Sunday, November 11, 2007

ON THIS DAY: Wednesday, Nov. 13, 1861

On November 1, at the invitation of President Abraham Lincoln, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan succeeded Winfield Scott as general in chief of all the Union armies. Now it is hardly two weeks later and on this Wednesday evening McClellan brazenly snubs Lincoln. The president had gone to McClellan’s house to meet with him, but McClellan wasn’t home. Lincoln waited patiently for him to return, but when he does, the "Young Napoleon" ignores his president and goes upstairs to bed.

For McClellan to be so rude to the president—his commander in chief—is amazing, but more amazing still is Lincoln’s forbearance. The president says, “I will hold McClellan’s horse if he will only bring us success.” Decried by some as weakness, Lincoln's remarkable patience and ability to see the bigger picture will prove, over time, to serve the Union well.

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