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

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  had to undergo. “The result of the elections was a most serious and severe reproof to the administration,” wrote Carl Schurz from the army to the President, and the administration is to blame. “It placed the Army, now a great power in this Republic, into the hands of its enemies.… What Republican general has ever had a fair chance in this war? Did not McClellan, Buell, Halleck and their creatures and favorites claim, obtain and absorb everything?” The system should be changed. “Let us be commanded by generals whose heart is in the war.… Let every general who does not show himself strong enough to command success be deposed at once. … If West Point cannot do the business let West Point go down.” 1 Another Radical was more hopeful. “The Administration,” wrote Charles Eliot Norton, “will not be hurt by the reaction (the defeat in the fall elections) if the war goes on prosperously.” 2  2   While Lee was advancing the cause of the Confederacy in Virginia, Bragg and Kirby Smith, by their operations in Kentucky, were endeavoring to retrieve the Confederate losses in the West. Smith, defeating the Union force which opposed him, occupied Lexington, the home of Henry Clay and the centre of the Blue-grass region, the garden of the State. “The loss of Lexington,” telegraphed Governor Morton of Indiana to the Secretary of War, “is the loss of the heart of Kentucky and leaves the road open to the Ohio river.” Smith’s army did indeed threaten Cincinnati and Louisville, causing great alarm. In Cincinnati martial law was declared, liquor shops were closed, all business was ordered to be suspended, every man who could fight or work was commanded to assemble at his voting
Note 1. Schurz, Speeches, etc., I, 209, 210, 211, 217, 218. [back]
Note 2. C. E. Norton, I, 258. [back]