Narrator E: The war goes badly for the Union at first. In July, Confederate troops rout Union forces at Bull Run, Virginia, only 26 miles from the nation’s capital. Many Northerners are quick to blame Lincoln. One evening at Secretary Chase’s house . . .
Chase: The President is like a person just aroused from sleep. He won’t consult with the Cabinet.
Anna Simpson: I heard the most amusing story. Lincoln writes little notes for his speeches and keeps them in his hat.
Kate Chase: Yes, they fall out at odd times. The man really is a buffoon. Too bad he won’t listen to wiser men. I just hope you can replace him in four years, Father.
Narrator A: Lincoln hears of these insults but ignores them.
Mary Todd Lincoln: The Cabinet is supposed to be made up of the President’s closest advisers. How can you trust these people?
Lincoln: I couldn’t have become President without their support. They have many friends, and I need their friends right now.
Mary: They will all stab you in the back. Mark my words.
Narrator B: Lincoln is greatly frustrated by the failure of Union Army Commander General George McClellan to boldly attack Confederate armies. In March 1862, Lincoln demotes McClellan, giving part of his command to General John C. Frémont. This offends Blair, who supports McClellan. Then Frémont gives the press a letter from Blair that questions Lincoln’s judgment. Ashamed, Blair seeks out the President.
Blair: It was a foolish letter. I will make amends by resigning.
Lincoln: It is of no consequence. Let us never mention or think of it again.
Blair: I understand, Mr. President. You need to prevent divisions.
Narrator C: At the same time, Seward’s respect for Lincoln is growing. He writes of it in a letter to his wife.
Seward: His confidence and sympathy increase every day. The President is the best of us, but he needs our constant cooperation.