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[260] and for the coming of that time General McClellan can afford to wait.

But the saddest of all experiences for a commanding general is to lose the confidence of his army. That cup was never put to General McClellan's lips. His soldiers were intelligent enough to understand what he had done, and generous enough to be grateful to him for it. They had witnessed his toils and exposures, his calm self-reliance, his resolute front, his unaltered brow: they had seen him perplexed but not cast down, anxious but not despairing. The approach of danger, the burden of responsibility, had called forth reserved powers and unrevealed energies. Their common perils, their common labors, the trying scenes they had passed through, the safety they had secured, had created new ties of sympathy between the commanding general and his noble army. No muttered curses fell upon his ear, no sullen, averted countenances met his eye; but, as he rode along their lines, shouts of welcome instead, and faces glowing with honest joy, passed a judgment upon his course that enabled him to meet with composure the sneers of the scoffer, the malice of partisan falsehood, and the rash censures of presumptuous half-knowledge.

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George B. McClellan (2)
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