James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
my record evidences. The only thing that can be said, and I am willing to admit the justice of the argument, is that it remains to be seen whether I have the capacity to handle successfully a large army. I do not stand however any chance, because I have no friends, political or others, who press or advance my claims or pretensions, and there are so many others who are pressed by influential politicians that it is folly to think I stand any chance upon mere merit alone.1
Meade can best tell the story of his promotion. It has pleased Almighty God, he wrote to his wife on June 29, to place me in the trying position that for sometime past we have been talking about. Yesterday morning at 3 A.M. I was aroused from my sleep by an officer from Washington entering my tent, and after waking me up, saying he had come to give me trouble. At first I thought it was either to relieve or arrest me. He handed me a communication to read, which I found was an order relieving Hooker from the command and assigning me to it. As it appears to be Gods will for some good purposeat any rate as a soldier, I had nothing to do but accept and exert my utmost abilities to command success. I am moving at once against Lee. A battle will decide the fate of our country and our cause. Pray earnestly, pray for the success of my country (for it is my success besides).
Frank Haskell, a staff officer in the Second Corps, who wrote during July, 1863 a graphic account of the Battle of Gettysburg, recorded his belief that the Army in general, both officers and men, had no confidence in Hooker, in either his honesty or ability. When the change of command became known, he wrote: We breathed a full breath of joy and of hope. The Providence of God had been with