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Text for Page 276 [11-05-1874]

              [newspaper clipping]

[newspaper clipping: first column]
	(Continued from The Times of October 29.)
  The Count of Paris, in his second volume, con-
tinues the history of the struggle from the first battle
of Bull Run, on the 21st of July, 1861, down to the
dispatch of MacClellan�s ill-starred expedition to
Fortress Monroe, in the spring of 1862.  In
his description of the armed bodies which sprang
up over the vast continent from the shores
of the Atlantic to the slopes of the Rocky
Mountains, we have evidence of the most pains-
taking research and patient industry.  It was
no ordinary labour to construct, out of the
crude materials of Congressional Reports, pro-
ceedings of Committees of Inquiry, newspaper
correspondence, and official despatches, a con-
nected narrative of such purposeless, profitless,
and wild �campaigns� as those which diversified the
history of the autumn that followed Bull Run, in
Missouri, New Mexico, the Highlands of Western
Virginia, &c., and made men familiar with the
names of Pilot Knob, Dug Springs, Little Blue,
Wild Cat, Cheat Summit, Carnifax Ferry, Chicoma-
comico, and Catchahoochie.  Engagements like those
with Thompson, the �Marsh Fox,� at Frederick-
town, the brilliant feat of the Hungarian Zagonyi at
Springfield, and sporadic skirmishes all over the
country, so like each other, but for the differ-
ences in the names, the account of one might quite
well answer for all, are set out in full detail.  They
leave no definite impression on the mind.  The
author says of them that they �are a series of
small events without apparent connexion, and which
may appear to the reader long and monotonous.�
And he is right; but he things it necessary
�to show how the war was carried on in
those distant regions�a war which, in many
respects, recalls those of the Middle Ages, where
little armies advance and retreat unceasingly before
each other, are often lost to sight altogether, to re-
appear on the day of battle and to disperse perhaps
next day owing to the want of means of sub-
sistence; a war made not only by volunteers, but
by amateurs, who always maintain their individual
independence, and in which all the population,
divided by hostile passions, takes part, and which,
consequently, offers a larger field than any other to
violence, pillage, and crime.�  They look to us
like the sparks which may be seen in pieces of burnt
paper in one�s grate travelling about purposelessly,
and beginning and dying out with equal abrupt-
ness.  They were not very sanguinary, but they
were still a dreadful waste of human life, for these
guerilla and partisan strifes and struggles in
Missouri had no influence on the ultimate issue,
and they ceased as soon as the Generals on both
sides had learnt enough of their trade to be aware
of the real and only mode of deciding the issues.
The mistakes and ineptitude of Fremont in the
West show how the world errs when it presumes,
as it is apt to do, that an adventurous traveller
and daring explorer ought to be an able commander
in an army; but Fremont, like every Federal Gene-
ral at that time, was harassed by orders from
Washington, where terror sat enthroned long after
the 21st of July, though MacClellan was outside
[word cut off] with 70,000 men.  Still, there can be no excuse
for the abandonment of the �Immortal Mulli-
[word cut off] an,� whose capitulation was due rather to the
impossibility of defending his position than to the
losses he had sustained in action at Lexington.
