Monday, April 24, 2017

War Between The States - Elephants

The Lynchburg Listener

Eye witnesses confirm that the newly arrived General McClellan received a telegram from General Scott that read “The general-in-chief, and what is more, the Cabinet, including the President, are charmed by your activity, valor and consequent successes. ... We do not doubt that you will in due time sweep the rebels from ...Virginia, but we do not mean to precipitate you, as you are fast enough.”410

The citizens of Lynchburg are proposing to have the words carved in stone and presented to the General as part of a lengthy program of feasts and jubilations to be held in his honour over the coming months to which they insist he attends in person.

The Butler Bugle

General Butler, the Bugle’s proprietor and sole subscriber, has condemned the senseless slaughter and damage to property that occurred at Fort Monroe by the rash action of General Crouch who had descended from the sea with all the subtly of a tsunami.  What the former property of Southern gentlemen who had taken refuge in the fort thought of such shenanigans cannot be imagined.

Furthermore, General Butler has advised General Crouch to stay put and fortify and wait for General McClelland to bring reinforcements.  Quoting from General Scott “He has no brigade of elephants: he cannot by any possibility get a brigade of elephants.”468 General Butler is satisfied that General McClelland will make a speedy crossing of the mountains to join General Crouch by way of Richmond.  This will permit General McClelland to take the mighty host of rebels assembled before General Crouch in the rear where it will do them the most good.    

Vainly Flair Quarterly

In this week’s edition of the monthly periodical further speculation is made on the increasing trend for Northerners to head south.  It cannot just be to escape the cold.

Washington DC Comics

An order is believed to be about to be raised for the construction of a large vessel that will be loaded with hay and other food suitable for elephants for a long voyage, with tanks holding a sufficiency of fresh water, and arranged with stalls so that the elephants can both stand & lie down in the ship

Official Correspondence of the President

To King Mongkut, Siam.
I appreciate most highly Your Majesty’s tender of…a stock from which a supply of elephants might be raised on our own soil. This Government would not hesitate to avail itself of so generous an offer if the object were one which could be made practically useful in the present condition of the United States.

Memo from Naval Docks

The transport of elephants by sea can be somewhat problematic.


  1. Even if the king's offer predated hostilities, Lincoln's response should have been "Damn straight, the boat will be there directly. My speeches indicate far-reaching foresight for future generations, and those generations shall include wargamers who will want elephants in kepis."


    1. When I was doing my fact checking for this article I was surprised not to readily come across any images of ACW troops and elephants. I did come across a book titled "Elephants for Mr Lincoln". Except that the proposal was for baby elephants, it is not beyond the realm of possibilities that elephants could have been used "eventually". Their use was proposed as beasts of burden, not machines of war, but still...