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Mcclellan's Peninsular Campaign

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PuiLADELi-iiiA, Sept. 27, 1864. Mï Dkar Sut - üur acquaintance and all of the relations that have ever ex isted between urf, are confiued to two or three accidental meetings ; at one of which you were pleased to reler to the lasting impressum made upon you when a poor boy by the kindness of ïuy father, who always took you by the ljaud aud gave yuu cheering, friendly words of eucoumgumcut and advice. You wcre pleased to ackuowledge to the son the kind aud valuable iufiuences received by you froui the father, and to proffer your friendly servioos whenever they would be acceptable. Under the above circuinstances, you prcparcd for me aud uiy friends no ordinury surprise wheu you deliberately componed, delivered, aud publishcd in the l'ress ot the 28th inst., a voluntary, uuprovoked attack upou uie iu the following words : "It got out that the President was detertuined to have the ariny moved, aud it was found that General McClellaa had co plan : and hero I may state that we owe the Peninsular campaign to those distiuguished Senators, Lathain, of California, and liiee, of Miunctiota, and a Brigadier ia the column of Joseph Hookei'. General McClüllau's plan was couducted by othurs, and put into his hauds. It was agreed en iu a council of war. That plan was submitted to the President. It was subniittod in the l'reseuce ot Secretary Stanton. Stanton put thein thiough a striet course of exnpMuation. Gue geiieral, Bleuker owned that lie did not uudurstand the plan, but would 8ustuiu it, as he thought he had to obey the mándate of his chief. General Naglee was one of those present, and Siaiiton observed that ho had but one star. '8ir! said Mr. ÍStautou, 'you have no right herc !' 'I atu represeuting General Ilooker,' said he. It was alterwards fouud out that General Naglee was absent without le;ive, and that Fig'itiüg Joe Ilooker kuew nothing of the euuiieü." [Applause.J Now, iny den. sir, t his statement is siiuply falsOj on the part of your fiiend Mr. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War, mulieiouHJy falso. Tho Peninsular cumpuign was tic t indieated by "Senaturs Latham, oí' California, and Itice, of Milueota, aud a Brigadier iu tho column of Joseph lluok:r," is asserted by you. Gen. Nnglee ws at VVashiugtou with proper leave, and with the full knowledge of (Grapera Ilooker, and was a ineinber of the council of war by directiüu of Gen. MeCtellau to represiiit the diisiou of the anny at Undd's Ferry, in the abs.nce ji Generul Hooker, nho wlis too far removed fiom Wasliington to be presLiit. Aud unfurtunatelv iVr the veratity of Mr. ötauluUj the ini I pertinent remarks which you aacribo to Lim oould not have heen made, for tliore wero uo ófficers of the council of war entitled at that timo to moïe tliau one star. Now, judge, you know, or íhould know, tliat the rcputation of Mr. Stantou for truth and veracity is uot abovo suspicion, aud that you uiay vvell bolievo anylhiug that may be said regarding his great incivility aDd rudeuess, for, uot exeeptiug yourself, I have never seeu or heard oí' aa offioer or eivilian who did not condemn liiui for tLo uttor want of all of the requisites of a statesman. 'i'his is uot the flrst time Mr. Stantou has beeu guilty of the most delibérate, maüciuus misrepreseutation ; and for your gratificaron I will relate an iustain:e that oocurred upon myarrival u WashDgton, immediately after the conclusión of "the seven days' fight," in the beginiiing of July, 1SÜ2, and whon 1 was surprisad to luarn that, during the contiu uance of that desperate strugglo, aud duriug the time of dreadfnl suspense, while uothiug could be heard of Gen. MeClullan and big gallaut army, Mr. Stanton had everywhere denounoed Gen. McClellau as a traitor to his countiy, and as inoapable of cnmmanding a regiment. I learned this í'rom a uumber of the members of Congresa, who were as tonished aud oonfounded, and who, with pain, eagerly sought from me soine explauation of such extraordinary couduct. I could render thoru no satisfaction, but reported the circumstances to Gen. McClellan, upon my arrival at his hoadquarters on the foilowing day, the 8th of July. Ilis surprise, judge, was greater thau mine ; without utteriug a word, he :urned to his portfolio, took from it a etter which he placed before me, and said: "llead that'; I have just roocived hat from