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McClellan's Letter to Robert E Lee
10-28-2016, 09:33 PM (This post was last modified: 10-28-2016 09:34 PM by Gene C.)
Post: #1
McClellan's Letter to Robert E Lee
Anyone ever heard of this before?

"In 1915 Captain John R King, who had commanded a company of the 6th Maryland Infantry during the war, told William Myers (McClellan's biographer) that, immediately after the battle of Antietam, McClellan had written a letter to his Confederate opponent, inviting him to a conference with a view to uniting both their armies and marching on Washington to end the war. McClellan would be dictator and Lee commander-in-chief. General Joe Davidson, who had been on Hooker's staff at Antietam, substantiated this story and arranged a meeting between Captain King and General James Longstreet, the ex-Confederate, who was then in Washington. King brought up the subject of the letter and Longstreet claimed to have seen it. Lee had sent for him, shown him the letter, and asked him what it meant, but Longstreet advised Lee to have nothing to do with it. Lee also showed it to Robert Toombs, who gave the same advice."

I read that in a book I am currently reading and have never heard of this before, and I have not found any other reference to it either.

Anyone know anything about it?

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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10-29-2016, 07:56 AM
Post: #2
RE: McClellan's Letter to Robert E Lee
Gene, this does not answer your question, but I found this in a book titled Memories of the Men who Saved the Union by Donn Piatt.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"Matters grew serious in this direction. The reader who doubts has only to turn to "McClellan's Own Story," and he will find every page bristling with assertions and assumptions in the way I indicate. Key himself grew alarmed. He told me, long after those days, that, while on the James, he and McClellan were riding in from a visit to a distant camp, where the soldiers, breaking ranks, had crowded about him, filling the air with cheers, when, after a long silence, McClellan said:

"How these brave fellows love me, and what a power that love places in my hands! What is there to prevent my taking the Government in my own hands?"

Key was startled, and hastened to say: "General, don't mistake those men. So long as you lead them against the enemy, they will adore and die for you; but attempt to turn them against the Government, and you will be the first to suffer."

https://archive.org/stream/memoriesofme2...t_djvu.txt
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10-29-2016, 12:37 PM
Post: #3
RE: McClellan's Letter to Robert E Lee
Gene, what is the name of the book you quoted from and is there a footnote to the quote? I've only spent a few hours searching but so far I haven't found anything that supports the story. While it's in keeping with McClellan's grandiose ego and hatred of Lincoln it's hard to believe he would act on his his desires as expressed to Key in Roger's post. Instead he ran for President to fulfill his desire to be king.
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10-29-2016, 01:22 PM
Post: #4
RE: McClellan's Letter to Robert E Lee
Sorry I wasted your time Anita.
No footnote regarding this letter. A very questionable and vague reference to the incident in McClellan's papers

Alan Pinkerton by James Mackay. I'll review it when I'm finished

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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10-29-2016, 02:42 PM
Post: #5
RE: McClellan's Letter to Robert E Lee
(10-29-2016 01:22 PM)Gene C Wrote:  Sorry I wasted your time Anita.
No footnote regarding this letter. A very questionable and vague reference to the incident in McClellan's papers

Alan Pinkerton by James Mackay. I'll review it when I'm finished

Thanks Gene. No time wasted as I always learn interesting things in the process of a search. It's so easy to segue and see where it takes me. I'll look for your review.
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01-22-2017, 11:22 AM
Post: #6
RE: McClellan's Letter to Robert E Lee
If true, Lee showed great wisdom in his decision to decline.

Bill Nash
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01-22-2017, 11:36 AM
Post: #7
RE: McClellan's Letter to Robert E Lee
Which is probably why McClellan didn't follow up after Antietam and Lee was so bold daring him to do so.
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01-22-2017, 11:37 AM
Post: #8
RE: McClellan's Letter to Robert E Lee
Great point. Agree!

Bill Nash
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Yesterday, 08:27 AM
Post: #9
RE: McClellan's Letter to Robert E Lee
McClellan had huge pipe dreams in this letter! Lee was too smart for him+thank Longstreet for his way of thinking!
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Yesterday, 09:24 PM
Post: #10
RE: McClellan's Letter to Robert E Lee
Very interesting Gene.

I would think that the Confederates would use this information as propaganda to throw the Union ranks into disarray and get rid of McClellan. That is of course, had they wanted to remove McClellan. They may have viewed his slow and overcautious attitude as a better asset.

" Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the American Government take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian." - Henry Ford
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