This Week in the Civil War - 408

Oct 1, 2012

Distressed over what he perceived as procrastination by the Army of the Potomac since Antietam, on October 1, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln, with a party of advisors, left Washington, D.C. for Harper’s Ferry to confer with Union General George McClellan.  On October 2, Lincoln left Harper’s Ferry for McClellan’s field headquarters, where the president for two days occupied a tent next to McClellan’s. 

After a series of lengthy conferences with senior officers, troop reviews, and visitations to the wounded, Lincoln returned to Washington on Sunday, October 4, but not before commenting on the estimated 88,000 man, Union Army of the Potomac, derisively calling it “General McClellan’s bodyguard.”  On October 6, a frustrated Lincoln ordered McClellan and his forces to cross the Potomac River and immediately re-engage the armies of the Confederacy.