Mr. Stimton. With h3 conseut, I made a cpy of the letter, and, returniug to Wsshiogton, placed it in the hands of those who had heard the denunciations of Mr. Stauton, and wlio lud advised me of them. They desirud to retid it to the Senatc, und to pubhsii ■he üutrage and the vindication, aud hey telegaphed to (ion. McClellau for ïis perniissiou, which ho declined to givo ,hem. The following is a cjpy of thu etter : Wak Department, } Washington. JÜ. C, July 6, 1862. L'o M:ijor-General MeClellau : Deaií Gunekai, - I had a talk with 3eu. Marcy, ai;d meant to have written you by hiin, but am called to the counry, where Mrs. Stuntou is with her ohildreu, to see one of thein die. I can, herefore, only say, niy dear General, in his brief moment, that thcre is no cause n my heart or conduot for tho cloud hat wieked men have ruised between us 'or their own base aud selüsh purposes. o man had ever a truer frieud than I lave beeu to you, and s'iall continue to je. You are soldom absent from my houghts, aud I am ready to mako auy sacrifico to aid you. Time allows me to say uo lp oro than ihat I pray Almighty Jou to deliver you and your aniiy from all peiil, and lead you ou to victory. Youi'hi, tnily, EDWIN M. STANTON. Now judge, wliat think yöu of thia uan, who, made Seoretary of War by -he rcquest and influence of Gjd. Mc Jiellau, wus villifying, and abusiug, aud uttering lalsehoods agaiust him, aud who could, at the same time, eit down aud deiberately write such a letter ? You have rcferred to the council of war held iti Washington, in March of 862. Evcry effort has been made in vaiu, to bring the proceedings of tííaft ouucil before the public A bilí waw made for them in the House of llepre eutatives and was tabled by the repubicau party. A rcquest made by the ecorder of that couucil, of Mr. Slauton, o allow him to have the proceedings nade up in proper form, wus refused iu most rude and int-ulting manner, and be papers have iievor been allowed to eave his possession iuce. Novv, judge, 'or your especial benefit, I will relate lie history of that important event, that ou máy, if you will, do justice to all oncerned. The council of war consisted of rig. Gen. Suniner, Brig. Geu. Keyes, rig. Gen. McDowell, Biig. Gen. A. Porter, rig, Gen. Fianklin, Brig. Gen. W. F. Smith, rig. Gpu. F. J. Porter,Brig. Gen. Barnard, rig. Geu. McCall, Brig. Gen. Blenker, rig. Gen. Ileintzelnian, Brig, Gen. Naglee. Each ontitled to but ''one star." It was called together by order of Gen. lcClullan on the niglit of March 7, 1862, ;o convene at 10 A. M., on the following ay. Geu. McClellan carne iuto the ouucil room at the hour appoiuted, and, lacing on the table a large map, ex)lained bis proposod peninsular campaign, which before this tima, I believe to havo )een known to no one present, excepting Jeu. Frauklin, and probablv Fitz J. 'orter. 11 pon róíiriag, he left upou the tblu, for tho consideración of the counil, the following inquines : I. Whether it is advicsable that tho jase of operatióDB be chauged, the truusjortatiou being reudy at Auuapolis iu all f next weck. IL Wlicthur it is better to mako an dvattce to the fronl before changing the )ase, should such a chauge be detcruiiiK'd upon. III. Whether a forward movernent, with the object ot dustmyiug the river jat'.eries, is advrsable, ai.d vvheu it can )e comu.enced, and ivhulher the naval 'orco, with the dssiitaiice of tho Ericsson jattery, can alone aoóómplísb ihat objuct. After a session of tbree hours, the ouncil were suuiuionca to ábpeáf beforo lie President. Ho advised them thut ie was quito unwell, aud exceedingly orvous, that the pressure had been incuso agaiust Gen. McC.ellaii. He ex iressed hiniself gratified to have the op lorluuily to sv.'C and know thu offioers of ie army. and to be iustiueled by them I n regard to army mattors, which were lo 1 biiu vciy ÍBüoiu[ircbéi;?iblc. I informed him that as recorder of the council of war, whioli luid held its sesion by order of Geu. McClelhu, I would adviso him of the result of the pioeeedings, and then read thcm to him. "What," said he, ''have the council decided by a vote of eight to four - two to one - in favor of the Península Gumpaign ?" He then asked many (juestions in regard to the same, until Mr. Stuuton carne ia, aud I proposod to read the proceediugs to him. He replied, ''Give uie the paper, I "11 read theui inygolf," and after reading them over and preparing his notes, he, as you say, "put them (the couDcil) through tho striot course of oxamination," which you refer to. This examination, made for tho purposo of neutralizing the cö'eot of the decisión of the council on the rnind of the Pnesi dent, and tlms to oarry out the objects of thoso who had been iiisisting upon the removal of Gen. McClellan, lastcd for lour or üve bours, during which time it was only iutorrupted by an óc'bá'siohal expresaion oí the President, iudioating his s ni.