James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
Lee on a field no more than equal for us and will do so with all the skill and courage which he, his officers and men possess, the honor will be his if he succeeds and the blame may be mine if he fails.1
Meades private correspondence shows a timidity and hesitancy hardly to be looked for in one who had been known as a fighting general. He manuvred constantly with the aim not to fight Lee unless he obtained the better position. The source of this excessive caution as contrasted with his former attitude when as division and corps commander he criticised the general of the army for the same defect may have lain in the difference between the responsibility of the chief and the freedom of the subordinate, or it may be that Meade was no longer the man he had been before and during the Gettysburg campaign; that the stress of those days had impaired his nerve and diminished his aggressiveness. If we dwell on his remark that in ten days he had lived thirty years,2 we may incline to this belief. At all events, during this campaign, nothing was done after Gettysburg toward bringing the war to an end.
After the battle of Stones river, Rosecrans remained inactive for nearly six months, recuperating and resupplying his army and fortifying Murfreesborough. The Government urged him forward and insisted that he should drive the Confederates out of Tennessee and take Chattanooga. The McClellan drama was played over again. The General complained of the lack of supplies, of forage, of revolving rifles for his mounted troops, of his great deficiency in cavalry as compared with his adversary; in the course of his correspondence with Stanton and Halleck, he
Note 1. G. Bradford, Am. Hist. Rev., 318; O. R., XXIX, Pt. II, 332. [back]