The general-in-chief remained two days in New York, and returned to Washington
by way of Philadelphia
In the latter city he went out to walk, but was recognized at once from his portraits, and an enormous crowd collected around him, at first with salutations only, but soon with cheers.
He was compelled to retreat, and the Mayor
organized an impromptu reception in Independence Hall.
So many, however, sought to shake his hand that it was impossible to gratify them all, and he was taken to a carriage by a private way. Still the populace found and followed him, and the carriage windows were broken by those determined not only to see, but to touch, the man who led the national armies.
On the 23rd of November, he arrived in Washington
, and spent a day with the President
and the Secretary of War
At this time he recommended the muster out of eight major-generals
and thirty-three brigadiers, to make room for officers who had won promotion in the field.
Many of these, he said, ‘it might be advisable to notify, so as to give them an opportunity of resigning, if they elect so to do;’ but ‘with regard to all the general officers named in the list, I am satisfied the good of the service will be advanced by their withdrawal.’
Some of them were his own warm personal friends, and the President
reminded him of this.
replied that he knew it well, but they were not good generals; and the names remained.
There was talk between Lincoln
, of a new Secretary of War
, and the President
promised that he would not appoint another without first allowing the general-in-chief
to express his mind.