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[243] wrest from him. A few words will suffice to explain this strange result.

We have seen how the personal ambition, the jealousy and the unwarranted alarms, which at the time of the embarkation of the army of the Potomac had conspired to exercise a fatal influence over Mr. Lincoln's mind, had since continued to embarrass McClellan. After having kept McDowell back for the defence of Washington, the President and his Secretary of War, who was as great a novice as himself in such matters, had undertaken to direct the campaign from the recesses of their cabinet. We know the result. The three small independent armies of McDowell, Banks and Fremont, formed at the expense of the reinforcements intended for the army of the Potomac, had been beaten in detail. While Jackson was stealing away to repair to Gaines' Mill, the Union generals were only occupied in the reorganization of their troops, exhausted by forced marches and useless countermarches. McDowell returned, but too late, to his positions at Fredericksburg, on the Rappahannock; Banks concentrated his forces near Luray. Fremont remained in West Virginia, whither he had returned immediately after the unfortunate expedition of Cross Keys. Meanwhile, the President, a man of modesty and good sense, had very soon discovered the error he had committed in attempting to direct the complicated movements of several armies from Washington; but instead of securing unity of direction by restoring General McClellan to supreme authority over all the troops destined to operate against Richmond, he summoned General Pope from the West, and placed the corps of McDowell, Banks and Fremont under his command. The latter, refusing to serve under an officer who was his inferior in rank, transferred the command of his troops to Sigel. It was now the 26th of June, the day of the battle of Mechanicsville. Shortly after, Mr. Lincoln revived the rank of commander-in-chief of all the Federal armies, of which he had stripped McClellan just as he was taking the field; but not wishing to reinstate that general, he conferred the office upon Halleck. The brilliant successes of the armies of the West had won the admiration of all men; these successes were supposed to be due to the superiority of those armies over Eastern troops, and in taking their generals it was thought that they

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