1864: “A General and Warrior on a Peace Platform”

September 3, Saturday.

New York City is shouting for McClellan, and there is a forced effort elsewhere to get a favorable response to the proceeding at Chicago. As usual some timid men are alarmed, and there are some like Raymond, Chairman of the National Committee who have no fixed and reliable principles that are without confidence and another set, like Greeley, who have a lingering hope that they can yet have an opportunity to make a new candidate. But this will soon be over. The issue is made up. It is whether a war shall be made against Lincoln to get peace with Jeff Davis. Those who met at Chicago prefer hostility to Lincoln rather than Davis. Such is extreme partisanism.

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1862: “Let Us Look Before Us, And Not Behind”


Washington D.C., July 14, 1862

To The Officers and Soldiers of the Army of Virginia:

By special assignment of the President of the United States I have assumed the command of this army. I have spent two weeks in learning your whereabouts, your condition and your wants, in preparing you for active operations, and in placing you in positions from which you can act promptly and to the purpose. These labors are nearly completed, and I am about to join you in the field. Continue reading

1862: “Better Die Here…”

May 14th – Our army has fallen back to within four miles of Richmond. Much anxiety is felt for the fate of the city. Is there no turning point in this long lane of downward progress? Truly it may be said, our affairs at this moment are in a critical condition. I trust in God, and the chivalry and patriotism of the South in the field.

The enemy’s fleet of gun-boats are ascending James River, and the obstructions are not completed. We have but one or two casemated guns in battery, but we have brave men there. Continue reading

1862: “Mud Took The Military Valor…”

…We encountered one of the most powerful allies of the enemy, particularly during the winter and spring campaigns in Virginia, – MUD. No country equals a Virginia road for mud. We struck it thick, and sometimes knee-deep. It was very “heavy marching.” The foot sank insidiously into the mud, and came out again reluctantly; it had to be coaxed, and while you were persuading your left, the willing right was sinking as deep. The noise of the walking was like that of a suction-pump when the water is exhausted. Continue reading

1861: “Nobody Knows His Plans”

Gazette665 Blog Series 1861: In Their WordsDecember 31, 1861

Genl [General] McClelllan and his chief of staff, Genl Marcey, are both very sick – Said to be typhoid fever – and this making much difficulty.

The Genl it seems, is very reticent. Nobody knows his plans. The Sec {Secretary] of war and the President himself are kept in ignorance of the actual condition of the army and the intended movements of the General – if indeed they intend to move at all. In fact the whole administration is lamentably deficient in the lack of unity and co-action. There is no quarrel among us, but an absalute [absolute] want of community of intelligence, purpose and action. Continue reading