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[61] marvellous and majestic, when the nation, stirred to its depths, uprose to meet the crisis that was upon it. Something of the kind had been seen at the uprising that followed the assault on Fort Sumter. But that was a manifestation less deep and earnest than the swift, stern, almost savage vigor with which the men of the North, wounded in the instinct of self-love as well as in the sentiment of patriotism, arose to assert their manhood, impugned by the humiliations of Bull Run. The crisis was one fitted to test the mettle of the nation; for had it then shown the least supineness or hesitation, its doom had been sealed. In a fortnight the terms of service of the seventy-five thousand volunteers would have expired; and the Southern army, flushed with victory and doubled in material strength, would have found the capital of the United States an easy prey.

The nation sprang spontaneously to arms. With incredible rapidity new battalions were formed and forwarded to Washington; and by the time the term of service of the provisional troops had expired, their number had been more than replaced by fresh levies enlisted for three years or the war.

What the country could give—men, material, money—that it gave lavishly, far outrunning the calls of the Government; but what it could not give was precisely what was most urgently needed to vitalize these sinews of war,—to wit, adequate leadership, and that soul of armies, the mind of a great commander. For this the nation, keenly alive to its need, could only breathe passionate aspirations.

General McDowell vacated the command of the army without forfeiting the respect of his countrymen; for, while he had lost a battle, there was an instinctive consciousness that he had been the victim of circumstances rather than of any miscarriage of his own. And now there could be no doubt regarding his successor; for the general and consenting voice of the North pointed to the young general who had just concluded his campaign in the mountains of West Virginia as the desired leader of the army. General McClellan, accordingly, was summoned to Washington the day after Bull Run,

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