Gentleman or Martinet?
In winter quarters in
Hayes, who has a sunny disposition and wants to prevent discord among his men, vows “to take more pains that I have to give them just ideas of him.”
It will not be easy. Jacob DolsonCox, a former Ohio state Senator who has become commander of Union forces in the Kanawha Valley, has described Scammon as “perhaps too much wedded to the routine of the service [and he is] looked upon by his subordinates as a martinet who had not patience enough with the inexperience of volunteer soldiers.”
Cox called Scammon “one of the older men of our army, somewhat under the average height and weight, with a precise politeness of manner which reminded one of a Frenchman, and the resemblance was increased by his free use of his snuff-box. His nervous irritability was the cause of considerable chafing in his command…” [although his courage under fire will win him respect].
Scammon, a West Pointer, is not a native Ohioan, but had been teaching in colleges in the state for 10 years before the war broke out.
Elsewhere today, Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant continues to demonstrate the kind of aggressiveness so lacking in the
So goes the war as 1861 quietly winds down.