Slow Communications With Taylor

“Taylor sat under his grapevine at Matamor6s and could not have had a better press. Clearly the country appreciated his victories but the administration sent no official praise. The holy cause of Whiggery, about which Taylor had no clear ideas, was probably being degraded by the Democrats. Taylor cultivated his acquaintance with Congressional Whigs in letters which show Bliss’s editing. The President and the War Department kept annoying him with incomprehensible demands for information. They wanted to know what the country around him was like; he made no effort to find out. They wanted to know what ideas for further conquest the commanding general in the field was working out; he wasn’t working any out. The administration’s jgnorance and the commander’s stupidity interacted, and the confusion was increased by the sloth of communication. It took between three and four weeks to deliver a dispatch, but neither headquarters thought of establishing a courier service. (Polk usually heard of developments in the war from the British embassy before reports came through from the army.) But for that matter, neither headquarters thought to put its dispatches into cipher.”