No better illustrations of the recent precepts of
Von Moltke respecting the difference between the
operations of irregular levies and of regular troops
can be found  than those contained in the first
chapter of �Le Premier Automne,� headed
�Lexington;� but the reader is soon called to
the operations to free the Mississippi from the
grasp of the Confederates, in which Grant made his
d�but, and acquired the experience which secured
his fortune as a soldier and a politician.  He came
forward in the lists against the Rev. Leonidas Polk,
Protestant Bishop and, we may add, Secessionist
martyr, for he gave up his life for his cause��pius
miles, fortis sacerdos.�  The Count of Paris does not
often delay the course of his narrative to draw
portraits of the persons concerned in the events he
records, and rarely attempts analysis of character;
but of Grant he says that�
  �Laborious, persevering, silent, he had shown great
personal courage in the Mexican War, but having become a
captain of infantry he left the service, and was engaged in
business as a leather merchant when the Civil War broke
out. Without any personal ambition, but persuaded that
an imperious duty called to the colours all who had received
a military education, he entered a regiment of Illinois, his
native State, and soon became its colonel.  He had the good
fortune not to arrive too soon at the highest positions,
while from the very outset of the war he held almost in-
dependent command.  Thus he was able to profit by the
experience of his superiors, and when he came to the front
he had acquired a profound knowledge of the war he was
called on to direct.�
  His first essage was by no means promising.  The
Bishop, who was an old West Pointer, gave his
fellow-student a very severe castigation at Belmont,
and the ecclesiastic proved a better soldier than the
leather merchant.  MacClellan, who was summoned
from the bureaux of the Illinois Railway at Chicago
to resume his sword, made a far more successful
appearance in the field by defeating Garnett and 
Pegram in Western Virginia, and was so far un-
fortunate in his good fortune as to be selected in
consequence of it for the chief command of the
Army of the Potomac when MacDowell failed at
Bull Run.  The attempts of the Confederates to
recover Western Virginia from MacClellan�s successor
led to another group of skirmishes, in which Lee
made his premier �preuve as a General, and failed
to give any indication of his future greatness, and
in which Floyd showed that a strong politician may
be a very feeble leader.  The Count of Paris
remarks that�
  �This unconnected campaign, marked by chance
rencontres and incomplete man�uvres, where the Generals
who were later to exhibit such extraordinary activity re-
mained for weeks in presence of each other without firing
a shot, is a striking example of the difficulty which
paralyzed the most able of those leaders at the beginning
of the war so new for all.�
  One of MacClellan�s first acts on being named
to succeed Winfield Scott as Commander-in-Chief
was to despatch the slow, strict, and methodical
Buell to replace Sherman in Kentucky.  That
General, whom the author terms �un v�ritable
homme de guerre,� had resolutely refused to
countenance the illusions which prevailed in the
Federal councils, and when General Thomas came
to inspect his levies on behalf of the Government
at Washington, Sherman told him �it would need
60,000 men to conquer Kentucky, and 200,000 to
beat the Confederates between the Mississippi and
the Alleghanies.�  The Federal wiseacres said he
was mad; they took away his command for a time;
but what he said was true, and it was his fortune
to do more than any one man, or any number of
them as Generals, to finish the war of which he so
early estimated the just proportions.  The solici-
tude which the Federalists showed for the safety and
retention of Washington was almost greater than
their desire to seize upon the seat of the rival
Government at Richmond.  So far they rightly
gauged the great political and moral advantages
which would have accrued to the South by the
possession of the district in which sat, according to
the Constitution, the supreme Government of the
United States.  The country around the capital
offered peculiar facilities for the construction of
earthworks; and although the line was cut by the
river, the redoubts and intrenchments to enclose
the city, which were thrown up in three months from
Alexandria, round to Georgetown, were of a nature
to arrest any army unprepared for regular approaches.
MacClellan was for three months in a position such
as was, observes the Count of Paris, �never before
occupied by a citizen of a free country.�  He had
carte blanche to do as he pleased absolutely and
entirely.  The President came humbly to his rooms
�to talk strategy with George;� the veteran Winfield
Scott approved all he said and did; every word
was a command, and the people of the North fondly
called him, who had as yet only commanded a few
battalions in some mountain skirmishes, their
�Young Napoleon,� and were prepared to credit
him with the deepest designs and the most con-
summate ability in war.  In the short space of
three months his forces were quintupled; and
spreading them out along the Upper Potomac,
he began to disquiet the Confederates so far that
they drew in their outposts in front of Washington
and abandoned Monson�s Hill, which �the 
Unionists were accustomed to show to visitors and
journalists in order that they might say they had
seen the enemy.�  But it at last occurred to the
Confederates that, as they had the right bank of
the lower Potomac all to themselves, it was very
stupid to allow the vast army of the enemy above
to be supplied by the fleets which night and day
passed up to Washington from Northern ports.  It
was not, however, till the middle of September that
they constructed batteries, and on the 30th of
  * �Histoire de la Guerre Civile en Am�rique.�  Par M.
Le Comte de Paris, ancien aide-de-camp du G�n�ral
MacClellan.  Michel L�vy, Fr�res, Paris.

[newspaper clipping: second column]
September Washington was blockaded.  Here was
a humiliation for Congress, President, and people!
