfere with military necessity.”52

Churchill longed to be at the war front and wanted to be present when Allied troops crossed the Rhine in March 1945. General Alan Brooke that after watching from an observation point, “Winston then became a little troublesome and wanted to go messing about on the Rhine crossings and we had some difficulty in keeping him back. However, in the end he behaved well and we came back in our armoured cars to where we had left our car, and from there on back to the HQ. PM went off for a sleep which he wanted badly; he had been sleeping in the car nearly all the way home, gradually sliding on to my knee.”53 The next day, when Churchill was forced to withdraw because of snipers, Brooke wrote: “The look on Winston’s face was just like that of a small boy being called away form his sand-castles on the beach by his nurse! He put both his arms round one of the twisted girders of the bridge and looked over his shoulder at [General] Simpson with pouting mouth and angry eyes.”54

Both Lincoln and Churchill provided a model of courage in difficult times. “An inspirational leader, [Churchill] seemed to typify Britain’s courage and perseverance in adversity and its conservatism in success,” wrote General Dwight D. Eisenhower.55 Historian David Dilks wrote Churchill “admired courageous people: in politics, those who faced unpopularity or loss of office for their convictions, in warfare those who met undaunted the most dangerous assignments, when despite murderous losses greater numbers pressed forward to fill the gaps to that ‘Selection could be most strict where the task was forlorn. No units were so easy to recruit as those over whom Death ruled with daily attention.’ When Mrs Churchill met by chance submarine crew and greeted each member, the Petty Office said to her ‘Will you tell your husband that we dive for him?’”56

The example of Lincoln and Churchill spurred their sailors, their soldiers, their nations to greater acts of dedication and courage. As Lincoln said on November 19, 1863 in dedicating the Gettysburg national cemetery: “The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.”

For Further Reference

  1. Don E. and Virginia Fehrenbacher, editors, Recollected Words of Abraham Lincoln, p. 349 (John G. Nicolay, Chicago Herald, December 4, 1887).
  2. Don E. and Virginia Fehrenbacher, editors, Recollected Words of Abraham Lincoln, p. 171 (Letter from Joseph Gillespie to William H. Herndon, January 31, 1866).
  3. Ervin S. Chapman, Latest Light on Abraham Lincoln and War-Time Memories, Volume II, p. 500.
  4. Noah Brooks, Washington in Lincoln’s Time, p. 37.
  5. Francis B. Carpenter, Six Months at the White House with Abraham Lincoln, pp. 62-63.
  6. Jason Emerson, Giant in the Shadows: The Life of Robert T. Lincoln, p. 85.
  7. Michael Burlingame, editor, Inside the White House in War Times: Memoirs and Reports of Lincoln’s Secretary by William O. Stoddard, p. 168.
  8. Francis Fisher Browne, editor, The Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln: A Narrative and Descriptive Biography, p. 341.
  9. Margarita Spalding Gerry, editor, Through Five Administrations: Reminiscences of Colonel William H. Crook, p. 66.
  10. Michael Burlingame and John R. Turner Ettlinger, editor, Inside Lincoln’s White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay, pp. 191-192 (April 28, 1864).
  11. Walter Stahr, Seward, Lincoln’s Indispensable Man, p. 434.
  12. David Von Drehle, Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America’s Most Perilous Year, p. 335.
  13. Rufus Rockwell Wilson, editor, Intimate Memories of Lincoln, p. 450.
  14. John Martin, Downing Street: The War Years, p. 8.
  15. Elizabeth Nels, Winston Churchill by His Personal Secretary, p. 32.
  16. Gerald Pawle, The War and Colonel Warden, p. 149.
  17. Nigel Nicolson, editor, Harold Nicolson: Diaries and Letters, 1939-1945, p. 128 (November 22, 1940).
  18. Walter H. Thompson, Assignment: Churchill, p. 174.
  19. Walter H. Thompson, Assignment: Churchill, p. 201.
  20. John Martin, Downing Street: The War Years, p. 31 (October 16, 1940).
  21. Joan Bright Ashley, The Inner Circle: A View of War at the Top, p. 77.
  22. Walter H. Thompson, Assignment: Churchill, p. 206.
  23. Sally Smith, Reflected Glory, p. 70.
  24. Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill Finest Hour, 1939-1941, p. 729.
  25. Hastings Lionel Ismay, Memoirs of General Lord Ismay, p. 295.
  26. Walter H. Thompson, Assignment: Churchill, pp. 129, 188.
  27. W. H. Thompson, Sixty Minutes with Winston Churchill, p. 63.
  28. Walter H. Thompson, Assignment: Churchill, p. 241.
  29. John Lukacs, Five Days in London, May 1940, p. 5.
  30. Winston S. Churchill, Their Finest Hour: World War II, Volume II, p. 88.
  31. Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill Finest Hour, 1939-1941, p. 633
  32. Hastings Lionel Ismay, Memoirs of General Lord Ismay, pp. 185-186.
  33. Richard Holmes, In the Footsteps of Church: A Study in Character, p. 207.
  34. John Martin, Downing Street: The War Years, p. 33.
  35. Hastings Lionel Ismay, Memoirs of General Lord Ismay, p. 246.
  36. Elizabeth Nels, Winston Churchill by His Personal Secretary, p. 32.
  37. Walter H. Thompson, Assignment: Churchill, p. 211.
  38. Walter H. Thompson, Assignment: Churchill, p. 203, 128
  39. Hastings Lionel Ismay, Memoirs of General Lord Ismay, p. 181.
  40. Winston S. Churchill, Closing the Ring, Volume VI, p. 547 (Letter from King George to Churchill, May 31, 1944).
  41. Winston S. Churchill, The River War, p.
  42. Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill: Road to Victory 1941-1945, p. 697.
  43. Walter H. Thompson, Assignment: Churchill, p. 212.
  44. Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill: Road to Victory 1941-1945, p. 809.
  45. Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life, p. 656.
  46. Matthew Pinsker, Lincoln’s Sanctuary: Abraham Lincoln and the Soldier’s Home, pp. 139-140.
  47. Daniel Mark Epstein, The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage, p. 443.
  48. Noah Brooks, Washington in Lincoln’s Time, p. 176.
  49. W. H. Thompson, Sixty Minutes with Winston Churchill, p. 83.
  50. Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War: Triumph and Tragedy, Volume VI, p, 107.
  51. Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill: Road to Victory 1941-1945, p. 1121.
  52. Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill: Road to Victory 1941-1945, p. 1126.
  53. Alex Danchev and Daniel Todman, War Diaries 1939-1945 Field Marshal Lord Alanbrooke, p. 675 (March 24, 1945).
  54. Alex Danchev and Daniel Todman, War Diaries 1939-1945 Field Marshal Lord Alanbrooke, p. 677, March 25, 1945).
  55. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe, p. 61.
  56. David Dilks, Churchill and Company, p. 56.
Posted in Essays