Last night, September 25, the President and I were riding to Soldiers’ Home; he said he had heard of an officer who had said they did not mean to gain any decisive victory, but to keep things running on so that they, the army, might manage things to suit themselves. He said he should have the matter examined, and if any such language had been used his head should go off.
I talked a great deal about the McClellan conspiracy, but he would make no answer to anything. He merely said that McC. was doing nothing to make himself either respected or feared.
SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 67-8; Tyler Dennett, Editor, Lincoln and the Civil War: in the Diaries and letters of John Hay, p. 50-1.