Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories: A Complete Collection of the Funny and Witty Anecdotes That Made Lincoln Famous as America’s Greatest Story Teller

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Author: Alexander K. McClure

Big Joke on Halleck.

When General Halleck was Commander-in-Chief of the Union forces, with headquarters at Washington, President Lincoln unconsciously played a big practical joke upon that dignified officer. The President had spent the night at the Soldiers’ Home, and the next morning asked Captain Derickson, commanding the company of Pennsylvania soldiers, which was the Presidential guard at the White House and the Home—wherever the President happened to be —to go to town with him.

Captain Derickson told the story in a most entertaining way:

"When we entered the city, Mr. Lincoln said he would call at General Halleck’s headquarters and get what news had been received from the army during the night. I informed him that General Cullum, chief aid to General Halleck, was raised in Meadville, and that I knew him when I was a boy.

"He replied, ’Then we must see both the gentlemen.’ When the carriage stopped, he requested me to remain seated, and said he would bring the gentlemen down to see me, the office being on the second floor. In a short time the President came down, followed by the other gentlemen. When he introduced them to me, General Cullum recognized and seemed pleased to see me.

"In General Halleck I thought I discovered a kind of quizzical look, as much as to say, ’Isn’t this rather a big joke to ask the Commander-in-Chief of the army down to the street to be introduced to a country captain?’"

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Chicago: Alexander K. McClure, "Big Joke on Halleck.," Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories: A Complete Collection of the Funny and Witty Anecdotes That Made Lincoln Famous as America’s Greatest Story Teller, ed. Jameson, J. Franklin (John Franklin), 1859-1937 in Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories: A Complete Collection of the Funny and Witty Anecdotes That Made Lincoln Famous as America’s Greatest Story Teller Original Sources, accessed February 4, 2023, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8F51N7IYZ9KXA9P.

MLA: McClure, Alexander K. "Big Joke on Halleck." Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories: A Complete Collection of the Funny and Witty Anecdotes That Made Lincoln Famous as America’s Greatest Story Teller, edited by Jameson, J. Franklin (John Franklin), 1859-1937, in Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories: A Complete Collection of the Funny and Witty Anecdotes That Made Lincoln Famous as America’s Greatest Story Teller, Original Sources. 4 Feb. 2023. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8F51N7IYZ9KXA9P.

Harvard: McClure, AK, 'Big Joke on Halleck.' in Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories: A Complete Collection of the Funny and Witty Anecdotes That Made Lincoln Famous as America’s Greatest Story Teller, ed. . cited in , Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories: A Complete Collection of the Funny and Witty Anecdotes That Made Lincoln Famous as America’s Greatest Story Teller. Original Sources, retrieved 4 February 2023, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8F51N7IYZ9KXA9P.