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[75] I could confer with him, he being then dangerously ill, and that my information was confidential. The committee then lost all interest in me, and the remainder of the time was taken up by Hon. Andrew Johnson, then a member of the committee, who demonstrated that a force of 50,000 men ought to be detached from the Army of the Potomac, marched through Leesburg, thence southwest through West Virginia, so as to reach and set free from the rebels East Tennessee. The matter of transportation and provisions in a march through such a country was below the attention of the committee, and any suggestion looking to difficulty in that direction was considered as an indication of Fabian policy.

General McClellan's position during this period was one of great difficulty and delicacy. He had determined upon a plan of campaign which involved a delay of movement of the armies until spring. The delay being misunderstood, his enemies, who, in some noted cases, pretended to be his best friends, quietly insinuated that he was not the man for the position. The duties of his command were excessively harassing, and the undercurrent of detraction began to come to the surface, and make itself felt in the administration. He attended the funeral of General Lander, who died in March, and was buried in Washington. Telling me about the funeral on the next day, he said that when he saw Lander's face in the coffin, looking so calm and peaceful, and thought of the troubles he was then having, and was to have thereafter, he regretted that he was not lying there instead of Lander. These were the defiant and insubordinate feelings of the General-in-Chief.

At length he was taken sick with typhoid fever, and for a long time he was on the border of death. His sickness gave his enemies an opportunity which they were not slow to embrace; and vilification and detraction increased, so that, at last, the President even began to think that something ought to be done to conciliate public opinion, by making an effort to start the Army of the Potomac, even if it had to move without the commanding general. During this time the troops lay quietly in camp. They were well clothed and fed, and, in general, enjoyed the life. The weather and ground were not fit for drill, and the roads were too bad for marching. At long intervals, and until General McClellan was taken sick, large reviews broke the monotony of the life; but it was, nevertheless, very dull. The discipline improved visibly, and the long quiet fostered the feeling of comradeship and reliance upon each other, which, to a great extent, makes the difference between the recruit and the old soldier. Glee and minstrel and amateur theatrical clubs

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