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[142]

1st. Does not your plan involve a greatly larger expenditure of time and money than mine?

2d. Wherein is a victory more certain by your plan than mine?

3d. Wherein is a victory more valuable by your plan than mine?

4th. In fact, would it not be less valuable, in this, that it would break no great line of the enemy's communications, while mine would?

5th. In case of disaster, would not a retreat be more difficult by your plan than mine?

Yours, truly,


These questions were substantially answered in the letter to the Secretary of War above referred to, which appears in General McClellan's Report; but its length forbids its being copied in full, and only an abstract of its contents can be given.

He begins with a brief statement of the condition of the troops when he assumed the command in July, 1861, and of the defenceless position of the capital at that time, and thus recapitulates what had been accomplished up to the date of writing:--

The capital is secure against attack; the extensive fortifications erected by the labor of our troops enable a small garrison to hold it against a numerous army; the enemy have been held in check; the State of Maryland is securely in our possession; the detached counties of Virginia are again within the pale of our laws, and all apprehension of trouble in Delaware is at an end; the enemy are confined to the positions they occupied before the disaster of the 21st of July. More than all this, I have

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