American Presidents





Dwight D. Eisenhower
Letters

Dwight D. Eisenhower


In the following letter, Eisenhower writes to his wife from North Africa.

ALGIERS, December 30, 1942

When the strain is long continued the commander gets to feeling more and more alone and lonesome, and his mind instinctively turns to something or someone that could help.
Sometimes I get to missing you so that I simply don't know what to do. As pressure mounts and strain increases everyone begins to show the weaknesses in his makeup. It is up to the Commander to conceal his; above all to conceal doubt, fear and distrust, especially in any subordinate, and to try to overcome the defects he finds around him. When the strain is long continued the commander gets to feeling more and more alone and lonesome, and his mind instinctively turns to something or someone that could help. This, of course, is not well explained -- but I mean only to tell you that constantly I think of you as someone who could provide a counter balance for me--and send me back to work fitter to do a good job. No one else in this world could ever fill your place with me -- and that is the reason I need you. Maybe a simpler explanation is merely that I LOVE you!! which I do, always. Never forget that because, except for my duty, which I try to perform creditably, it is the only thing to which I can cling with confidence.

Not that I'm abused -- it's just that situations such as this bring on many daily and hourly problems to solve, and many disappointments in persons that in normal times seem so robust and able, so that finally a man gets somewhat cynical, and has to fight against becoming morose. All this creates a feeling of isolation and aloneness-and this is made more acute by the fact that eventually you find yourself sneaking off alone so as to get away from talking and arguing the same things -- It would be lots more fun to sneak off to see you.

Poor old Darlan is gone. He was a weak character -- at least nothing more than an opportunist, but so far as I could ever find out, he played square with us here. I told the newsmen that! He was a necessity when he appeared upon this scene, and I don't know what would have happened had he been a really strong person and told us to go to; but now he's before the highest judge of all, and I guess he'd best be left alone by the rest of us.

I began this letter day before yesterday. Today I'm feeling a bit lousy, as if I had a touch of flu. But I'm sure I've noted it in time and am drinking enough orange juice and gargling sufficiently often to stave it off.

Today is the 30th and Milton ought to be reaching home.


Dwight D. Eisenhower

[The above letter is reproduced exactly as written and was obtained through the archives at the Library of Congress]

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