The Military Genius of Abraham Lincoln: An Essay

By Colin R. Ballard | Go to book overview

IX
Lincoln AND McClellan

IT is now possible to revert to Lincoln's attitude, which has been so severely condemned. As stated in Chapter VI, McClellan's carelessness and disobedience in arranging the garrison of Washington was sufficient to justify the detention of McDowell's Corps. The question remains whether it ruined the campaign.

To my mind the answer is to be found in McClellan's own book -- a full and complete answer. It is not pleasant reading, and adds little or nothing to our knowledge of historical facts; indeed, it has been almost ignored by most writers. Ropes dismisses it curtly -- ' McClellan has written a book in which he acquits himself of everything except egoism'. But it is a very human document, a true revelation of the character of the man, and if we wish to get inside Lincoln's mind and see his train of thought, it gives us a direct clue that is worth following.

McClellan's Own Story. 'July 27th. I find myself in a new and strange position here ( Washington) -- President, Cabinet, Gen. Scott, and all deferring to me. By some strange operation of magic I seem to have become the power of the land.'. . . 'I went to the Senate and was quite overwhelmed by the congratulations I received and the respect with which I was treated.'. . . 'They give me my way in everything, full swing and unbounded confidence.'

For the moment everything is the colour of roses, but unfortunately roses soon fade. Trouble began with General Scott over minor questions of organization, in which the Young Napoleon was probably quite right; but the rather testy old gentleman did not relish being

-103-

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The Military Genius of Abraham Lincoln: An Essay
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents *
  • List of Sketch Maps *
  • Illustrations *
  • LIST OF AUTHORS CONSULTED *
  • I - AN UNCONVENTIONAL STRATEGIST 1
  • II - THE GREAT ILLUSION 10
  • III - FROM LOG CABIN TO WHITE HOUSE 22
  • IV - THE SITUATION 38
  • V - FIRST BULL RUN 51
  • VI - ALL QUIET ON THE POTOMAC 62
  • VII - THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY 77
  • VIII - THE PENINSULA 91
  • IX - Lincoln AND McClellan 103
  • X - SECOND BULL RUN 114
  • XI - ANTIETAM 121
  • XII - THE MULES OF FREDERICK 129
  • XIII - EMANCIPATION 138
  • XIV - FREDERICKSBURG 146
  • XV - CHANCELLORSVILLE 153
  • XVI - GETTYSBURG 160
  • XVII - THE WEST 172
  • XVIII - GRANT IN THE WEST 185
  • XIX - 1864 201
  • XX - THE LAST PHASE 222
  • XXI - CONCLUSION 229
  • Index 243
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