original despatch to which General Halleck
's letter is a reply, one thousand and fifty (1050), and not one hundred and fifty, is the number stated; and, as it was written out in letters in full, it is difficult to see how the telegraphic operator could have made a mistake in transmitting the message.
The gross injustice done to General McClellan
in thus holding him up to the public as guilty either of deliberate untruth or of enormous carelessness, need not be commented upon.
The question between the authorities at Washington
and General McClellan
was a question of fact.
Neither the President
nor the general-in-chief
nor the Secretary of War
would have insisted upon the army's advancing without shoes, clothing, and horses; but it was charged, or at least intimated, that the army, in point of fact, was sufficiently supplied with them all, and that the alleged want of them was a mere pretext put forward by the general in command to excuse his slowness, indolence, or lack of zeal in the cause.
Upon this issue we may repeat, what was said before as to the charge of needless delay in forwarding the troops from Harrison
's Bar, that General McClellan
stands upon the ground of knowledge and the Administration upon the ground of inference.
The testimony of one credible witness swearing affirmatively to what he knows outweighs that of twenty who can only contradict him by a process of deductive reasoning.
The ease cannot be put more simply or more forcibly than has been done by General McClellan
himself in his Report:--