So the Republican Party, whose leaders are so fond of speaking in metaphors of war, thought that they could equate their campaign against health reform to the Battle of Waterloo, where Napolean's return from defeat and exile was finally crushed. Now they are finding out that it ain't that easy!
The first year of the Civil War was a military and political debacle for President Lincoln. Battles were lost, soldiers killed, money was squandered, scandal was rife in the Department of War under Simon Cameron, precious time was wasted and the national mood was despondent. But with the beginning of the second year, in February of 1862, the Confederates found out what they were up against - a determined and relentless opponent, prepared to go to the wall for the cause. It was on February 11, 1862, that Grant's troops invested Fort Donelson in Tennessee, and in very short order the beseiged secessionists were desperate to get away, but they couldn't.
"No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted.
I propose to move immediately upon your works." An entire Confederate Army surrendered, and the Lincoln administration got a tremendous boost. Well, don't look now, but the Republicans are about to meet their Grant at Donelson.