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[296] and poor McClellan, although a man of fine war talent, and having exerted that talent with every power of his nature in behalf of his government, was bound to go, and not long thereafter was relieved of his command and retired in disgrace to private life. Just one year before the Northern people, with tongue and pen, had compared him to the great Napoleon. Then it was Ambrose Burnside was put in command of the Army of the Potomac.

A man whose zeal and ambition were consuming him, and in his rash efforts to do what neither of his predecessors had been able to do, General Halleck, his chief at Washington, telegraphs him on the 10th day of December, 1862 (see War of Rebellion, Series I., Vol. LI., Part I, supplement page 955), ‘I beg of you not to telegraph details of your plans, nor the times of your intended movements. No secret can be kept which passes through so many hands.’ Nevertheless, three days after the date of this dispatch, General Burnside did fight the great battle of Fredericksburg, where he was overwhelmingly defeated. The United States Congress that was in session when this battle was fought, held a long investigation to find out the causes of General Burnside's failure, and the readers of this paper, who desire to know the causes that conspired to defeat General Ambrose Burnside at Fredericksburg on the 13th day of December, 1862, should get the Congressional Record of that year, suffice it to say here, that the special committee to whom the case had been referred did find a scapegoat on the 6th day of April, 1863, in the person of Major-General William B. Franklin, who bore away, to the wilderness the sin of the defeat, (see same Vol., page 1019).

Then ‘all was quiet along the Potomac’—in fact, the signal defeat of General Burnside greatly enhanced the significance of the oft-repeated war-song, ‘All is Quiet Along the Potomac,’ and such was the status of events with General Lee's army until April, 1863.

In the spring of 1862 the Confederates abandoned all Virginia territory west of the Alleghanies, which was immediately occupied by the advancing Federals, and the war records of the early part of that year bristle with the dispatches of Generals


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