demoralize the enemy by forcing him to abandon his prepared position for one which we have chosen, in which all is in our favor and where success must produce immense results. My judgment, as a general, is clearly in favor of this project. Nothing is certain in war; but all the chances are in favor of this movement. So much am I in favor of the southern line of operations, that I would prefer the move from Fortress Monroe as a base, as a certain though less brilliant movement than that from Urbana, to an attack upon Manassas. I know that his Excellency the President, you, and I, all agree in our wishes, and that these wishes are, to bring this war to a close as promptly as the means in our possession will permit. I believe that the mass of the people have entire confidence in us. I am sure of it. Let us, then, look only to the great result to be accomplished, and disregard every thing else.This carefully-prepared and well-reasoned letter, and the many verbal conferences which followed it, seem to have induced the President to give up his own “plan;” for the execution of his order was not insisted upon,--though, as it was not revoked so formally as it had been issued, General McClellan stood before the public in the awkward position of a general officer declining to execute an order of the commander-in-chief still apparently in force. But from this time General McClellan's “plan” of attacking Richmond by way of the Peninsula was assented to, or acquiesced in, by the President; and no further conflict of opinion took place between them on this point. The plan of operations being settled, the next
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