to lay before your Excellency
, by letter or telegraph, my views as to the present state of military affairs throughout the country;” and the next day the President
replied, in language marked by that personal kindness which generally characterized his communications, “If it would not divert too much of your time and attention from the army under your immediate command, I would be glad to have your views as to the present state of military affairs throughout the whole country, as you say you would be glad to give them.”
Second, Are the views which General McClellan
sets forth in his communication sound and wise in point of fact?
Upon this question much has been and will be said on both sides; but whatever is said on one side will do but little towards convincing the other.
In short, it raises the issues on which the country began to be divided soon after the war broke out, and on which it is now rent in twain.
Every man has made up his fagots on these questions and bound them round with the cords of passion and prejudice; and it is useless to attempt to disturb them.
Time, which determines all things, will sooner or later determine whether General McClellan
was right or wrong.
As to the Army of the Potomac, it was General McClellan
's opinion that it ought not to be withdrawn, but that it should be promptly reinforced and thrown again upon Richmond
In his judgment, it was our policy to concentrate here every thing we could spare from less important points, in order to make a successful demonstration against