James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
into the administration of his State, he made no secret of his contempt for the generalship of Buell, whom he even accused in his communications with Washington of being a rebel sympathizer. Morton, though personally incorrupt, took his coadjutors from amongst the vulgar and the shifty, making his test of fitness for civil and military office a personal devotion and unscrupulous obedience to himself rather than intrinsic honesty and high character. He and Buell became enemies and he held it a duty to his country as well as an offering to his self-interest to crush the man whom he could not use.
Lincoln had been dissatisfied with Buells slowness and, influenced by the pressure of Morton and Stanton and the manifestations of public sentiment in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, took the general at his word when, aware of the Governments discontent, he suggested on October 16 that, if it were deemed best to change the command of the army, now would be a convenient time to do it. Buell was relieved and Rosecrans put in his place. In this decision the President erred, as the opinion expressed by Grant fourteen years after the war is doubtless sound, Buell had genius enough for the highest commands.1
If, now, the scene be changed to the banks of the Potomac, the leading actor is McClellan, the action, much the same: the General did not take the aggressive promptly enough to satisfy the President and the people of the North. On October 1, Lincoln went to see McClellan, remained with the army three days and, as a result of the conferences and observations of his visit, directed the general, after his return to Washington, to cross the Potomac and give battle to the enemy or drive him south. Still McClellan