Winfield Scott

Winfield Scott

Winfield Scott Quotes  As of August 3, 2011

Quotes made by Scott appear followed by quotes from others.

“a bulldog with his ears pinned back”

Winfield Scott

description of Beauregard by Scott

From Stonewall Jackson The Man, The Soldier, The Legend by James I. Robertson.  New York:  Macmillan Publishing Co, 1997. page 253

“Accordingly, I must beg the President, at the earliest moment, to allow me to be placed upon the officer’s retired list, and then quietly to lay myself up-probably forever-somewhere in or about New York.  But, wherever I may spend my little remainder of life, my frequent and latest prayer will be, “God Save the Union.” Winfield Scott Aug 9 1861 Scott in a letter to Secy of War Cameron  notifying him of his intention to request that the President place him on the retired list.

From The Secret War for the Union by Edwin C. Fishel. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1996. page 78

OR 5 page 639

 

“compassion is always due an enraged imbecile”

Winfield Scott Early 1850s

Letter criticizing Jefferson Davis

From Civil War High Commands by John H. and David J. Eicher.  Stanford:  Stanford University Press, 2001. page 41

“General Halleck was daily expected from California, and…he understood the value of money and finance, and would relieve McClellan.”

Winfield Scott Sep 1861

Scott anticipating the arrival of Henry Halleck from California for an important command in the Union Army

From Commander of All Lincoln’s Armies – A Life of General Henry W. Halleck by John Marszalek.  Cambridge MA:  The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press,  2004. page 106

Elliott, Charles Winslow. Winfield Scott:  The Soldier and the Man (New York:  Macmillan, 1937 pages 732-733

 

“Gentlemen, take off your hats to the Old Guard of the Army”

Winfield Scott gives the 3rd Infantry its distinctive nickname, the Old Guard

From Until Antietam The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army by Jack Mason.  Carbondale IL:  Southern Illinois Press, 2009. page 61

“Had Major-General McClellan presented the same views in person, they would have been freely entertained and discussed.  All my military views and opinions had been so presented to him, without eliciting much remark, in our few meetings, which I have in vain sought to multiply.”

Winfield Scott Aug 9 1861

Scott in a letter to Secy of War Cameron complaining about McClellan’s lack of cooperation

From The Secret War for the Union by Edwin C. Fishel. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1996. page 78

OR 5 page 639

 

“He is not a cheap Judas.  I do not think he would have sold the Savior for thirty shillings.  But for the successor ship to Pontius Pilate he would have betrayed Christ and the Apostles and the whole Christian Church.”

Winfield Scott describing Jefferson Davis

From How the North Won by Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones. Urbana:  University of Illinois Press 1983. page 8

Foote, Shelby, The Civil War: A Narrative, 3 vols. (New York, 1958-74)

“I am glad to have my ‘Fighting Dick’ with me again, and have plenty of work for him to do!” Winfield Scott Jun 1861

When Scott is reintroduced to Israel B. Richardson

From Until Antietam The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army by Jack Mason.  Carbondale IL:  Southern Illinois Press, 2009. page 83

Appleton’s Cyclopedia, “Israel B. Richardson” entry

“I am the greatest coward in America!…I have fought this battle sir, against my judgment….I deserve removal because I did not stand up, when my army was not in a condition for fighting, and resist it to the last.”

Winfield Scott berating himself for being talked into an attack at Manassas

From A Single Grand Victory The First Campaign and Battle of Manassas Ethan S. Rafuse. Wilmington: Scholarly Resources Inc., 2002 page 199

Johnson, Timothy D. Winfield Scott: The Quest for Military Glory. Lawrence:  University Press of Kansas, 1998. page 228

 

“I give it as my fixed opinion that but for our graduated cadets the war between the United States and Mexico might, and probably would, have lasted some four or five years, with, in its first half, more defeats than victories falling to our share and a peace without the loss of a single battle or skirmish.” Winfield Scott commenting on the effectiveness of West Point trained officers on the success of the Mexican War

From  The Mexican War Diary and Correspondence of George B. McClellan by George B. McClellan and Thomas W. Cutrer. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009. page 2

Weigley, Russell F. History of the United States Army (New York: Macmillan, 1984) page 185

“I know your little South Carolina.  I lived there once.  It is about as big as Long Island, and two-thirds of the population are negroes.  Are you mad?”

