. . . The Tycoon was in very good humor; . . . in the afternoon he and I were talking about the position at Williamsport the other day. He said: — “Our army held the war in the hollow of their hand, and they would not close it.” Again he said: — “We had gone through all the labor of tilling and planting an enormous crop, and when it was ripe we did not harvest it!” Still he added, “I am very, very grateful to Meade for the great service he did at Gettysburg.”
SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 89; For the whole diary entry seeTyler Dennett, Editor, Lincoln and the Civil War in the Diaries and letters of John Hay, p. 69 and Michael Burlingame, Editor, Inside Lincoln's White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay, p. 64-5.