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 without a deep sense of pain and humiliation. A sufficient time has since elapsed to permit those who have at heart rather the vindication of historic truth than the partisan support of either side, to see that grave faults were committed both by the Administration and by General McClellan. While we are bound to believe that each was moved by the sincere desire to bring the war to a successful issue, each did much to frustrate the very object they had mutually at heart. On the part of the Administration, a definite plan of campaign should have been promptly adopted and vigorously executed. When McClellan presented his scheme of a change of base to the lower Chesapeake, the project should either have been frankly approved or frankly disapproved. The plan was meritorious, and promised brilliant and decisive results. But the President first disapproved it, on the ground that it would require too long a time to be put into execution. He then approved it; but for almost a month withheld the order to provide water transportation to carry the plan into effect. Having at length taken this step, and while the costly preparations were, by his own order, in the full course of execution, he renewed all his old objections to removing the army from the front of Washington, and required that the question should be submitted to a council of McClellan's generals. These officers having approved the project, the Executive once more assented; but tied up his approval with the foolish restriction that not more than one-half the army should be taken away, until the enemy's batteries were destroyed,—an enterprise which would have involved a movement of the whole army, and which was, besides, certain to be the bloodless fruit of the execution of the general plan. Again, when the evacuation of Manassas had so far necessitated a change of plan, that it was determined to seek a new base of operations at Fortress Monroe, and the council of corps commanders, to whom the President had referred the
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