Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories: “Abe’s” Little Joke

When General W. T. Sherman, November 12th, 1864, severed all communication with the North and started for Savannah with his magnificent army of sixty thousand men, there was much anxiety for a month as to his whereabouts. President Lincoln, in response to an inquiry, said: “I know what hole Sherman went in at, but I don’t know what hole he’ll come out at.”

Colonel McClure had been in consultation with the President one day, about two weeks after Sherman’s disappearance, and in this connection related this incident:

“I was leaving the room, and just as I reached the door the President turned around, and, with a merry twinkling of the eye, inquired, ‘McClure, wouldn’t you like to hear something from Sherman?’

“The inquiry electrified me at the instant, as it seemed to imply that Lincoln had some information on the subject. I immediately answered, ‘Yes, most of all, I should like to hear from Sherman.’

“To this President Lincoln answered, with a hearty laugh: ‘Well, I’ll be hanged if I wouldn’t myself.’”