It was evident something must be done, and
the only something which could raise the blockade
was to drive the Confederates away from the right
bank of the Potomac.  On the 15th of October,
MacClellan had under his orders 152,000 men and
228 guns, and proposed to take the field with
75,000 men and 140 guns against the Con-
federates at Manassas.  He was singularly ill-in-
formed respecting the condition and strength of the
enemy who were almost under his nose.  He 
believed that Johnston had 150,000 well-disciplined
troops, whereas that officer had only 66,000, of
whom only 44,000 were present under the colours,
one-third of the force being invalided or absent
without leave.  On the date mentioned above he
advanced his right towards Leesburg.  So little
did the Federals know of the State they had en-
tered that the staff were obliged to take surveys
and lay down the map of the country as they ad-
vanced.  His inexperienced officers led him to think
the Confederates were disposed to abandon their po-
sitions, and so he ordered General Stone to accelerate
their retreat in case of need by a slight demonstra-
tion.  Stone�s reconnoitring parties, sent across
the Potomac at night, took the effect of moonlight
on a sheet of water for a Confederate camp, and
returned with the report that the enemy were not
on their guard!  This was the origin of the errors
which, successively accumulating, brought on the
Federal Army the great disaster of Ball�s Bluff.
It is scarcely to be credited that the Federals un-
dertook to cross a deep and rapid river without any
means of transport in case of a reverse except three
flats, which would take 70 men at a time, and a small
iron boat.  Out of 1,900 men who crossed scarcely
800 returned.  The others were killed, wounded, or
taken, and all their cannon were captured.
  In the accounts of the disastrous affair at Ball�s
Bluff, as well as in the remarks on the errors of judg-
ment on MacClellan�s part respecting the strength
and the discipline of the force under Johnston, the
Count of Paris proves that his friendship for the
Federal leader has not rendered him blind to
trident defects.  When a furious outcry was raised
against Stone, MacClellan showed no sympathy for
his ancient comrade of West Point.  The subse-
quent treatment of Stone was scandalous.  By order
of the Minister of War he was cast into prison at
Fort Lafayette, and kept in close confinement for six
months.  No other authority was ever produced
for that arrest, no charge was proved against him,
the Committee on Military Operations ignored the
matter, and a vulgar cry, which no attempt was
made to substantiate, of �Secessionist procli-
vities� was raised as a sort of general justifica-
tion.  The action threw the North into a fit of
passion, and shook the confidence of MacClellan in
his troops to such an extent that he renounced the
intended campaign of October, 1861.  The moral
ascendancy which he had established was impaired.
The Confederates were encouraged by the failure
of the threatened attack, and pressed the blockade
of the Potomac with renewed vigour.  Then came
the Winter, and the two great armies appeared
willing to imitate the old European traditions of
warfare and retire into quarters till the Spring
liberated them, but meantime there was brought to
bear on the contest the enormously powerful lever
which the Federals possessed in their naval
  The Federal Government was, however, placed in
a most embarrassing situation by the very first
success it had at sea.  It would not conde-
scend to consider the Southern States as bel-
ligerents.  The logical consequence was that it
ought to treat every Confederate engaged in killing
and wounding Federal soldiers as a malefactor and
criminal, and every privateer as a pirate.  But as
the United States had not assented to the abolition
of privateering at the Congress of Paris in 1856, if
it recognized the South as belligerents it must con-
cede their right to employ privateers.  If it treated
captured privateers as criminals it must employ the
same measure towards prisoners of the Confederate
Army.  The North never dared to act on its assump-
tions against the �Southern pirates,� who ought to
have been hanged at the yard arm, and under
the pressure of menaces of reprisals from Rich-
mond, it was obliged to abandon its haughty preten-
sions, and the Federal Government was compelled
to treat these pirates not as hostes humani generis,
but as prisoners of war.  The contest at sea was quite
unequal.  It is true that not less than 259 of a body
of little over 600 officers went over to the Con-
federate Navy, but they had neither ships nor
sailors.  The Northern States were able by means
of their superior resources to improvise a navy
which, in the course of time, established a
blockade of courtesy, but it was not one which had
great terrors for blockade-runners, and the Federal
Government was driven to supplement it by
abortive attempts to close the principal Southern 
port by sinking a flotilla laden with stones at the
entrance of each.  The Count of Paris does not hesi-
tate to stigmatize Captain Semmes and the Sumter as
piratical, and to assert that it was contrary to inter-
national law to let Semmes receive in French and
English colonies supplies of coal beyond his require-
ments for a voyage to the nearest Confederate port.
