Abraham Lincoln, Volume II eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 309 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln, Volume II.

[11] It seems to me that military opinion, so far as I can get at it, inclines to hold that the government, having let McClellan go to the Peninsula with the expectation of McDowell’s corps, ought to have sent it to him, and not to have repaired its own oversight at his cost.  But this does not fully meet the position that, oversight or no oversight, Peninsula-success or Peninsula-defeat, blame here or blame there, when the President had reason to doubt the safety of the capital, he was resolved, and rightly resolved, to put that safety beyond possibility of question, by any means or at any cost.  The truth is that to the end of time one man will think one way, and another man will think another way, concerning this unendable dispute.

[12] General Wool was in command at Fortress Monroe.  It had been originally arranged that General McClellan should draw 10,000 men from him.  But this was afterward countermanded.  The paragraph in the President’s letter has reference to this.

[13] A slight obstruction by a battery at Drury’s Bluff must have been abandoned instantly upon the approach of a land force.

[14] Whose command had been added to McDowell’s.

[15] Colonel Franklin Haven, who was on General McDowell’s staff at the time, is my authority for this statement.  He well remembers the reason given by Mr. Lincoln, and the extreme annoyance which the general and his officers felt at the delay.

[16] “The expediency of the junction of this [McD.’s] large corps with the principal army was manifest,” says General Johnston. Narr. 131.

[17] Jackson used to say:  “Mystery, mystery, is the secret of success.”

[18] The Comte de Paris is very severe, even to sarcasm, in his comments on the President’s orders to Banks (Civil War in America, ii. 35, 36, and see 44); and Swinton, referring to the disposition of the armies, which was well known to have been made by Mr. Lincoln’s personal orders, says:  “One hardly wishes to inquire by whose crude and fatuous inspiration these things were done.” Army of Potomac, 123.  Later critics have not repeated such strong language, but have not taken different views of the facts.

[19] Observe the tone of his two dispatches of May 25 to McClellan.  McClellan’s Report, 100, 101.

[20] The Comte de Paris prefers to call it a “chimerical project.” Civil War in America, ii. 45.  Swinton speaks of “the skill of the Confederates and the folly of those who controlled the operations of the Union armies.” Army of Potomac, 122.

[21] Yet, if Fremont had not blundered, the result might have been different.  Comte de Paris, Civil War in America, ii. 47.

[22] The Third, under Heintzelman, and the Fourth, under Keyes.

[23] Even his admirer, Swinton, says that any possible course would have been better than inaction. Army of Potomac, 140, 141.

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Abraham Lincoln, Volume II from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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