all which General McClellan
had, and General Halleck
had not, the means of being exactly informed.
Thus, it was General McClellan
's knowledge against General Halleck
's surmise or conjecture.
, sitting in his office at Washington
, might have thought that there was unreasonable delay; but General McClellan
alone could have known what was the proportion between the work to be done and the means to do it.
, happily for his peace of mind and health of body, is not a man of irritable temperament, and so he could possess his soul in patience under the rash expressions of General Halleck
's impatience, which, too, may have had the excuse of being prompted by patriotic zeal and professional activity; but this excuse cannot be offered on behalf of a deliberate wrong.
In a letter subsequently written to the Secretary of War
, General Halleck
says, “The evacuation of Harrison's Landing
, however, was not commenced till the 14th, eleven days after it was ordered.”
The authority for this statement — which is neither more nor less than that General McClellan
had refused or delayed for eleven days to execute a military order — is a despatch from the latter, under date of August 14, which says,--
“Movement has commenced,--by land and water.
All the sick will be away by to-morrow night.1
Every thing being done to carry out your orders.”
At the date of this despatch, nearly all the sick, a