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The first of these was the campaign of Western Virginia. In this campaign, of two months' duration, he invaded with raw troops a mountainous and difficult country; outmanæuvred, met and routed two armies, taking from them five guns, twelve colors, fifteen hundred stand of arms, and a thousand prisoners, and restored the whole region of West Virginia permanently to its allegiance. The second of these campaigns was the campaign of Maryland. The administration, paralyzed for the moment by fear, abandoned this campaign to him. In seventeen days he re-organized a broken army, marched it in pursuit of the victorious invader, before whom it had given way but a few days previously to his assumption of the command, manæuvred it successfully through a mountainous and difficult country, brought the foe to battle, and in two fierce and sanguinary actions, one of which, for the numbers engaged and the price paid for victory, must always rank with the great historic battles of the world, utterly broke his power and drove him beyond the Potomac.
We have here then in the story of less than three months, the whole of General McClellan's record as an independent and untrammelled commander in the field; a record which begins with Rich Mountain to end with Antietam.
For three months more--the months of August, September and October, 1861-General McClellan filled the post of com mander of the division of the Potomac. In that time he reorganized the army of General McDowell, which had been routed at Bull Run, surrounded the city of Washington, which had been for days at the mercy of General Beauregard, with defences strong enough to defy an army of thrice the strength of that which triumphed at Manassas, and created the whole framework of a national army of half a million of men.
For two months-the months of Novemher and December, 1861-General McClellan was the commander-in-chief of the armies of the Union. In that time he drew up a grand general plan of operations for the re-establishment of the Federal
authority, of which it is no more than justice to say, that while our most lamentable subsequent reverses are directly traceable to the departures of the government from its scope and tenor, our greatest military successes have been won by acting in harmony with them.
For six months--from January to July, 1862-General McClellan was the acting-commander of the Peninsula campaign against Richmond ; his plans, his force, his very maneuvres being continually supervised and interfered with by a President profoundly ignorant of war, and an Aulic council, careful only of partisan and political interests. Yet in those six months, disappointed, deceived, thwarted at every step, he compelled the concentration of the enemy's forces upon Virginia, besieged and captured a city fortified with lines admitted to be among the strongest and most extensive in the world ; invested the Confederate capital more closely than has ever since been possible to a Federal army; fought and won two offensive battles, the second of which, but for the reckless incapacity of the President and his advisers, would have given him possession of Richmond ; successfully resisted the onslaught of Johnston, in June, at Fair Oaks; and finally saved his arnıy from the overwhelming attack of the combined Confederate forces of Lee and Jackson by one of the boldest and most skilful retreats in history; delivering battle daily through a week of victory; more than 'balancing the single defeat of Gaines' Mills with the magnificent triumph of Malvern Hill, and winning possession, as the prize of the valor of his men and of his own skill and firmness, of the finest base which has ever been occupied by a Federal expedition against Richmond.
For two months more-the months of July and AugustGeneral McClellan commanded, at Harrison's Bar, a great army, secretly doomed to destruction as an organization, while his destined successor, General Pope, was making ready, in the north, to eclipse him utterly by the splendor of a whirlwind march upon Richmond. Deceived at first, and then disregarded, he quietly devoted himself to re-establishing the strength of his army. Recalled, at last, by a sudden and almost insulting telegram, he moved his troops rapidly to the Rappahannock, and appeared in person at Alexandria, to find that his army was taken from him. Ere a week of this intended disgrace, however, had passed by, the government which had planned it had cast itself once more upon him for light and for deliverance, appealed to him for aid, and abandoned the cause of the nation to his charge. For three weeks, as we have seen, he now dealt with the enemy according to his own judgment. Antietam relieved the terrors of Washington. Again the commander-in-chief who “could order what he pleased" appeared upon the scene, and the military career of General McClellan under the administration of Abraham Lincoln, came to an end on the 7th of November, 1862, eleven days after he had began to move upon the enemy at the head of the army which he had redeemed from ruin, and re-organized into power.
Setting over against this record of the brief connexion of Gen. McClellan with the conduct of the war, the record of the long years during which the conduct of the war has been controlled by Mr. Abraham Lincoln and his Aulic councillors, no man, it would seem, who holds the cause of the Union sacred and full of hope, can well fail to see that its issues, whether of battle or of policy, may still be safe in the hands of the former, but must already be surrendered as lost in the hands of the latter.