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[284] description of the political condition of the counties of Western Tennessee:

‘I am told that there is much excitement among the negroes there, who, in their private talks, have gone so far as to select their white wives.’

And still, General McClellan was devoting all his talent and energy (as the correspondence shows) to bring about the very state of affairs that would enable these poor, deluded negroes to accomplish their unrighteous purposes. And since General McClellan planned and executed the first formidable invasion of Virginia, it is meet to give more than a passing notice to his character.

General McClellan was born and reared in the North, and was educated at West Point Military Academy. He had seen service as a soldier in the Mexican war, and was in the United States army in 1861, at which time he was in the prime of life

From his letters to General Scott and the War Department he shows a wonderful knowledge of the art of war. He does not hesitate at the use of any means that would subserve his purpose, and the only standard set up by him was ‘success.’ The record shows that immediately after his appointment as major-general he established the large camps just in the rear of Cincinnati, and named them Forts Harrison and Dennison, and with the help of Governors Dennison of Ohio, Yates of Illinois and Morton of Indiana, that he assembled at these two forts more than forty full regiments that were thoroughly drilled and in every way equipped to take the field by the 27th day of May, when the invasion of Virginia from the Ohio frontier began; and this vast preparation that had been made since the 23d day of April is a clear proof of the wonderful power of General McClellan as an organizer of troops.

These troops were conveyed over the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, some from Wheeling, but the greater part from Parkersburg, and at the little town of Philippi, the county seat of Barbour county, twelve miles south of the Parkersburg branch of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, on the third day of June, 1861, is where the van of General McClellan's vast army first struck the Provisional forces of Virginia, under Colonel Porterfield.

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