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 McClellan
had a right to suppose that the Administration were satisfied that he was straining every nerve to get the army in order for a forward movement, and on that account forbore to repeat the command.
But the evidence on this point is not merely negative, but positive, as appears from the following extract from his Report:--
Knowing the solicitude of the President for an early movement, and sharing with him fully his anxiety for prompt action, on the 21st of October I telegraphed to the general-in-chief as follows:--