We have seen that the Federal Government did not
venture to act on that principle.  The author goes so
far as to accuse the English Government of an �em-
pressement malveillant, which the American people�
(of the North, we presume) �regarded as a cruel
injury to recognize the South as belligerents as soon
as the blockade was proclaimed,� and he ac-
tually maintains that the Government of Wash-
ington had a right to affirm the blockade to be
only a pretext for the previous resolution of
England, founded on the success of the attack on
Sumter!  The efforts the Confederates made to
raise the blockade of New Orleans and Charleston
were not successful, though Hollins showed
ingenuity and courage in his novel �ram.�  The
Federals, on the contrary, grew in power at sea
every day, and by such expeditions as those of Port
Royal, Hilton Head, &c., reduced the sea de-
fences of the Confederates, obtained access to
the creeks and inner waters hitherto open to
blockade-runners, and contributed greatly to the
enfeeblement of the South.  It is quite certain that
the resistance offered by the Confederates by sea and
land on these occasions was exceedingly weak.  The
energy of Fox, the skill of Dupont, Foote, &c., were
aided by the miserable artillery of the Southerners,
and men like Tatnall and Hollins could do nothing
with the means at their disposal, or, at least, did
little.  The Count of Paris has evidently not made
up his mind about �the Trent affair,� which, he
says, �nearly changed the whole course of the
war,� but he speaks of Captain Wilkes as a very
learned man, of a solitary and independent cha-
racter, who in his researches into the labyrinth of
international law��more difficult to explore than
the inhospitable regions to which he had given his
name,��had read himself into the belief that he
had a right to seize Mason and Slidell, and in-
sinuates that the learned captain might have been
on the look out for an opportunity of getting a
wider celebrity than he had obtained by his scientific
pursuits.  �The satisfaction of humiliating this
rival flag,� the Count says, �triumphed in America
over every other consideration when the act of
daring violence committed in contempt of the British
ensign was known,� but in England, he goes on to
say, the news was heard �with legitimate indigna-
tion.�  It is not easy to determine how far this indig-
nation was legitimate if the Count of Paris be right
in asserting that the opinion of the law officers of
the Crown that the seizure was illegal was founded
on a summary and partial inquiry.  Indeed, he does
not mince matters.  He says in so many words that
�the enemies of the Republic in England had at
their head the Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston,
who, in spite of his habitual sagacity, permitted
himself to be more than once led astray by his
hatreds;� that the Government of the day acted as
if it were actually at war, hid a despatch in which
the Government of Washington declared Wilkes
had acted without orders, and sent off a con-
siderable force in all haste for Canada to the air
of �I�m off for Charlestown.�  �Had there been
an Atlantic cable, war would have been inevitable,�
said Mr. Adams to the Count afterwards.  It
was that Minister and Lord Lyons who, he thinks,
mainly averted it by their moderation and tact.
No one can say that there was a shadow of excuse
for the seizure of Mason and Slidell as �contra-
band,� because Wilkes did not seize the ship, and even
had he done so it would have been illegal, because
the Trent was bound from one neutral port to
another.  Mr. Lincoln had not the courage to dis-
avow the act till after England had demanded satis-
faction.  He was persuaded that England and
America were like two dogs of which he told a story
that �they ran up and down at opposite sides of a
wall, barking furiously as if to get at each other,
till one day a gap was made in the wall, and the
moment they saw they could execute their menaces,
they ran off with their tails between their legs.�
These things now live only in history and linger in the

[newspaper clipping: third column]
Geneva award.  We had even forgotten the trait
of humour of Mr. Seward recorded here, when he
offered to let the English troops march through the
United States to Canada in order to avoid the ice
on the St. Lawrence.  The end of the first year of
the war found the belligerents in a condition which
certainly justified the recognition of their bel-
ligerency.  The North had occupied Maryland,
Western Virginia, some parts of Kentucky, the
greater part of Missouri, and certain ports on the
coast, but it was evident that if they could not
penetrate directly into the Confederate States
these nibbles, however inconvenient and ir-
ritating, could not produce a mortal injury.
