President Lincoln Works on Emancipation Proclamation

September 20, 1862

Assured that Confederate forces left the field of battle after Antietam, President Lincoln polishes the Emancipation Proclamation.

Discontent with insufficient praise from his superiors, General George B. McClellan tries to polish his reputation.  He writes General Henry W. Halleck: “I regret that you find it necessary to couch every dispatch I have the honor to receive from you, in a spirit of fault finding, and that you have not yet found leisure to say one word in commendation of the recent achievements of this Army, or even to allude to them.  I have abstained from giving the number of guns, colors, small arms, prisoners, etc. captured, until I could do so with some accuracy.  I hope by tomorrow evening to be able to give at least an approximate statement.”  McClellan writes his wife: “I hope that my future will be determined this week.  Thro’ certain friends of mine I have taken the stand that Stanton must leave & that Halleck must restore my old place to me.  Unless these two conditions are fulfilled I will leave the service. I feel that I have done all that can be asked in twice saving the country.  If I continue in its service I have at least the right to demand a guarantee that I shall not be interfered with — I know I cannot have that assurance so long as Stanton continues in the position of Secy of War & Halleck as Genl in Chief.  You will understand that it is a matter of indifference to me whether they come to terms or not.

I now feel that my military reputation is safe & that I can retire from the service for sufficient reasons without leaving any stain upon my reputation.  If eel now that this last short campaign is a sufficient legacy for our child, so far as honor is concerned…

You should see my soldiers now!  You never saw anything like their enthusiasm — it surpasses anything you ever imagined, & I don’t believe that Napoleon even ever possessed the love & confidence of his men more fully than I do of mine.”

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Published in: on September 20, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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