History of the Administration of President Lincoln: Including His Speeches, Letters, Addresses, Proclamations, and Messages. With a Preliminary Sketch of His Life

By Henry J. Raymond | Go to book overview

APPENDIX.

LIEUT.-GEN. SCOTT AND MAJ.-GEN. McCLELLAN.

Allusion is made on a previous page to a letter of advice and suggestions addressed by General McClellan to General Scott, which he afterwards withdrew.

The following correspondence relates to that letter and grew out of it:

GEN. SCOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 1861.

SIR:--I received yesterday from Major-General McClellan a letter of that date, to which I design this as my only reply. Had Major-General McClellan presented the same views in person, they would have been fully entertained and discussed. All my military views and opinions had been so presented to him, without eliciting much remark in our few meetings which I have in vain sought to multiply. He has stood on his guard and now places himself on record. Let him make the most of his unenvied advantages. Major-General McClellan has propagated in high quarters the idea expressed in the letter before me, that Washington was not only "insecure," but in "imminent danger." Relying on our numbers, our forts, and the Potomac river, I am confident in the opposite opinion; and considering the stream of new regiments that is pouring in upon us (before the alarm could have reached their homes), I have not the slightest apprehension for the safety of the Government here. Having now been unable to mount a horse, or to walk more than a few paces at a time, and consequently being unable to review troops-- much less to direct them in battle: in short, broken down by many

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