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withholding confidence from him, will now, turn upon you; and I shall assist you as far as I can to put it down. Neither you nor Napoleon, if he were alive again, could get any good out of an army while such a spirit prevails in it.
"And now, beware of rashness, but with energy and sleepless vigilance go forward and give us victories. "Yours very truly,
Secretary Welles tells us that the President once went so far in conversation as to say this: "There has been a design, a purpose, in breaking down Pope, without regard to the consequences to the country, which is atrocious. It is shocking to see and know this, but there is no remedy at present. McClellan has the army with him.” So he recalled McClellan. Now there was a slightly similar situation. He believed Burnside had been injured by jealousies, yet he called to the command one of the guilty generals and told him to do his best. He urged on him especially the importance of an early and energetic movement of the Army of the Potomac, for its political effect at home and abroad. Hooker proved efficient in getting the demoralized army into form, but slow to act. Finally the able Southerners saw their opportunity. Stonewall Jackson, on May 2, won the victory which cost his life, and the next two days General Lee inflicted on
Hooker the heavy defeat of Chancellorsville, won by superior generalship. One of Hooker's errors was failing to use all of his men, a mistake against which Lincoln had emphatically warned him. The President was learning a good deal about the kind of mistakes to expect from his generals.
Lee now made his great error by deciding to invade the North. Hooker wished to attack the Confederate rear at Fredericksburg, but Lincoln, who was afraid of this plan, made a famous comment:
"If he should leave a rear force at Fredericksburg, tempting you to fall upon it, it would fight in intrenchments and have you at disadvantage, and so, man for man, worst you at that point, while his main force would in some way be getting an advantage of you northward. In one word, I would not take any risk of being entangled upon the river, like an ox jumped half over a fence and liable to be torn by dogs front and rear without a fair chance to gore one way or kick the other."
A few days later he said, in answer to Hooker's scheme of advancing upon Richmond:
"If left to me, I would not go south of the Rappahannock upon Lee's moving north of it. If you had Richmond invested to-day, you would not be able to take it in twenty days; meanwhile your communications, and with them your army, would be ruined. I
think Lee's army, and not Richmond, is your true objective point. If he comes toward the upper Potomac, follow on his flank and on his inside track, shortening your lines while he lengthens his. Fight him, too, when opportunity offers. If he stays where he is, fret him and fret him."
Hooker was slow, and Lincoln telegraphed:
"So far as we can make out here, the enemy have Milroy surrounded at Winchester, and Tyler at Martinsburg. If they could hold out a few days, could you help them? If the head of Lee's army is at Martinsburg and the tail of it on the plank road between Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, the animal must be very slim somewhere. Could you not break him?"
The Confederates under Ewell entered Pennsylvania June 22. Now there was more bickering among the Federal generals, and Lincoln told Hooker he would have to submit to Halleck. Halleck was hostile and annoying and Hooker on June 27 asked to be relieved. General Meade was straightway appointed, for which, among other reasons, the following have been given.
1. He was a good soldier, if not a brilliant
2. He was a native of Pennsylvania, the present battle-ground.
3. He was a Democrat, and the President wished to check a threatened demand for McClellan's restoration.
A few days later came the turning-point in the war.
THE TURNING OF THE TIDE
AFTER Chancellorsville one of Lincoln's private secretaries, working at the office over his mail until 3 A.M., heard the President's footfall as he left. Returning at eight o'clock he saw his chief still in the room eating a solitary breakfast, before him the written instructions to Hooker to push forward and fight again.
A few weeks later the President had a dream. A ship passed before his sleeping vision, sailing away rapidly, badly damaged, with victorious Union vessels in close pursuit. Also there appeared the close of a battle on land, the enemy routed, our forces in possession of a position immensely important. The same dream had come to him before Antietam. Coming before Gettysburg it heralded fortune of far greater scope.
For three days the Confederates attacked the Federal army, charging and recharging up the hills with fearful slaughter, and when they were driven back for the last time, July 3, the total in killed and wounded Union soldiers was 23,186, with a total almost as great for the Southern