I was browsing the internet and came across a reference to Zachariah Chandler at http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/chron/civilwarnotes/chandler.html. Actually, it’s a nice summary of his life. What caught my eye, however, was the following statement:
“He was a member of the Whig party and demonstrated considerable resolve to ensure the freedom to vote. He reportedly heard that some members of the local Democratic party were planning to form a crowd around a ballot box to prevent anyone from another party from voting. Chandler showed up at the poll carrying a cudgel and spent the entire election patrolling the area to ensure that anyone who wanted to vote was able to do so.”
What’s a “cudgel,” you might ask? Well, it’s a club- a sort of billy-club, if you will. I was always told don’t point a gun at anyone unless you intend on using it. Good advice. I assume, Mr. Chandler was prepared to use the club on someone if he felt he needed too. Yes, if he believed in a cause, he could get violent if he felt it necessary. I think he was also willing to go at alone. He didn’t seem intimidated by anything or anyone. He demonstrated his willingness to fight for cause at the First Battle of Bull Run -picking up an abandoned rifle to use against the rebels while the Federals were fleeing for their lives. Or was he going to use it on “cowardly” Yankees? Oh well, you get the point. I love this guy, Zachariah Chandler. He was not one to have as an enemy, for sure. Abraham Lincoln had his hands full dealing with him. But, truth be told, Lincoln was no slouch either. In fact, I think in Lincoln-Chandler met his match.
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