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ns and the allies are criticized without a touch of arrogance, and yet with a manly decision of tone which reveals a sound military judgment and thorough military training. It merits can be fully perceived only by a professional reader; bat the general reader cannot fail to recognize in it the marks which show the writer to be a man of vigorous understanding and excellent powers of observation, as well as an accomplished officer. The style is simple, perspicuous, and direct, the style of Washington, Collingwood, and Wellington;--in other words, that good style which a man of sense will always write who has something to say and writes on without thinking about his style at all. As the work. from the nature of its contents, can never have been generally read, two extracts from this portion of the volume are hero appended,--enough, it is believed, to justify the commendation which has been bestowed upon it. The first is a brief criticism of the defences of Sebastopol:-- From the pre
s, it was fortunate that Ohio had so efficient a Governor as Mr. William Dennison. He at once turned to Captain McClellan for assistance, and sent a request to Washington that the latter might be restored to his old rank in the army and the duty of organizing the Ohio volunteers assigned to him. To this request no answer was rece, and asking him whether its influence could not be counteracted. General McClellan replied in the affirmative. This was the sole order which he received from Washington regarding a campaign in Virginia. General McClellan had formed his principal rendezvous at Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati; while bodies of troops were also aparations being so far advanced as to justify it, he left Cincinnati on the 20th of June, and arrived at Grafton on the 22d. He still received no orders from Washington, and was even left ignorant of the plan for the campaign in Eastern Virginia. His own department was very extensive, and the simple administrative cares connec
great army shall move or a great fleet shall sail on a fixed future day, unless he be endowed with the gift of prophecy. And the 22d day of February was named for the combined movement, it may be presumed, simply because it was the birthday of Washington. Thus a sort of melodramatic grace was attempted to be thrown over the stern aspect of war, and the corps of fine writers who were in attendance upon the army were furnished with a theme for a sensation paragraph. It is melancholy to think thost decisive results. I do not wish to waste life in useless battles, but prefer to strike at the heart. He next proceeds to state that two bases of operation presented themselves for the advance of the Army of the Potomac,--first, that of Washington, its present position, involving a direct attack upon the intrenched positions of the enemy at Centreville, Manassas, &c., or else a movement to turn one or both of those positions, or a combination of the two plans. The relative force of the
e — on wagons, at the rate of ten to a battalion. But for the absence of women, we might have been taken for an armed emigration rather than for soldiers on the march. On May 16, we reached White House, a fine building, once the property of Washington, and now of his descendants, the Lee family. The head of this family, General Lee, was one of the chief officers of the Confederate Army; one of his nephews was in the Federal ranks. General McClellan, always careful to insist upon respect fos of the fate of the regiment at Front Royal, burnt their tents and destroyed a quantity of arms. The contagion of panic spread to Catlett's Station, where was General Duryea with four regiments. He hastened to Centreville, and telegraphed to Washington for help. The rumors were swelled and magnified on their way to the capital: the authorities there were thrown into a most unnecessary fright, and telegraphic despatches, pale with the hue of fear, were sent on the wings of lightning all over
recipitate advance may now be perceived. The general-in-chief, in his testimony before the Committee on the Conduct of the War, says, In respect to General McClellan's going too fast, or too far from Washington, there can be found no such telegram from me to him. He has mistaken the meaning of the telegrams I sent him. I telegraphed him that he was going too far, not from Washington, but from the Potomac, leaving General Lee the opportunity to come down the Potomac and get between him and Washington. I thought General McClellan should keep more on the Potomac, and press forward his left rather than his right, so as the more readily to relieve Harper's Ferry. As I can find no telegram from the general-in-chief recommending me to keep my left flank nearer the Potomac, I am compelled to believe that when he gave this testimony he had forgotten the purport of the telegrams above quoted, and had also ceased to remember the fact, well known to him at the time, that my left, from the tim
ustice to General McClellan, and that it may be understood that he was not at all open to the charge of disobedience of orders, it should be stated that the President's peremptory instructions of October 6, to cross the Potomac and give battle to the enemy or drive him south, were never distinctly repeated. From the moment of receiving them, General McClellan set himself diligently at work to get his army in condition to obey them; and from day to day, almost from hour to hour, he sent to Washington reports of his condition and progress. His telegraphic despatches between September 6 and November 7, mostly addressed to the general-in-chief, were one hundred and fifty-eight in number; and no stronger proof can be adduced of his attention to his duties, and of his earnest desire that the Government should be fully informed alike of the state of his own army, and of the movements of the enemy as far as he could learn them. As the orders to cross the river were not renewed, General McCl
G. S. Hillard, Life and Campaigns of George B. McClellan, Major-General , U. S. Army, Appendix. Oration at West Point. (search)
the shores of Ontario and Lake George, on the islands of the Caribbean and in South America. Louisburgh, Quebec, Duquesne, the Moro, and Porto Bello, attest the valor of the provincial troops; and in that school were educated such soldiers as Washington, Putnam, Lee, Montgomery, and Gates. These, and men like Greene, Knox, Wayne, and Steuben, were the fathers of our permanent army; and under them our troops acquired that discipline and steadiness which enabled them to meet upon equal terms, and often to defeat, the tried veterans of England. The study of the history of the Revolution, and a perusal of the despatches of Washington, will convince the most skeptical of the value of the permanent army in achieving our independence and establishing the civil edifice which we are now fighting to preserve. The War of 1812 found the army on a footing far from adequate to the emergency; but it was rapidly increased, and of the new generation of soldiers many proved equal to the requireme