Nonfiction > James Ford Rhodes > History of the Civil War, 1861–1865 > Page 63
James Ford Rhodes (1848–1927).  History of the Civil War, 1861–1865  1917.
Page 63
of Lincoln and Grant, criticism would be tempered, but he was one of the men who cannot stand prosperity. Rapid advancement had swelled him with conceit; one manifestation of this was discourtesy to the President, of whom he once wrote in a patronizing way, “he is honest and means well.” 1 On the evening of November 13, the President, Secretary Seward and John Hay called at McClellan’s house and were told by the servant at the door that the General was at an officer’s wedding and would soon return. “We went in,” as Hay recorded the incident in his diary, “and after we had waited about an hour, McClellan came in, and without paying any particular attention to the porter who told him the President was waiting to see him, went upstairs, passing the door of the room where the President and Secretary of State were seated. They waited about half an hour, and sent once more a servant to tell the General they were there; and the answer came that he had gone to bed. I merely record this unparalleled insolence of epaulettes without comment,” continued Hay. “It is the first indication I have yet seen of the threatened supremacy of the military authorities. Coming home I spoke to the President about the matter, but he seemed not to have noticed it specially, saying it was better, at this time, not to be making points of etiquette and personal dignity.” 2 On another occasion when the General failed to keep an appointment with the President, he said, “Never mind; I will hold McClellan’s horse if he will only bring us success.” 3  24
  In December, McClellan fell ill with typhoid fever. The President, the Army of the Potomac, the country waited on his recovery. 4  25
Note 1. McClellan, 176. [back]
Note 2. J. Hay, I, 52. [back]
Note 3. N. & H., IV, 468. [back]
Note 4. O. R., V, XI, Pt. III; III, I; N. & H., IV; J. Hay, I; III; Ropes, I; Webb; Johnston; B. & L., I. [back]


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