say that it would not have been, even if he had had all the forces he asked for or desired.
An assertion like this cannot be denied point-blank.
To bandy opinions about the past is only one whit less unprofitable than to bandy predictions about the future.
All that can be affirmed is that General McClellan
's plans were such that, in all human probability, success would have followed had he been permitted to carry them out.
So much may be said by way of defence of General McClellan
against the charges most commonly brought against him, and in rebuttal of the evidence put in on the other side; but there are some considerations which are in the nature of distinct and positive testimony in his behalf, on which it is but just to him to say a few words.
In the first place, with the single exception of the battle of Gaines's Mill
, in which some thirty-five thousand men retired, without disorder or demoralization, before twice their number, no army led by General McClellan
, or that was under his control, has ever been defeated.
This is a significant and important fact, and all the more so from the comparisons which are forced upon every unbiassed mind by the unjust treatment which General McClellan
has received at the hands of the Administration.
In August, 1862, the Army of the Potomac was taken from him and intrusted to General Pope
; and the consequence was the disaster at Bull Run
on the 30th of the same month, the second misfortune to our arms on that ill-omened field.
In November of the same year he was