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James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
 
Page 181
 
 
general of equal ability for the command. This obligation he seemed indeed to feel. In a letter to Carl Schurz, he intimated that “the war should be conducted on military knowledge,” not “on political affinity”; 1 and he said to Wade, a leading Radical senator, who pressed him to remove McClellan: “Put yourself in my place for a moment. If I relieve McClellan, whom shall I put in command?” “Why,” said Wade, “anybody”; to which came the reply: “Wade, anybody will do for you but not for me. I must have somebody.” 2  9
  Meade, Reynolds and the other generals of their corps called upon McClellan, expressed their deep regret at his departure “and sincerely hoped he would soon return. McClellan was very much affected, almost to tears,” Meade wrote, “and said that separation from this Army was the severest blow that could be inflicted upon him. The Army,” Meade added, “is greatly depressed.” The officers and soldiers undoubtedly felt, as General Francis A. Walker afterwards wrote, that he who could move “the hearts of a great army was no ordinary man; nor was he who took such heavy toll of Joseph E. Johnston and Robert E. Lee an ordinary soldier.” This judgment may be supported by a comparison of the losses in battles between McClellan and the Confederates; in nearly every one of them their loss was greater than his. Inasmuch as the number of men fit for military service was greater at the North than at the South, the Confederacy must, if continuing to suffer equal losses in battle, be thrust to the wall provided the Union could and would maintain the contest. “While the Confederacy was young and fresh and rich and its armies were numerous,” wrote Francis W. Palfrey, “McClellan fought a good, wary, damaging, respectable fight against it.”
 
Note 1. Schurz, Speeches, etc., I, 213. [back]
Note 2. Nicolay, 255. [back]
 

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