James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927). History of the Civil War, 1861–1865. 1917.

Page 157

  of the Army of the Potomac, he had the support of the plain people, who shared the enthusiasm of a mass meeting in Chicago that listened to the reading of a poem whose theme was, “We are coming Father Abraham three hundred thousand more.” 1  17   Gloomy as was the outlook, worse was yet to come owing to further blunders in generalship. What General Meade wrote in May, “We must expect disaster so long as the armies are not under one master mind,” 2 Lincoln knew perfectly well, and gladly would he have devolved the military conduct of affairs on one man could he have found that “master mind” for whom he made a painful quest during almost two years. The armies of the West, as contrasted with the Army of the Potomac, had accomplished positive results and to the ability there developed he looked for aid. He brought John Pope from the West where he had achieved an inconsiderable victory and made him commander of the Army of Virginia, composed of the corps of McDowell, Banks and Frémont. At the same time he appointed Halleck General-in-chief of the whole land forces of the United States with headquarters in Washington. If is difficult to comprehend the assignment of Pope, whose reported “wonderful military operations on the Mississippi and at Corinth had not somehow been fully substantiated.” Admiral Foote “used to laugh at his gasconade and bluster.” 3 Halleck’s promotion is easily understood. He had received much more than his share of the glory for the capture of Forts Henry and Donelson: this and his advance upon Corinth gave him the confidence of the country and of most of the army. 4 It is remarkable that there was apparently
Note 1. On Aug. 4 the President ordered a draft of 300,000 nine-months’ militia additional to call mentioned page 156. This brought 87,588. [back]
Note 2. General Meade, I, 269. [back]
Note 3. Welles’s Diary, I, 120. [back]
Note 4. See W. Sherman, I, 254; Sherman Letters, 153. [back]