Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 08.djvu/273
McClellan and Lee at Sharpsburg.
McClellan and Lee at Sharpsburg (Antietam).—A Review of Mr. Curtis'
Article in the North American Review.
By General D. H. Maury.
[The following article was sent by General Maury to the North American Review, but was respectfully declined. The editor seems to act on the principle that historic accuracy is a matter of small importance where only "Rebels" are concerned, and that he is under no obligation to correct mis-statements made concerning them. We cheerfully give place to the article, in the hope that some of our friends on the other side will now see its force, and that future generations will be more ready to do us justice.]
The April number of the North American Review contains an interesting article on McClellan's last great service to his country, in which I heartily concur, so far as the writer's high estimate of the capacity, conduct and character of General McClellan goes. A long and intimate association with him enables me to appreciate his remarkable professional accomplishments, and to respect and admire the excellence and purity of his personal character. No good man can see much of him without feeling affection for him and absolute confidence in him.
Of all the commanders of the Army of the Potomac, McClellan alone inspired his troops with enthusiastic love for him; and this was never so manifested as in the campaign so ably discussed by Mr. Curtis—a campaign in which McClellan evinced the very highest capacities of a general—by which he saved the Federal cause—and on the achievement of which he was deposed from the command of his great and devoted army, and retired forever from the service of the government he had saved.
I cordially concur in the conviction generally held by the Southern people, that his removal at that time greatly protracted the war. It is difficult to explain the capricious policy of the men then at the head of the Government.
But it is evident there was little in common between them and McClellan. He was born and bred amongst people of the highest culture and refinement, and the personal traits of his immediate superiors were offensive to him, while the frequent interference with his plans, which their crude and timid counsels forced upon him, must have filled him with chagrin and disgust.Mr. Curtis shows the moving causes of his extraordinary deposition. They lay in the best traits of his character. He was too