This Week in the Civil War - 425

Oct 24, 2012

On October 26, 1862, embarrassed by his army’s inability to stop Stuart’s recent raids and by President Lincoln’s continuing criticism, General George McClellan ordered the Army of the Potomac into the field, crossing the Potomac into Virginia.  In Washington, Lincoln immediately wrote McClellan that he “rejoiced” that the Army of the Potomac was moving into Virginia and encouraged McClellan to take the war to Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. 

In an interview on the same day with English Quaker leader, Eliza Gurney, Lincoln reputedly said, “If I had my way, this war would never have been commenced; If I had been allowed my way this war would have been ended before this, but we find it still continues.”  Clearly, one of the key reasons involved the inactivity of George McClellan’s army.