-'aetion and gratitioation at the oiaiiy éxpláflátioiís of military moveuion'ti euntemplated, and which ha had not before been able to couiprehend. It was iiow gettiug dark, Mr. Stautou's queationa indicated ipproaehing exhaustiou, aud iinding there was ii sileuec which called for i cessation of hostilities on his part for J.he uight, Mr, Lincoln oxpressed himsolf highly gratiüed with the iuterview, aud he wasimpressed with the earnestness and intelligence of the officers presea t, and that he had overy conüdenco in them. He was now deter mined not to remove (Jen. McClellan, as ue had promised to do, but he should make his cumpuigu, as approved by the eouncil of war, uridcr restrictions, which je would make known ou the following morning, at 10 o'elock, whon he desired tho picsonoe of all the officers of the coaneil, and until after which time he desired that none of thetn should leave the city. Before leaviug the President, tho recorder of tho council ipproaehed the Sfcretary, and said : "If you please, Mr Stuuton, permit me to have the proceedings of the oouncil of war, that they may be eopied iu a fair haud, and Gen. kjumner, the President of' the Gouncii will sign them, the recorder will sigu them, and they will then ba in proper form." "I'm just as good a judge of the form as you are," was the reply of your triend. Other incivilitios have beeu attempted by Mr. Stanton toward me, the and result of which he has neith er lorgotten nor foigiven, and which be uiay relate to you whenever he may feel so disposed. On the following mórtiïtrff, at the appointed hour, when all of the offieers of the council of war had assembled, Mr. Lincoln said, "I have slept better than for two weeks. I feel relieved of an turnease responsibüity. I have determinad upon the following "programme." - -which he submitted verbally, aud which was substautially as followa : "I will permit General McClellan to oarry out his cainpaign. He öhall leave sutiiuient force to defeud the works be fore Washington. Ue shall embiirk 50,000 möu lrotn Annapolis ; n.d theu, unkss the b.itterios on tbc Potomae, which you assure inc will neecssarily be abandoned, are wilhdrawu or silenced, I shall reserve niy authority to ernbark other troops." Jle then said: "I have detennined to divido General McClellan's aruiy iuto four eorps, aud I shall appoint the cotntnanders of them." And afterwards he promoted the four oiEcers who had opposed General McGlellan's campaign, three of whum lm appointed to the command of corps, and with the exeeptiou of Generala FrauTclíu and Smith, who have been the subjects of constant annoyance and iudignities since, the other have all been dismissed from thtí army. Tho Peninsular campaigu was propbsed by General McGlellan while commayder mchief oí the armies of the United States, and was iuteuded to be made with the forces then under his comniand iu Eastern Virginia, estinmted at over 200,000 meu. It was so aceepted by the President, and the movement was commeuced upon that basis. General McClellau had scarcely left Washington to take the field, when the Secrotary of War relieved him of all the annies nut uuder his, (General McClcl'aa's) iuimo diate commaiid, and assumed comuiaud of them himsejf, The troöps' left iu Northeasteru Virginia were placed under the command of McDowell, Banks, Fremont, and Sigei, euch buing independeu-t of the other, and of General 31c(Jlellan, aud all subject to the order of' Mr. Stantoiu Whilu tho above división of our army was takitig place, the L'oiifederáies conceuti'ated thoirs, until, on the 2Gth day of June, General McOI lian foum! hiinself before lïichiuond with eigiity-live thuuóand meu (including McOaÜ's división), and was attackcd by the coueoutrated Confedérate force of one hundred and seventy-iive thousand imn at tho very moment when Mcüowell, under protest, witiuirew hls ássiSjtátíee trom MüClullun, by the orders of the Piwsident and Sccretary of War. The eam paigu uuder Gen. Grant did not comlunce uutil the 4lh of .May, 18G-Í. Tfi'ut of Chaneellorville, iu