General Burnside Assumes Command of the Army of the Potomac

November 9, 1862

After a month of growing pressure to replace General George B. McClellan as commander of the Army of the Potomac, Ambrose Burnside assumes that position.  Presidential aide John G. Nicolay writes his fiancé: “The President’s patience is at last completely exhausted with McClellan’s inaction and never ending excuses, and he has relieved him from command of the Army of the Potomac.  The President has been extremely reluctant to do this.  In many respects he thinks McClellan a very superior officer.  This, with the high personal regard for him, has led him to indulge him in his whims and complains and shortcomings as a mother would indulge her baby, but all to no purpose.  He is constitutionally too slow, and has been fitly dubbed the Great American Tortoise.  I am sure sensible people everywhere will rejoice that he, and not the Army, goes into winter quarters.”

President Lincoln writes his wife in Boston asking permission to close the Soldiers Home residence for the winter: “Mrs. Cuthbert & Aunt Mary want to move to the White House, because it has grown so cold at Soldiers Home.  Shall they?

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

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