Tad Lincoln reviews the troops

The Union Light Guard was an independent cavalry unit organized in late 1863 by Ohio Gov. David Tod to serve as Lincoln’s military escort and bodyguard.  Here’s one veteran’s account of a memorable Sunday morning inspection:

Tad was present, dressed in the uniform of an officer, and accompanied Captain Bennett during inspection with the gravity of a veteran.  Inspection over, Captain Bennett took position in front of the company to deliver his usual scolding.  Tad stood by his side.  The Captain proceeded to criticize sharply the condition of the quarters.  He described the manner in which they should be kept and said: “The condition of the quarters is disgraceful.  Instead of being kept as they should be kept, they look like”——At this point Tad’s shrill voice rang out, completing the sentence in a manner more pungent than elegant and quite unprintable.  The effect was ludicrous.  The sternness of the Captain’s face relaxed in a broad smile, as he turned on his heel, while the company, regardless of discipline, burst into unrebuked laughter.

Tad decked out for action, from the Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons

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Filed under Abraham Lincoln, Civil War

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