wliieh the easualnei of that army wete estima led at thirty thousuud mfii, and hich but for the providuutial killiug ot ''Stouewali" Jacksou would have beeu auuihüated, was planiied by the and General Ilooker, or to use the l'resident's own words, by "Joe and I," of which the becteiary of' 7ar and (iCuera.1 Ilalluek we;e kept prol'uuudiy ignotant, and was j not, coiunien'ccá uu tij May 2, 1.863, while that of the Peninsular, for the delay of which General McClellau was to mueh ; ceuhuied, wan oomtnenood on the 25th uf jMareh, 1 Siili, lurty days in advanco i uf either of the uthti.;. Í Why this blUer ctnuity aud tion of General McClellan, why in the beginning of Marcli was t'io Presiden! pressod to dcath to remove him, Ven be foro lio made Lis firsl trial in cnninand ut' the Arrny of the Potomac ? Why did a disthiguished morüber of the acuate, on the 17th of Mireli, writè to me : "The cry against McClol.'an is increns ing ; every eiFoit is being mude to erusb lnni V" VVliat possible chanco had Gèn, MeClellan to suceeed, wheu his own govtjrument did evcrything in their powor to embarrass hia uiovements and break lijm down ? Oae would tliink lus task suffioicutly onerons. laborious, and responsible, wbeu, without experienco, af ter tho first disastrous route at Buil Hun, bo reorganized tho anuies of the United States, and was preparing to üght them without the additional eonvietion being f.u-ced upon him at every stop that his own governineut were detennincd "to crush hiin." Judgo, you and I met vjithin ten Uys after the dreadful battle before Ilieh mond. You u.tacked General IvIoClel!an with a bitterness and feeJuig that ill-becomes a Cnristian gentlemen I thon bèggea you not to break down MoClellan until you had given bim a fair trial, and until you had fouod a botter man, and ehallenged you to name a botter General. I now do tho same Uring, and appeal co the record of the past thirty raöütha and to the rivera of blood that have flown siuce to sustaiu what [ then asserted. I rufor you to the opinious of foreign offieers, and I assure you that among the old officers of the army I shall be íully sus'ained. The preferonce of General Mcülellan, for the peninsular eanrpaign, and the coudemnatiou of tho Presidcut's plan lmve been fully sustainod. The families and friendo of the 130,000 men lost sóuth of tho llapidau tsince t!ie -Ath oí Muy last proclaim it every whero. Mr. Stanion told the country, at that time, he had a hundred thousuud men more tiiau be vvauted, aud uow be tells you he wants a hu .dred thousand inoie men. Gen. Grant erosseü the Rapidan with mII anny variousiy estioiated iroiu one lmudred aml oiglity tliousand to 120,000 lïc afterwarejs adïed liutlcr's. .. -jO.000 He was roiuforecd 45.000 Making, exclusively of Sigel's 30000 SO5,ÜOO On tlie Ist of September our forcea were estimated, exclusive of Slieridau's 3o,000, at '. .. .. 50,000 Gtmenil Lee had on the Rapidan, after he liad concenlrated his arnij'.. J85,000 Beauregard joined liiin at Richmqpd with Ms torces from tlie South, wliich uiih tliose near Petersburg, amounted to 30 00 Rreckinridge brought , 10,000 And Lee was reiuforced probably 30,000 Making in all 155, uOü Ua the Ist o September his torees were estimated, at Richmoml, at.. 4ö.0(i0 Exclusive of Eariv's cunimand 'Ju. 000 Sbowing tlie discharge -and loss from Grant to be , 150 000 And that of Lee to be 85J000 ,1 udge Kelley, were the records of tbe couiicil of war, and tint of 'the strict eourse of examination" made by Mr. Stanton, indicaiiug tha very difficulües and dreadful losses (ieneral Gram', had lately sustained, ever plaoed bjfore him ? And why not ? And who in respoaeible fer tho 100,000 man unuecessariiy nnd wieki'dh sacriüced souih of tho Rapidan, in the experiment made to provo that General MeClellan and the couneil of war was wrong, and that tbe President's plan was right. The army of the Uuited States, as you Found it at the comnienoement of tbis war, was composed of a high toued, honorable, gallant set of men, fully equal to the oontost before them ; they had always studiously avoided all political conneotions, many of them bad been thirly years in tbe service of their country, and had never voted. 