‘  returned from a visit to Pillow, and he clearly showed by his conversation that he understood my determination at the first interview, just as I have related it above. * * * Buckner's letter to Governor Magoffin, subsequently published, stating that in our first interview I had agreed to respect the neutrality of Kentucky, gave an incorrect account of the case, which was as I have stated it.’ This is certainly explicit and clear enough, and undoubtedly recites the facts as McClellan remembered them, but as it was written twenty-six years after the event, it is possible he may have forgotten some of the details of his conversation with Buckner. McClellan's correspondence at this period makes it probable that he was called to book by General Scott or President Lincoln about this matter, though no letter or telegram on the subject from the Washington end of the line is found. But on June 26th, after he had entered upon his West Virginia campaign, McClellan sent a long telegram to Scott from Grafton, in which he shows great anxiety to explain satisfactorily to his superior his relations with Buckner. ‘This transaction,’ said McClellan, ‘has surprised me beyond expression. My chief fear has been that you, whom I regard as my strongest friend in Washington, might have supposed me to be guilty of the extreme of folly.’ This telegram was supplemented by a letter on the same day, embodying the substance of both, and covering the whole case. This contemporaneous letter is entitled to great consideration in summing up the misunderstanding of these two old friends, both truthful men, concerning ‘our misunderstanding,’ at Cincinnati. One thing is made clear by it—McClellan's ‘policy’ at the time Buckner visited him was, and had been, a policy of strict neutrality toward Kentucky. It is not unlikely that, during a long night's conversation, without entering into any specific agreement, McClellan gave Buckner the impression that that policy of neutrality should continue, if the status quo was maintained, and he received no orders to the contrary from Washington. All the circumstances lend probability to this view.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Died of disease.
Autobiography of Gen. Patton Anderson , C. S. A.
An important Dispatch.
Sketch of Company I , 61st Virginia Infantry , Mahone 's Brigade , C. S. A.
First gun at Sumter .
The Confederate flag.
The battle of Shiloh .
Fight at front Royal.
A parallel for Grant 's action.
Company D , Clarke Cavalry.
[from the Richmond Dispatch , April 19 , 1896 .] history and roster of this command, which fought gallantly.
General George E. Pickett .
General Grant 's censor.
The Roll of Company G, forty-ninth Virginia Infantry .
Wounded at Williamsburg, Va.
The Confederate armies .
The Newmarket charge.
Annoyed by shells.
From Lieutenant Schuricht 's Diary.
Goochland Light Dragoons .
The laying of the corner-stone of the monument to President Jefferson Davis ,
In Monroe Park at Richmond, Virginia , Thursday , July 2 , 1896 , with the Oration of General Stephen D. Lee .
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.