General Grant, who would rather make do, related of Lincoln, telling a Long Tail. President Lincoln had a tough time since the beginning of the Civil War with his commanding Generals. They wouldn’t attack, manuever or even follow his direct commands. Many of these military divas would constantly whine to their political mentors, or wives, regarding Lincoln’s lack of tactical experience and generally his incompetency in the current art of war. These professional soldier’s main complaint was their lack of supplies, transportation and troop strength and used these supposed deficiencies as an excuse for non-action. A frustrated Lincoln, suffered through numerous tenures of top brass, before he finally appointed Ulysses S. Grant, Lieutenant General, commander of all Union Army forces.
Shortly after Lincoln promoted Grant, the President had a private meeting with his new military leader and he related the following;
“At one time there was a great war among the animals, and one side had great difficulty in getting a commander who had sufficient confidence in himself. Finally they found a monkey by the name of Jocko, who said he thought he could command their army if his tail could be made a little longer. So they got more tail and spliced it on to his caudal appendage.
He looked at it admiringly and then said he thought he ought to have still more tail. This was added, and again he called for more. The splicing process was repeated many times until they had coiled Jocko’s tail around the room, filling all the space.
Still he called for more tail, and, there being no other place to coil it, they began wrapping it around his shoulders. He continued to call for more, and they kept on winding the additional tail around him until its weight broke him down.”
Lieutenant General Grant, understood Lincoln’s message and on preparing to leave remarked;
” Mr. President, I will not call for any more assistance, unless I find it impossible to do, with what I already have.”
And so it was, that Grant would rather make do, with what he was given, so as not to imitate another “Jocko.”