On January 25, 1863, President Lincoln relieved General Ambrose Burnside from command of the Army of the Potomac. Having previously dismissed George McClellan in November, the President had made his second change of command in three months.
Among other things, Burnside had been faulted for the disastrous Union offensive against Fredericksburg in December. His attempt to redeem himself with another offensive in mid-January ended in fiasco.
The President’s disagreements with his generals went beyond the issue of tactical acumen. Lincoln argued that victory did not hinge as much on outmaneuvering opposing armies, as it did on destroying them. Lincoln would find a general in agreement with Ulysses S. Grant, whom he would bring east to supervise the war effort later in the year.