It became plain to both sides that nature
had made great strategical lines, which must
be attacked by all the forces of the Federals, and
defended by all the resources of the Confedera-
tion.  The Mississippi and the Tennessee were,
in fact, high roads which led into the very
heart of Secession, and it may be questioned
whether it would not have been wiser for
the Federals to direct all their efforts to
seize these lines and to push down to the Gulf
along them than to undertake the campaign 
which proved so abortive against the armies
covering Richmond.  The Confederates seem
to have been aware of their danger, but apparently
their means were not adequate or their preparations
were very ill-directed.  A glance at the map
will show what great advantages the Federals
possessed in holdig not only the upper waters
of these great streams, but the control of
the system of railways, which, from extensive
ramifications in the north, were condensed, so to
speak, into arterial lines running south, often in the
same line as the waterways, or striking them at right
angles from junctions where there were natural
points of concentration.  The Federals were en-
abled to equip ironclad river boats and floating
batteries, which proved most potent auxiliaries
to the land forces, which set about reducing
the earthworks and intrenched camps con-
structed by the Southerners on the banks of the
river to bar their progress.  The Confederate engi-
neers committed the cardinal error in which they
long persevered of making open shell traps on
low ground instead of placing their earthworks on
cliffs.  Want of time and material obliged them to
put their guns en barbette instead of in casemates.
The result was that the large spherical shells with 
heavy bursting charges projected by the Dahlgren
guns rendered the interior of those open works un-
tenable, and drove the men from their guns.  They
might have reduced these disadvantages materially
by placing their ordnance on parapets lining the
steep river banks, and thus getting a plunging fire
on the decks of the steamers; but they do not ap-
pear to have appreciated the value of the laminated
plates on the sides of the flotilla prepared by Foote,
and their artillery proved quite unable to penetrate
to the Federal gunboats.  The Government of Mr.
Davis confided the defence of the river lines to men
without military genius or the power of inspiring
confidence in their soldiers.  At Fort Donelson,
Floyd and Pillow first shut up their army in a posi-
tion in which they were invested on three sides by
land and on the fourth side by a river which was con-
trolled by a hostile flotilla.  The Mississippi was opened
up, the communications between the Confederates on
the right and left banks were intercepted, and the
necessity imposed on the Confederates of with-
drawing from Kentucky and Tennessee to prepare
for an attack on the army which Grant concen-
trated at Shiloh, and to the aid of which Buell
was able to make an unimpeded march.  It was a
time when every Federal General carried a key to
the White House in his saddle bags, and Grant�s 
career, which did not begin brilliantly, was a series
of uninterrupted success after the capture of Donel-
son.  The Battle of Shiloh was a group of com-
bats which could only have been possible with
masses of brave and undisciplined troops under
ignorant Generals, who sought to make amends for
want of ability by the exhibition of personal courage.
It was fought in a forest, because the Federals,
surprised almost in their camps, were obliged to
maintain their positions as they stood.  The Count
of Paris censures Grant for neglecting the orders of
Halleck to fortify his line, and for aggravating the
neglect by the carelessness�under such circum-
stances almost to the gravest fault a General could
commit�displayed in omitting to take precautions
against surprise.  The future President lay for three
weeks in one spot, and never turned up a spadeful
of earth.  His cavalry never patrolled his front, the
trees were not cleared, and he placed one division
out of reach.  If Beauregard had attacked 24 hours
earlier he must have crushed the Federals, who, in-
deed, were only saved by the tardy arrival of Buell and
Nelson on the scene at the end of the second day.
Even if Beauregard had waited a few days, the ar-
rival of Van Dorn�s reinforcements would have largely
compensated that of Buell.  Shiloh taught the
Generals on both sides a lesson, but it was in a rude
school.  �The nation,� by which the Count of
Paris means the Northern States, �enlightened
by the immense publicity which has so deeply
penetrated into its manners, knew quite well that
the success of the second day had as its prelude
a bloody defeat, and, far from being intoxicated
by cries of victory, set itself seriously to work to
sustain a contest of which it at last perceived the
terrible grandeur.�
  The losses in the two days are tests of the obstinacy
and valour of the combatants.  Out of the 40,000 men
commanded by Grant, not less than 11,000 were
killed and wounded, and the 40,000 Confederates
commanded by Beauregard lost 10,7000, of whom
nearly 1,000 were taken.  From this date (April 7,
1862) a change was effected in the conduct of the war.
