... the Chicagoan [H. H. Kohlsaat] is full of reminiscences of the McKinley Administration and reported some of them to me. As we stood on the South Portico looking toward the monument he recalled how often he had stood there with McKinley. He spoke of one night in particular... "We [McKinley and Kohlsaat] sat down, and he told me that they were trying to force him into declaring war with Spain. As he said this, he broke down and wept as I have never seen anyone weep in my life. His whole body was shaken with convulsive sobs. He ceased after a while, and later, when he had dried his eyes, he said he felt that he should go in to see his guests again. He asked me when we got into the light if his eyes were red, and I told him they were, but if he blew his nose very hard just as he entered, the redness of his eyes would be attributed to that cause. He did so, and I never heard any of the guests, with whom I mingled freely, comment on the fact that the President had been crying."
a pp.733-734Comment: Butt, an Army officer, was military aide first to President Theodore Roosevelt and then to President William Taft. On April 14, 1912, Butt was at sea aboard the Titanic returning from a European vacation that Taft had insisted he take. President Taft later said: "When I heard that part of the ship's company had gone down, I gave up hope for the rescue of Major Butt, unless by accident. I knew that he would certainly remain on the ship's deck until every duty had been performed and every sacrifice made that properly fell on one charged, as he would feel himself charged, with responsibility for the rescue of others." Taft was correct. Butt did not survive the sinking.