Winfield Scott quoted in Peskin, Peskin Winfield Scott p 233

From Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters by Elizabeth Brown Pryor. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007.

page 285

“I shall try to hold out till the arrival of Maj. Genl Halleck, as his presence will give increased confidence to the safety of the Union.”

Winfield Scott Sep 1861

Winfield Scott to Simon Cameron

From Commander of All Lincoln’s Armies – A Life of General Henry W. Halleck by John Marszalek.  Cambridge MA:  The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press,  2004. Page 107

Eckenrode, H. J. and Conrad, Bryan, George B. McClellan:  The Man Who Saved the Union (Chapel Hill:  University of North Caroling Press, 1942)

page 35

“I steadily held to the policy not to wear out patience and sole leather by running to the right and left in pursuit of small game.  I played for big stakes.” Winfield Scott

Scott Memoirs 2:454

From Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters by Elizabeth Brown Pryor. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007. page 173

“Lee, you have made the greatest mistake of your life, but I feared it would be so.” Winfield Scott Apr 18 1861

Scott to Lee upon the latters visit to his office to tell him he turned down a Union Army command

From On Hallowed Ground The Story of Arlington Cemetery by Robert M. Poole.  New York:  Walker & Company, 2009. page 16

Freeman, Douglas Southall.  R.E. Lee:  A Biography I page 437

“the cabinet, including the President, has been charmed by your activity, valor, and consequent success.” Winfield Scott

Scott in a letter to McClellan at his appointment to command the Army of the Potomac

From How the North Won by Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones. Urbana:  University of Illinois Press 1983. page 51

Elliot, Winfield Scott page 733

 

“the greatest feat of physical and moral courage performed by any individual during the campaign.”

Winfield Scott describing Lee’s crossing of the Pedragal in 1847quoted in Long Memoirs p 58

From Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters by Elizabeth Brown Pryor. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007. page 165

“the remedy of arrest and trial before a court-martial would probably soon cure the evil.  But it has been feared that a conflict of authority near the head of the Army would be highly encouraging to the enemies and depressing to the friends of the Union. [Consequently] being unable to ride in the saddle or to walk…I shall definitely retire from the Army.”

Winfield Scott Oct 4 1861

Scott in a letter to Secy of War Cameron

From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. page 12

OR 51 (1) pages 491-493

“The very best soldier I ever saw in the field.”

Winfield Scott May 8 1857

Scott to John B. Floyd describing Robert E. Lee

From Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters by Elizabeth Brown Pryor. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007. page 161

“This officer greatly distinguished himself at the siege of Vera Cruz, was again indefatigable during those operations, in reconnaissance as daring as laborious, and of the utmost value.  Nor was he less conspicuous in planting batteries, and in conducting columns to their stations under the heavy fire of the enemy.” Winfield Scott describing Robert E. Lee

From Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters by Elizabeth Brown Pryor. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007. page 165

“When I proposed that you should come here to aide me…you had my friendship and confidence.  You still have my confidence.”

Winfield Scott Sep 27 1861

Scott to McClellan after McClellan fails to provide information to Scott and is embarrassed at a Cabinet meeting

From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse.  Bloomington IN:  Indiana University Press, 2005. page 135

Grimsley, Mark “Overthrown: The Truth behind the McClellan-Scott Feud.” Civil War Tiems Illustrated 19 (November 1980)

“Young man, if I were not on horseback, I would embrace you”

Winfield Scott August 1847

Scott upon seeing Beauregard at Battle of Pedregal

From A Gallant Little Army Timothy Johnson.  Lawrence KS:  University of Kansas, 2007.   page177

Johnston is a great soldier, but he has an unfortunate knack of getting himself shot in nearly every engagement. Winfield Scott April 1847

speaking of Joseph Johnston’s proclivity for getting wounded.  He was wounded in the Seminole War, Mexican War, and the Civil War

From  The Mexican War Diary and Correspondence of George B. McClellan by George B. McClellan and Thomas W. Cutrer. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009. page 90

Scott, Winfield, Memoirs of Lieut.-General Winfield Scott, LL.D. (New York: Sheldon, 1864) page 184

“His campaign is unsurpassed in military annals, he is the greatest living soldier.” Duke of Wellington following the progress of the American Army in Mexico.  Quoted in Schwartz the Time Machine

From Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters by Elizabeth Brown Pryor. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007. page 167

“Scott is lost-he cannot capture the city and he cannot fall back upon his base.” Duke of Wellington following the progress of the American Army in Mexico.  Quoted in Schwartz the Time Machine

From Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters by Elizabeth Brown Pryor. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007. page 163

“Gen Scott is the most dangerous antagonist that I have.”

