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[169] was a matter of sound military judgment; but as a matter of fact it is certain that from the moment the Army of the Potomac landed upon the Peninsula an uneasy sense of insecurity took possession of the minds of the President, the Cabinet, and the members of Congress. The public in general shared this feeling; and the Northern press encouraged and increased it. All over the loyal States the question of the safety of Washington was discussed, with abundant zeal and very little knowledge. Some of this alarm may have been counterfeited for political effect; but without doubt much of it was real; and this should be borne in mind, when discussing measures subsequently adopted, disastrous in their consequences, but, unquestionably, inspired by an honest but miserable fright. It was destined, in the providence of God, that our cause should suffer alike from unreasonable hopes and extravagant fears.

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