News of McClellan’s firing flooded across both the North and the South. The Richmond Dispatch on November 17 reported the dismissal, caustically noting,
“We are by no means sure that the removal of McClellan from command is calculated to do the Yankee cause any great harm. It is said that he is the best General they have, and we think it probable he is. Yet they could have fallen upon no man who could have made a more signal failure that he did in his campaign against Richmond. If he be the best, they must all be exceedingly bad.”
The Richmond Enquirer observed that McClellan’s removal would likely force “a battle on the Rappahannock” before the year’s end. Fredericksburg, the next great battle site, prophetically was on the Rappahannock River.