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“ [334] against the comet. Would my word free the slaves, when I cannot even enforce the Constitution in the rebel States? Is there a single court or individual that would be influenced by it there? And what reason is there to think it would have any greater effect upon the slaves than the late law of Congress which I approved, and which offers protection and freedom to the slaves of rebel masters who come within our lines? Yet I cannot learn that the law has caused a single slave to come over to us.” It is hardly possible to suppose that in the short space of eleven days the mind of the President had undergone a process of natural conversion upon a point of such vital moment.

But General McClellan's political opinions, and his manly avowal of them, afford no justification for his removal from the command of the army. He had shown by word and deed that he would do his duty as a soldier, within his sphere, whatever political policy the Administration might adopt or whatever political aspects the war might assume. This was all the Administration had a right to ask. That he had the confidence and affection of his army is beyond question. His removal was due to a fact stated affirmatively — though put in the form of a question to General McDowell--by a member of the Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War, December 26, 1861,--that “there is a political element connected with this war which must not be overlooked.” There has indeed been such an “element” from the beginning in the conduct of this war; it never has, been

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I. McDowell (1)
George B. McClellan (1)
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December 26th, 1861 AD (1)
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