James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
apparently oblivious of the sharpshooters flying bullets, until the fall of a wounded officer near him caused General Wright to ask him peremptorily to retire to a safer spot. In the night of July 12 the Confederates withdrew. The rebs, so wrote Gustavus V. Fox, have just made off with more plunder than has entered all the blockaded ports since the war commenced. It was an attempt with 20,000 men to break up Grant; but he was too calm and persistent to be caught. It is rather humiliating but does not affect the campaign at all, the result of which is sure.1 Not everyone had the same confidence in Grant. It is a tradition that, because of the failure and great loss of life in his campaign, over which the feeling of the country was intensified by the Confederate invasion of Maryland and the imminent danger of Washington, the question of his removal from command was mooted; but of this I have found no evidence, nor do I believe that such a thought ever occurred to the President. Indeed there was no one to take his place. Extenuation of his faults is unnecessary for arriving at the conviction that, so far as any military ability had been developed, Grant was the fittest of all the generals to command the armies of the United States. That the President had confidence in him is plainly manifest. During July and August, the usual pressure in time of disaster was exercised for the restoration of McClellan to command, but it is idle to suppose that Lincoln entertained the idea of displacing Grant in favor of McClellan or that such a change would have redounded to the benefit of the Union cause.2