From that moment Grant saw that there was a new
career open to any general who could force the
authorities to listen to him; he perceived that the
object of the war was to be gained, not by the occu-
pation of such and such positions, but by the descruc-
tion of the hostile armies.  The Government at Rich-
mond were in desperate plight.  In the course of the
year which had run out they had assembled 350,000
men under their banners, but their numbers had
rapidly diminished by bloody actions, long marches,
and disease.  Desertions became alarmingly great,
enrolments almost ceased.  As the armies of the
Confederation diminished, those of the North were
swelled with Volunteers attracted by bounties, high
pay, land gifts, and influenced by higher motives,
and each day saw new regiments mustered in the
service of the Government at Washington.  The
State�s Rights doctrine, on which Secession was
based, produced only States� armies, which were with
difficulty welded into one.  As the Pennsylvanians
marched off the field on the morning of the Battle of
Bull Run, so, on the other side, the levies of the
State of Arkansas, under Hindman, prepared to
desert Beauregard on the eve of the Battle of
Shiloh, because the Soverign State had summoned
them for its proper defence.  After many ineffectual
attempts to induce the Volunteers to re-engage, Mr.
Davis had to cast aside the State�s Rights doctrine,
to drop the pretence of respect for State autonomy,
and to order a general conscription of all the effective
male population from 18 to 35 years of age.  Hence-
forth every man within these limits who was not
in the army was either a deserter or a rebel, and
might be treated accordingly.  General Sherman
has, in a fragment out of his forthcoming book on the
war, pointed out the mischievous consequences of
the Northern system of continually creating new re-
giments with new officers, instead of filling up the
voids by feeding the regiments already formed with
recruits.  It was different in the South, where the
conscripts were not allowed to exercise any choice
as to the corps in which they were to serve.
  The operations in the West and the advance of
the Federal armies were far from satisfying the
public sentiment of the Northern States.  They
began to turn their eyes towards Richmond, and
to ask why the Army of the Potomac remained in-
active.  President Lincoln and General Mac-
Clellan, although very different in character, could
have easily understood each other.  But the
General was a Democrat, and the Republicans re-
garded him and many of his officers with suspicion.
His friends of the Democratic party by injudicious
menaces excited the jealousy of their opponents,
and when he rendered just homage to the qualities
of the enemy the political friends of the South were
led to believe he would avenge them on the �cursed
Abolitionists.�  They saw in his forced inaction a
profound political design, and hinted that the first
victory of the army he commanded would be used
to mediate between the North and South, and to
impose a peace on Richmond and Washington alike.
Mr. Lincoln was at last persuaded that MacClellan
was an ambitious politician, and that he ought to
intervene in person in the military operations.  The
Count of Paris says outright that the practical sense
and natural uprightness which procured him the
name of �Honest Abe� deserted him, and does
not hesitate to declare that Mr. Lincoln by his
conduct led the Federal Army to a frightful
disaster, and that even before it had entered on

[newspaper clipping: fourth column]
the campaign he had prepared its defeat.  He was to
be seen stalking across from his modest residence to
the quarters of the General, whom he generally 
called �George,� ad running up and down stairs
in a familiar �friend-of-the-house� sort of way
which would not have led one to imagine that he
was tortured by suspicions of his Commander-
in-Chief, and had conceived the monstrous project
of taking control of the Army on his own
quaintly constructed shoulders.  Adopting a course
to which Democratic Governments are prone in
times of trouble, the Congress had set up a sort of
parody of the Aulic Council or a Commission of 
Public Safety in the form of a Permanent Committee
on the conduct of the war, which sat for months
hearing charges against the Generals who had
incurred the displeasure of the Radicals, and �com-
posed o fmen strange to military affairs and to the
duties of discipline.  This secret power interrogated
subordinates respecting the plans of their Chief,
encouraged their criticisms, asked the oddest ques-
tions to satisfy a puerile curiosity, and interfered
with everything without being responsible for any-
thing.�  Mr. Lincoln said �he should like to borrow
the army for a few days; but,� he added, �I would
like to know what to do with it.�  MacClellan
at the close of 1861 conceived the idea of
transporting his army by water to the right
bank of the Rappahannock, at a place called
Urbanna, or of makig Fortress Monroe the base
of operations against Yorktown, the possession of
which woud give him the peninsula and access to
Richmond.  By the end of January his plan was
ready, but in the midst of his preparations he was
laid prostrate by typhoid fever.  The President
sent for two Generals and ordered them to
�give a plan of campaign which can be
executed at once.�  Next day these Generals had
possession of all MacClellan�s confidential plans,
and examined them in Council with Mr. Lincoln,
the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, of Finance, of
the Post Office, and the Under Secretary of War.
