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[122] painful was the weight of responsibility resting upon him. He was a young man, whose name until recently had been unknown to the public, suddenly set at the head of military operations which extended over a space and were upon a scale to tax the strategical skill and vast organizing genius of Napoleon himself. The Army of the Potomac, which was immediately under him, was ten times larger than any army that had ever been under the command of one man upon the soil of the United States since the Revolution; and the difficulty of commanding armies increases in much more than a direct ratio with their numbers,--or, in other words, it does not follow that among ten men fit to command ten thousand men there will always be found one fit to command a hundred thousand. Even the Duke of Wellington never led an army of a hundred thousand men. 1

His position was thus in itself one of great responsibility; but there were extrinsic elements which added to its burdens. The American people are easily elated and easily depressed, and they had passed through both of these states of feeling during the eventful year 1861. At the breaking out of the war, amidst the magnificent uprising of the nation to sustain the Government, we had exulted in the confident expectation that the rebellion

1Napoleon was of the opinion that he and the Archduke Charles were the only men in Europe who could manoeuvre one hundred thousand men: he considered it a very difficult thing.” --General Heintzelman. (Report on the Conduct of the War, Part I. p. 118.)

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