'l'bey held their country and the honor and iutegrity of it beforc. overy other eonsideration liad a rule been adopted requiring that no political subject should be introduced iuto the army, but that all politieal rights should be respected, and had arn-y offiaers only been hehl respousib-le for the conduct of the war, it would have terminated long ago. Why have McClellan, and Sedgwiok, and McPherson, aud Franklin, and Uuell, and Meade, aud Avcrill, and Porter, aud a score of other General offioers, with hundreds, if not thousands of otticors of an interior grade been ofluiuicd and held bick, and mauy of them dismissed from tho anny uithout a wo;d oí explauatim, aa arb.trary act unkuovvn in Great Britain, wuilo Pope, aud Bui'nsido, and ilooker, and Butler, and llunter, and Banks, and öigel, aud SickLs, and huudiids of ollieis, ce. taia'y no botter the fonnor, have been preierrcd ? Why was General Sloue, thau whom there is not a more loyal man, and ac.?oinp!:shed gentleman, and gallant soldier iu the country, couüued in piisou tor fifteea (nonütq's .' And whyn i.jle,iSod by an act of Congress, why was it tha; ncither the President, nor ïSecretary ot' War, nor Kecretajy ui State, or liÉÜiei pi;r.-ons at 'a:5!i'[M.j;ii)ii would lascnt to any ktiowledge ot oi' pnrtioipation in the arrest? Suca ouuages are OiWcuTateu to break down ti.i' houd-1 aud esprit' uá corps of auy arm}', and all have looked i a with dis gust and horror, and pain al ihe shaiuelul iiijus ice and ouii ages thal Lavo been conüiiUiniy heaiied upon so nr.iuy of their old fricad,-) aud cuiuiüdes iu ani.s, wiioui thcy Rnow li!Capabl,o of ;.n uugeütlemunly, dishouonib!i, uiiwoMierly, or di.-loyal act. Whv did tho Ooinniittoo on the Uonducl ot the War iuvestigate aud falail'y, wi;l such uice precisión tho conduciof McOlellau aud his fngnus, and overlook tho volumes oí' cb.uges ñic.l iu the War Deiiartment against l', and Sjgel, and l.luutei', and otbens, aud eutiiely oveilook the FmirH'iis'e slaughter at ( 'hanciillor.-iville, and Frederieksburg, nt( south oi' the lí: Man ? Why did a stcrot, polltical niij .ïsition, iih no other jncU'xt thau that thcy auspeotcd bim of ! political ambition, sit over five hundred t j days, and manufacture over soventeen hundred pages of ex parte testimony I against a young officer, a Christian geni tleman, au honest tnau, who, heaven only - kuows, uever had hut one purpose and : tliat to serve his country and his God ? You ltoow, Judjo, ihat wbüo in i Washington, Genera] McOiellan studi. ously avoided all politica! association, . and to sucli an exient that many ol his friendo of both parties were n:uoh offe'üd ; ed. The first knowledre that l evur ; liad of any political ambition on his part . was after lio had been retired f mm active service aud sent in disfrace to New Jer sey, and this was after his fitness for the Huooeasion had been disooVör&d by Mr. i Lincoln, and the pcop'n had sigoified . their affection tor htm. His letters aud orders have been called . politiciil, but . they were emiuently proper, and refor eutirely to the military policy of tliti country. 13ut, Judge, suppose we adinit that General MeClellan had an ambition to le President of the United States, was it not a laudable ambition, aud is there. any impropriety in it. ? Is the üeld Dot open to him as well as to Mr. Liueoln, or Mr. Frémou't, or Mr. Chase, or the mauy others iufiuitely his inferiors ? So far as the objections to hia military qualitioations are ooncerned, we have only to remind you t'iat, wiihin the . last sixty days, a confidentiul friend of the President was sent to offer him one of the most important eo ra manda oí' the army. J5ut this propositinu was coupled with the most dishonorable condition that he should decline to be a caiididate for the presidency. General McClellan restrainud his indignntion, and replied to the bearer of the message, "Go back to Washington, and say to the President for me, that when I reeeive my official Writteu orders he shall have my auswor." Beware Judge, of the intemperate abuse of your political oppouents, as proud and loyal as you are, who would ratber ee the continent of America siuk iuto the ocean, with all that dwells upon it, than our uationality destroyed ; who will not oudure this oonstant u-urpatiou of authority and oncroachment upon their righta, and whom you may drive into a dreadful eonliiot, in whieh the abolitionist and the negro uiay fiud themselves arrayed against all who will unitedly stand, hand to hand, and shoulder to shoulder, in defeuae of thu Coustitution and the fundamental laws of the land. Very respectfully, HENRY M. NAGLEE. To Hou. Wm. D.Kelley.Philadelphia.


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