Friday, December 14, 2012

The Campaign on the Potomac

In his late proclamation after the rebels had quit Manassas, Gen. McClellan held out his flattering promise to the Army of the Potomac:

“I shall demand from you great and heroic exertions, rapid and long marches, desperate combats and privations;” etc.

Per contra, here is an item of military information which we copy form the Milwaukee Sentinel:

We learn indirectly that Gen. King’s Brigade, now under command of Col. Cutler (the General being in command of McDowell’s Division,) has got back to its old encampments at Arlington Heights, after several day’s tramp into Secessia.”

The usually cautious and well informed Washington correspondent of the Cincinnati Gazette, writing under date of the 29th ult., says:

Is the present generalship on the Potomac to continue?  Or is a change of policy to be attained without a change of generals!  These are vital questions, in the exigency to which, if I am correct in what precedes, we are now reduced.  Certain it is that these questions are now upper most in the thoughts of all who are really in earnest in the prosecution of this war.

I began by speaking of a great battle as probably close at hand.  It cannot be disguised that the dilatory dallying of McClellan leaves it doubtful whether – despite his belligerent proclamation – he will “preside” on that occasion.  The event, however, it may be said with confidence, will not depend on the will of that General in regard to a forward movement.  There is a higher power here; and a little more “hanging fire” may result in a sudden change of leadership, for which a long patient people cannot, at this late day be unprepared.  This intimation is not a gratuitous one, but based upon positive knowledge.

– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, April 5, 1862, p. 2

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