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[74]

About the 1st of November, the country again began to get impatient that no forward movement was begun by any of the armies, but in the East this impatience was intensified against the Army of the Potomac. Bull Run was forgotten, and the facts that the enemy had once made his appearance on Munson's Hill, that the Potomac was virtually closed, and that we had met with a disaster at Ball's Bluff, were always present. But the great fact of all was, there were more than one hundred thousand soldiers about Washington. Although these men were generally raw troops who had never heard a hostile gun, and were daily improving in drill and discipline and physique, there was a feeling in Washington and in the country generally that they ought to be pushed forward into Virginia at all hazards. This feeling, considering the small amount of military knowledge among the people and the enormous expenditure then going on, was not singular, but it was nevertheless one that did harm, and was used by a set of politicians who had just come up, and who have remained up ever since, to excite the administration and the country against the management of the army.

In the latter part of the fall. Lieutenant General Scott asked to be retired, and his request was granted. General McClellan was then made Commander-in-Chief of the army, and at once became responsible for the movements and organization of all of the forces East and West. He determined, therefore, to carry out a plan as to the movement of the Army of the Potomac, which he had studied long, and which, independent of political and financial considerations, commends itself to every military mind as the very best for making a campaign against Richmond at that time. After events demonstrated the wisdom of this plan. In few words, the plan was to move the whole Army of the Potomac, except a force sufficient for the defense of Washington to the vicinity of a place named Urbana, on the Rappahannock, and from this point as a base, to advance upon Richmond. But this involved a delay until spring, and as soon as it became generally known that there was to be this delay, as its cause was not known, the most strenuous efforts were made by Congress and the press to find out what was contemplated. Generals commanding divisions who were known to be in General McClellan's confidence, were examined by Congressional committees for the sole purpose of finding out what he intended to do. On one occasion, in December, I think, I was examined before the Committee on the Conduct of the War. I was asked whether I knew General McClellan's plans, and I answered in the affirmative. I was then asked to divulge them, and replied that I would prefer to wait until

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