A reconnoissance or “slight demonstration” ordered for the day before by McClellan had been completed, and is not to be confounded with this movement, for which he was not responsible.
 For example, see his Own Story, 82; but, unfortunately, one may refer to that book passim for evidence of the statement.
 N. and H. iv. 469.
 Ibid. v. 140.
 Letter to Lincoln, February 3, 1862.
 Army of Potomac, 97. Swinton says: “He should have made the lightest possible draft on the indulgence of the people.” Ibid. 69. General Webb says: “He drew too heavily upon the faith of the public.” The Peninsula, 12.
 The Southern generals had a similar propensity to overestimate the opposing force; e.g., Johnston’s Narrative, 108, where he puts the Northern force at 140,000, when in fact it was 58,000; and on p. 112 his statement is even worse.
 The Southerners also had the same notion, hoping by one great victory to discourage and convince the North and make peace on the basis of independence; e.g., see Johnston’s Narrative 113, 115. Grant likewise had the notion of a decisive battle. Memoirs, i. 368.
 The position taken by Messrs. Nicolay and Hay, I think, fully warrants this language.
 General Palfrey says of this committee that “the worst spirit of the Inquisition characterized their doings.” The Antietam and Fredericksburg (Campaigns of Civil War Series), 182.
 Through Stanton; McClellan, Own Story, 156.
 Only a few days before this time Lincoln had said that he had no “right” to insist upon knowing the general’s plans. Julian, Polit. Recoll. 201.
 It appears that he feared that what he said would leak out, and ultimately reach the enemy.
 For an interesting account of these incidents, from Secretary Chase’s Diary, see Warden, 401.
 Lamon, 332; Herndon, 353-356; N. and H. try to mitigate this story, v. 133.
 He did not always feel his tongue tied afterward by the obligations of office; e.g., see Julian, Polit. Recoll. 210.
 For a singular tale, see McClellan, Own Story, 153.
 In fact, the feeling against McClellan was getting so strong that some of his enemies were wild enough about this time to accuse him of disloyalty. He himself narrates a dramatic tale, which would seem incredible if his veracity were not beyond question, of an interview, occurring March 8, 1862, in which the President told him, apparently with the air of expecting an explanation, that he was charged with laying his plans with the traitorous intent of leaving Washington defenseless. McClellan’s Own Story, 195. On the other hand, McClellan retaliated by believing that his detractors wished, for political and personal motives, to prevent the war from being brought to an early and successful close, and that they intentionally withheld from him the means of success; also that Stanton especially sought by underhand means to sow misunderstanding between him and the President. Ibid. 195.