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

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  Blair, who knew Pope intimately, said of him in the Cabinet meeting of September 2, “He is a braggart and a liar, with some courage, perhaps, but not much capacity”; and, in the meeting of September 12, he declared that Pope “ought never to have been intrusted with such a command as that in front.” “McClellan,” Blair also said, “is not the man, but he is the best among the major-generals.… We have officers of capacity, depend upon it, and they should be hunted out and brought forward. The Secretary of War should dig up these jewels”; and one of the men Blair had in mind was William T. Sherman. 1  31     Let us take a look at Lee, as Longstreet saw him in these days. Instead of the well-formed, dignified soldier, mounted at the head of his troops, and exhibiting in every movement the alertness and vigor of rich manhood, we have now before us the closet-student, poring over his maps and papers, with an application so intense as sometimes to cause his thoughts to run no longer straight. Often on these occasions he would send for Longstreet and say that his ideas were working in a circle and that he needed help to find a tangent. He was now at Chantilly in the midst of one of these perplexities. He had no intention of attacking the enemy in his fortifications about Washington, for he could not invest them and could not properly supply his army. He must either fall back to a more convenient base or invade Maryland. In that State, so allied in sympathy with his own, he even hoped for a rising in his favor, but at all events deemed it likely that he could “annoy and harass the enemy.” Should success attend this movement, he proposed to enter Pennsylvania. Perhaps in the chances of war he might destroy McClellan’s “weakened and demoralized”
Note 1. Welles’s Diary, I, 104, 119, 120, 125, 126; IV. [back]