Abraham Lincoln and Men of War-Times: Some Personal Recollections of War and Politics during the Lincoln Administration

By A. K. McClure; James A. Rawley | Go to book overview
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LINCOLN AND MCCLELLAN.

NOT until all the lingering personal, political, and military passions of the war shall have perished can the impartial historian tell the true story of Abraham Lincoln's relations to George B. McClellan, nor will the just estimate of McClellan as a military chieftain be recorded until the future historian comes to his task entirely free from the prejudices of the present. Although more than a quarter of a century has elapsed since the close of the war, and countless contributions have been given to the history of that conflict from every shade of conviction that survived it, McClellan's ability as a military commander, and the correctness of Lincoln's action in calling him to command and in dismissing him from command, are as earnestly disputed to-day as they were in the white beat of the personal and political conflicts of the time. Notwithstanding the bitter partisan assaults which have been made upon McClellan in the violence of party struggles, at times impugning his skill, his courage, and his patriotism, it is safe to say that fair-minded men of every political faith now testify to the absolute purity of his patriotism, to his exceptional skill as a military organizer, and to his courage as a commander. I knew McClellan well, and I believe that no reasonably just man could have known him without yielding to him the highest measure of personal respect. He was one of the most excellent

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