now under my command a well-drilled and reliable army, to which the destinies of the country may be confidently committed.
This army is young and untried in battle; but it is animated by the highest spirit, and is capable of great deeds.
That so much has been accomplished and such an army created in so short a time from nothing, will hereafter be regarded as one of the highest glories of the Administration and the nation.
After telling the Secretary
that he has not yet under his command such a force as he asked for in his earliest papers submitted to the President
, he thus proceeds:--
When I was placed in command of the armies of the United States, I immediately turned my attention to the whole field of operations, regarding the Army of the Potomac as only one, while the most important, of the masses under my command.
I confess that I did not then appreciate the total absence of a general plan which had before existed, nor did I know that utter disorganization and want of preparation pervaded the Western armies.
I took it for granted that they were nearly, if not quite, in condition to move towards the fulfilment of my plans.
I acknowledge that I made a great mistake.
I sent at once — with approval of the Executive — officers I considered competent to command in Kentucky and Missouri.
Their instructions looked to prompt movements.
I soon found that the labor of creation and organization had to be performed there: transportation, arms, clothing, artillery, discipline, all were wanting.
These things required time to procure them.
The generals in command have done their work most creditably; but we are still delayed.
I had hoped that a