McClellan's Career Summed Up.
Commenting on the revelations made by the Report of the Committee on the Conduct of the War, the New York Independent thus sums up the part performed by Gen. McClellan:
We defy any one to read this report without prejudice and not realize that McClellan has never desired the overthrow of the Rebellion. That he has throughout based his estimates of the Rebel force in front on information furnished him on purposed by the Rebel chiefs is scarcely a matter of inference. When nobody else in the Army of the Potomac believed the Rebels had sixty thousand men in front throughout the winter of 1861-2, he persisted in declaring their force nearly or quite equal to his own, which ranged from one hundred and fifty to two hundred thousand. When he was urged, toward the close of 162, to detail four thousand men from his great army to co-operate with the navy in clearing out rebel obstructions to the navigation of the Potomac — a result which would have immensely diminished the trouble and cost of feeding his men and animals through the ensuing winter — he hesitated, procrastinated and finally refused outright, alleging that it might "bring on a general engagement." The disaster at Ball's Bluff — the failure to support Gen. Lander's operations westward of Harper's Ferry — the persistent, obstinate inaction before Centerville and Manassas throughout that winter of heartsickness from hope deferred — the advance at last, after the rebels had quietly evacuated their winter quarters without loss — the sitting down to the work of entrenching and mounting batteries before Yorktown — the struggling, heedless advance thence to Williamsburg — the failure to molest the rebel evacuation of that post — the tortoise-like approach to Richmond — the quiet sitting down again to dig and mine within sight of that city — the failure to profit by the known absence of Stonewall Jackson with a considerable force on his raid down the Shenandoah Valley — the refusal to follow up the advantage gained by our troops in their second day's struggle at Fair Oaks or Seven Pines — the holding inactive the bulk of his army while his right wing was crushed by overwhelming numbers at Gaines' Mill — the resolution to retreat thereupon to the bank of the James, leaving his severely wounded to the mercy of the enemy, and destroying or leaving to that enemy enormous supplies of material of all kinds — the failure to follow up the victory snatched from adverse fortune by the valor of his soldiers at Malvern Hills — the hurried retreat thence to Harrison's Landing, (where the Committee says the rebels might have destroyed his army before he took up the requisite positions and planted cannon to repel them, but for the intervention of a heavy rain) — the inexcusable delay in evacuating the Peninsula under peremptory orders, and the obstinate tardiness with which reinforcements were sent to the relief of Gen. Pope's outnumbered and hard-pressed forces — the slowness in relieving Harper's Ferry — the circular march to get between the rebels and Pennsylvania, instead of interposing between them and the Potomac, and compelling them to fight at a disavantage of ground, where defeat would have been their ruin — the "attack by driblets" at Antietam, first on one wing, then, after an interval, on the other, allowing the rebels to meet each demonstration with at least equal numbers, which a simultaneous attack at all points would have precluded — the failure to order up Fitz John Porter's fresh and strong reserves at the critical moment — the refusal to renew the attack next day, permitting the rebels to steal across the Potomac without loss — the obstinate indolence of the next six weeks, in defiance of reiterated orders and entreaties from his superiors, in defiance, too, of the excellence of the roads, the geniality of the weather, the superiority of his numbers, and the anxiety of Government, army, and the people that a decisive blow should then be struck, and in view of the fact that his position covered Washington and threatened Richmond, being nearer to each than his antagonist, and with every facility for oppo sing his entire force to less than all the rebel army opposing him — this monotony of hesitation, hanging back, magnifying the strength of the rebels and devising excuses for not assailing them — is not adequately accounted for by constitutional timidity, however excessive. It was the consistent execution of a plan, whereof the object was and is to exhaust the resources and energies of the loyal millions, and impel them to say, "This war is a failure, let us stop it anyhow" — and so throw themselves into the arms of the Democratic politicians and enable them to make a grand pro-slavery compromise with the rebels. Well does Lord Lyons report to his Government that the removal of McClellan from command was received by the "Conservative leaders" in this city with consternations, as a[unknown]al to their purposes and their schemes. His whole career as a commander justifies the conviction that he was under the inspiration and guidance of abler and craftier men, who had resolved that the war should not be prosecuted to the discomfiture and overthrow of the rebels and his campaigns and conflicts were shaped to their ends. And this is why his removal from command affords ground of hope that the blunders and failures of the two past campaigns in Virginia will be retrieved by a third, and that the next Fourth of July may see the national flag floating proudly over the war-prisons and slave pens of Richmond.