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[102]

General McClellan, a gentleman, a trained and educated soldier, recognized these principles from the beginning, and acted on them. On July 7, 1862, he wrote to Mr. Lincoln from Harrison's Landing, saying, among other things:

This rebellion has assumed the character of a war; as such it should be conducted upon the highest principles of Christian civilization. It should not be a war looking to the subjugation of the people of any State in any event. It should not be at all a war upon populations, but against armed forces and political organizations. Neither confiscation of property, political executions of persons, territorial organization of States, nor forcible abolition of slavery, should be contemplated for a moment.

In prosecuting the war, all private property and unarmed persons, should be strictly protected, subject only to the necessity of military operations. All property taken for military use should be paid or receipted for; pillage and waste should be treated as high crimes; all unnecessary trespass sternly prohibited, and offensive demeanor by the military towards citizens promptly rebuked.

See 2 Am. Conflict (Greely), p. 248.

The writer's home was visited by the Army of the Potomac, both under McClellan and under Grant. At the time McClellan was in command guards were stationed to protect the premises, with orders to shoot any soldier caught depredating, and but little damage was actually done; none with the consent or connivance of the commanding general. But, when the same army came, commanded by Grant, every house on the place, except one negro cabin, was burned to the ground; all stock and everything else of any value was carried off. The occupants were only women, children and servants; nearly all the servants were carried off; one of the ladies was so shocked at the outrages committed as to cause her death, and the other, and the children were turned out of doors without shelter or food, and with only the clothing they had on. So, the writer has had a real experience of the difference between civilized and barbarous warfare. To show how little the advice of McClellan, as to the principles on which the war should be conducted, was heeded at Washington, and as it would seem, stimulated in an opposite course by his suggestions, we find that in two weeks from the date of his letter to Mr. Lincoln, just quoted—viz: on July 20, 1862—that General John Pope, commandng the ‘Army of Virginia,’ issued the following order:


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