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[129]

Ans.--“ I have never been consulted upon any military subject.”

* * * * * *

Ques.--“ You think a council of war among the chief officers might be beneficial?”

Ans.--“ I thought so. Certainly it would be very satisfactory to some of them, I know. We have been very anxious to know what is proposed to be done. I should act with more confidence if I knew.”

Ques.--“ Is there any feeling among officers that they are not consulted,--that they are slighted?”

Ans.--“Yes, sir: I suppose there is some,” &c. &c.1

This particular grievance — the reserve of the commander-in-chief, and his not consulting with his inferior officers — was a frequent point of inquiry on the part of the committee during the winter months, but by no means the only one. The general plan of the campaign, the policy which delayed a forward movement, the organization of the army, the proportion of cavalry to the other arms, the defences about Washington, the number of men requisite to make it secure, were also among the subjects to which the inquiries of the committee were directed. Their investigations were moulded and colored by a spirit not friendly to the commander-in-chief. Day after day, general officers, and sometimes those of inferior rank, were called before them, and invited, not to say encouraged, to give their opinions upon the plans of the commander-in-chief, his military views, and the manner in which he discharged his duties, and thus to

1 Report on the Conduct of the War, Part I. pp. 117-121.

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