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8 Series I Volume XI-III Serial 14 - Peninsular Campaign Part III

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Page 8 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

as the result of my long and tedious labors-troops that will be demoralized neither by success nor disaster. I feel that I can count upon this army of mine, and shall gladly venture my life in the scale.

If you had been as long in command you would have had as good or perhaps a better army than this, of which I feel very proud, but that has been your bad luck and my good fortune. You have done all that could have been done with the means at your disposal. The fate of war is yet to decide whether I shall prove as skillful as you have been. I am sure that I have your good wishes and prayers.

I hardly know what to say as to your proposition about new grades. Why change the European order in the military hierarchy, and make a general junior to a lieutenant-general? I see no especial reason for it.

I had determined to bide my time, content with my present rank for the present, and hoping that Congress would give another grade after marked success. I have ever felt that higher grades than that of major-general are necessary in so large an army as that we now have, but I have felt great delicacy in alluding to it. But very few weeks will elapse before the question vexata will be decided. Suppose we let it wait until then and then say what we think. I am willing, however, to defer to your judgment in the matter, and will do all I can to carry out the plan. I don't think I can do anything now. I have but few friends in Congress. The Abolitionists are doing their best to displace me, and I shall be content if I can keep my head above water until I am ready to strike the final blow. You have no idea of the undying hate with which they pursue me, but I take no notice of them, and try to keep Warren Hastings' motto in mind, Mens aqua in arduis. I sometimes become quite angry, but generally contrive to keep my temper. Do write me fully your views as to future movements in the West. I think the first thing to be done is to separate Johnston from Memphis by seizing Decatur. Buell must then force Chattanooga, and open your communications with the combined expedition, which ought to gain New Orleans within three week from this date. Butler will have about 16,000 men. The naval fleet is tremendous in power. Nothing new from Sherman; he and Du Pont are not on good terms; they neutralize other. Burnside is doing well.

Very sincerely, your friend,

GEO. B. McCLELLAN.


HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Washington, March 16, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

In order to cary out the proposed object of the Army, it has now become necessary that its commander should have the entire control of affairs around Fort Monroe. I would respectfully suggest that the simplest method of effecting this would be to merge the Department of Virginia with that of the Potomac, the name of which might properly be changed to that of the Department of the Chesapeake. In carrying this into effect I would respectfully suggest that the present commander of the Department of Virginia be assigned to some other command.


Page 8 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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