Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 186
James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
Page 186
Lincoln had given utterance to a similar thought, “Being a humble instrument in the hands of our Heavenly Father … if I find my efforts fail, I must believe that for some purpose unknown to me He wills it otherwise.” 1 And thus Meade, “It does seem as if Providence was against us.” 2  17
  The remainder of Burnside’s service is marked by desperate energy on his part, making plans to retrieve the disaster by recrossing the river and attacking the Confederates again, by his officers’ and soldiers’ distrust of him and opposition to his projected offensive movement, by the inefficiency of Stanton and Halleck and the painful perplexity of the President, who restrained his general with this order, “You must not make a general movement of the Army without letting me know.” Lincoln had a conference with Burnside in Washington at which Stanton and Halleck were present; but, being sadly in need of expert guidance which his Secretary and General-in-Chief were unable to supply, failed to reach a positive decision. Afterwards he gave a qualified consent to Burnside, who was still bent on crossing the river and delivering another attack. Very different now was his counsel from that which he had been accustomed to give McClellan. “Be cautious,” he wrote to Burnside, “and do not understand that the country or government is driving you.” Burnside moved his army four miles up the river. “The pontoons, artillery and all other accessories were up in time,” wrote Meade, “and we all thought the next morning the bridges would be thrown over and we should be at it. But man proposes and God disposes. About 9 P.M. a terrific storm of wind and rain set in and continued all night.” 3 For the next two days
Note 1. Lincoln, C. W., II, 243. [back]
Note 2. Nov. 13, General Meade, I,327. [back]
Note 3. General Meade, I,348. [back]


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