George B. McClellan Aug 15 1861 McClellan to his wife

From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. page 12

McClellan, George B. The Civil War Papers of George B. McClellan. Ed. Stephen W. Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1989. page 84

“is fast becoming very slow & very old. He cannot long retain command I think–when he retires I am sure to succeed him.”

George B. McClellan concerning Winfield and his growing differences with him

From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. page 11

McClellan, George B. The Civil War Papers of George B. McClellan. Ed. Stephen W. Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1989. page 75

 

“Next to maintaining he honor of my country, the first aim of my life is to justify the good opinion you have expressed concerning me.”

George B. McClellan May 9 1861

McClellan in a letter to Scott in 1861

From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse.  Bloomington IN:  Indiana University Press, 2005. page 42

McClellan, George B. The Civil War Papers of George B. McClellan. Ed. Stephen W. Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1989. page 17

“The General is very kind to me when I see him and always blows me up for not coming to dine with him.  I never go except when sent for on duty.  I prefer keeping clear of Generals.”

George B. McClellan Oct 24 1847

McClellan in a letter to his mother describing his interactions with Genl. Scott

From  The Mexican War Diary and Correspondence of George B. McClellan by George B. McClellan and Thomas W. Cutrer. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009. page 133

“The sight this morning was a lesson to me which I hope not soon to forget. I saw there the end of a long, active & ambitious life-the end of the career of the first soldier of his nation-& It was a feeble old man scarce able to walk; hardly anyone there to see him off but his successor.  Should I ever become vainglorious and ambitious, remind me of that spectacle.”

George B. McClellan in a letter to his wife describing the departure from Washington of Winfield Scott

From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. page 14

McClellan, George B. The Civil War Papers of George B. McClellan. Ed. Stephen W. Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1989. pages 123-124

“I called on Gen Scott the other day and inquired of him if in the event of other Brigadier Genls being appointed by Congress, if I should be superseded in command.  The Genl was very emphatic and said I never should be superseded if ever so many appointed; that he gave me command himself, and he should take particular care of his West Point friends.” Israel B. Richardson Jul 15 1861

Richardson expressing concern to Genl Scott that he superseded by other brigadier generals appointed by congress

From Until Antietam The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army by Jack Mason.  Carbondale IL:  Southern Illinois Press, 2009. page 85

IBR to Israel P. and Susanna H. Richardson, July 15 1861, Lane Collection

“head and shoulders above every man.”

Robert E. Lee Feb 13 1848

REL to Carter Lee

From Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters by Elizabeth Brown Pryor. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007. page 171

“Our great reliance…a great man on great occasions.”

Robert E. Lee Oct 2 1847

REL to John Mackay, UASMHI

From Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters by Elizabeth Brown Pryor. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007. page 325

“stout heart, bold self reliance, indomitable courage as well as his admirable ability to maintain discipline in a foreign country rife with temptations to disorders.” Robert E. Lee Mar 4 1848

REL to Smith Lee Mexico City

From Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters by Elizabeth Brown Pryor. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007. page 325

“is by far the most talented and scientific and at the same time the most vain and conceited.  His comprehensive mind embraces not only different objects and ends but their general and combined bearings with regard to the ultimate objects.  If you call on him for a  past time, he may disgust you with his forthright and strong expressions, but if you call on him on business & military matters, then you may expect to call forth the mighty powers of his mighty mind, and upon information so obtained I would rather rely than on all the other officers in our armies in Mexico.

Thomas Jackson writing to his sister from Mexico

From Stonewall Jackson The Man, The Soldier, The Legend by James I. Robertson.  New York:  Macmillan Publishing Co, 1997. page 58

“saw more through the eyes of his staff officers than he did through his own.” U.S. Grant, Personal Memoirs p 66-67

From Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters by Elizabeth Brown Pryor. New York:  Penguin Group, 2007. page 161

“with his commanding figure, his quite colossal size and showy uniform, I thought him the finest specimen of manhood my eyes had ever beheld, and the most to be envied.” U.S. Grant a cadet at West Point describing Winfield Scott

From How the North Won by Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones. Urbana:  University of Illinois Press 1983. page 27

Grant, U.S., Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant, ed. E.B. Long (Cleveland and New York, 1952 page 17

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