Zachary Taylor

“Taylor spent a week at Point Isabel building the earthworks he should have finished a month before, then, on May 7, started back to relieve the fort. His West Pointers begged him not to take the massive train, which could be brought up later in complete safety, but he had no patience with textbook soldiers … Well, what did he have? A sound principle: attack. A less valuable one which was to serve him just as well in this war: never retreat. Total ignorance of the art of war. And an instinct, if not for command, at least for leadership. He had been hardened in years of petty frontier duty, he had no nerves and nothing recognizable as intelligence, he was afraid of nothing, and he was too unimaginative to know when he was being licked, which was fortunate since he did not know how to maneuver troops. Add to this a dislike of military forms and procedures and a taste for old clothes and you have a predestinate candidate for the Presidency. The army and even some of the West Pointers worshiped him.”