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[137] from that moment there began on the part of the President an active interference with the movements of the army, frequently without conference with the commander, which much increased the difficulties of the latter, and were most untoward in their influence upon the results of the campaign. The President's course can be shown out of his own mouth to have been unwise; for in his Annual Message of December 3, 1861, he says, immediately after the paragraph which has been already quoted, announcing the appointment of General McClellan as commander in-chief,--
It has been said that one bad general is better than two good ones; and the saying is true, if taken to mean no more than that an army is better directed by a single mind, though inferior, than by two superior ones at variance and cross-purposes with each other.

And the same is true in all joint operations, wherein those engaged can have none but a common end in view, and can differ only as to the choice of means. In a storm at sea, no one on board can wish the ship to sink: and yet, not unfrequently, all go down together, because too many will direct, and no single mind can be allowed to control.

This is well put: it is good sense, enforced by pertinent illustration; and the question naturally rises, why did not the President “reck his own rede” ? Without impugning his patriotism, it may be presumed that he yielded his own judgment to the force of that mysterious influence called “pressure,” --“a power behind the throne, greater than the ”

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George B. McClellan (1)
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December 3rd, 1861 AD (1)
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