Two days afterwards they assembled at the quarters
of General MacClellan, who, scarcely convales-
cent, refused to discuss his plans before such an
�odd lot,� and the President supported him by
breaking up the meeting.  Fifteen days of in-
tense cold followed.  MacClellan was still plan-
ning away, when suddenly he was startled by the
strangest document that ever issued from the hands 
of the head of a great nation.  On the 27th of
January appeared �the First War Order of the
President,� in which �the armies of the Republic
by land and sea were ordered to attack the enemy
on the 22d of February, the anniversary of Wash-
ington�s birthday,� as if that event was sure to
influence the climate, the positions of the enemy,
and the conditions of the various corps.  Generals,
Ministers, &c., were all to be held responsible for
the non-execution of this order.  When MacClellan
submitted his new project Mr. Lincoln rejected it
because the preparations could not be made in
time, and ordered him to attack by the Valley of
the Shenandoah.  MacClellan was now subjected to
one of the accidents which show how �the best
laid schemes of men and mice gang aft a-glee.�  He
was preparing to pass his army into Virginia, when
it was discovered that the boats to make
bridges across the river were too large to pass
through the locks in the Canal.  On the 27th of
February orders were sent to collect transport for
the execution of MacClellan�s original plan.
On the very day (March 8) that a Council
of War of 12 of his own Generals were sitting
to examine the plans of their Chief, an event
occurred which influenced not merely Mac-
Clellan�s campaign, but all the navies and coast
defences of the world.  On that day the Virginia
destroyed the Cumbeland and the Congress in
Hampton Roads.  On the morning of the 9th of
March the news reached Washington, but in the
evening a dispatch from Mr. Fox, the Under-Secre-
tary of the Navy, arrived with the joyous assurance
of safety, and recounted how the Monitor, interven-
ing in such a dramatic and extraordinary manner,
had caused the retreat of the Virginia.  When
the news came that the navigation of the
Chesapeake was secured it seemed as if there
was nothing to prevent the immediate execution 
of these much-discussed and long-thwarted plans.
But again the chances of war interposed�the
fates once more bore heavily on the Young Napo-
leon.  On the day that the Monitor put the Virginia
to flight the Confederates swiftly and secretly
abandoned Manassas.  The Prince insinuates that
the resolution formed some time before was
precipitated in execution by the culpable indis-
cretions of some of those who allowed the
decisions of the Council of War to leak out.
The disappointment of the North was great,
and cruel injuries and unjust mockeries were
directed against the luckless General.  The Pre-
sident had not he courage to resist.  He issued an
order on the 12th of March by which MacClellan was
reduced to the position of head of the Army of
the Potomac. The other armies were to be in-
dependent commands, under the direct authority
of Abraham Lincoln.  The second volume con-
cludes with an account of the sailing of the Army of
the Potomac for Fortress Monroe and of the
further trial to which MacClellan was exposed by
the President.  There may be some of the 
partiality of the aide-de-camp for his chief
in the colour which the Count of Paris throws over
these transactions, but in the main we believe that
it is correct, and it may give the most fervent 
admirer of the forms of Democratic government
which are exercised under a dictatorship reason to
doubt whether the advantages of having such a man
as �Honest Abe� at the head of affairs were not
dearly purchased by the nation.  The great length
of this notice of a most interesting work will, we
hope, be considered not incommensurate with its
merits, and with the magnitude of the subject of
which it treats.  We await with impatience the
two volumes which are yet to come.               
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