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

Page 36

  the minority have the right to break up the government whenever they choose. If we fail, it will go far to prove the incapability of the people to govern themselves. There may be one consideration used in stay of such final judgment but that is not for us to use in advance: that is, that there exists in our case an instance of a vast and far-reaching disturbing element, which the history of no other free nation will probably ever present. That, however, is not for us to say at present. Taking the government as we found it, we will see if the majority can preserve it.” 1  44   An official report of July 1 gives the strength of the Union army as 186,000. 2 The newspapers, especially the New York Tribune, had already been clamoring for an advance on Richmond. General Scott was urged not to lose the services of the three-months men whose time would soon expire. 3 Politicians, fearing the effect of delay on public sentiment, supported this demand; and men of experience and good judgment joined in the popular cry. As early as May Governor Andrew complained “of the want of vigor,” in the Northern operations and Senator Fessenden wrote, “I am hoping every day to hear of some decided blow.” 4 William H. Russell, basing his opinion on the European standard, with which his experience in the Crimea had made him familiar, gave an account of the wretched condition of the Union soldiers in camps near Washington, whose number, available for a campaign, he estimated at 30,000. “I am opposed to national boasting,” he wrote, “but I do firmly believe that 10,000 British regulars (then apparently thinking he must say something for England’s ally) or 12,000 French with a proper establishment of artillery and cavalry, under competent commanders, would not only entirely repulse this
Note 1. May 7, J. Hay, I, 31. [back]
Note 2. III, 360 n. 2. [back]
Note 3. Russell; III. [back]
Note 4. O. R., III, I, 182, 244. [back]