Who was Turner anyway?

Who was Turner anyway?

Click on this image to find out who Turner was.

Field Musicians Wanted!

A Turner Bugler, 2004

Click on this image to learn about opportunities as a bugler, fifer or drummer with the Turner Brigade.

The McClellan Question


November-December 1862

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, November 12, 1862.


We observe that John Van Buren, the leader of the New York Democracy, and who talks so flippantly about letting the South go, has, at a recent meeting of his ilk in New York city, proposed Gen. McClellan as a candidate for the next Presidency. We, likewise, discover that the entire press of the country, of that sort, whose Unionism has never raised it to a cordial support of the Government in the work of suppressing the rebellion at all hazards, is loud in its complaints on account of McClellan’s removal. We need but instance the Republican of our own city. The fact that McClellan is the favorite of parties who, to say the least, have been extremely lukewarm in the work of helping the Government in the contest it is now prosecuting, goes far to prove that he was not the man to lead our armies at a time like this, when efficiency and celerity are so imperatively demanded. If McClellan was the man best fitted to the emergency by his energy and determination, it is not at all probable he would have been so popular with such individuals.

It is not very likely that these parties will succeed in making a hero of a man who has failed, after eighteen months of a trial, with two hundred thousand men to help him, to make a hero of himself. No man has ever enjoyed superior opportunities for greatly distinguishing himself than McClellan. Instead of being a persecuted, he has been a highly favored man. One failure has not been sufficient to destroy confidence in him. Another trial was awarded. No man in the entire nation has less cause to complain of the people or the President, than Geo. B. McClellan.

The idea that the removal of McClellan is to be attributed to political influences or political agencies is seen to be utterly absurd, when we recollect that his successor is of the same party that he is. Both are Democrats. That the step appears to have been concurred in by his own superior officer, General Halleck, likewise a Democrat, and was in consequence of the finding of an unfavorable report by a board of investigation composed of his brother officers. These are circumstances which can in no way be attributed to radicalism or Abolitionism.

If a “pressure” has been brought to bear upon the President in favor of McClellan’s removal, the fact can in no sense be complimentary to him. That there should be pressure against him from the people or any influential portion of them, argues against rather than in support of his merits. Why should he be unpopular? Able men, particularly able military men, at a time like this, could not very well be unpopular. The inclination of the people is to encourage and support military genius, rather than to repress it. It is the weakest argument which McClellan’s friends can offer in his behalf that the people demanded his removal by the President, and that the President was thereby forced into taking the step.

That the people have, as a general thing, lost confidence in McClellan’s fitness for the position he has held, we consider indisputable. He alone, however, can be responsible for the fact. When he assumed command over the most important army of the Government, he was a universal favorite. Nor was the favor of the public quick to depart. No other man in the nation could have kept our finest army in its camp inactive, while other armies were gaining victories, without raising a storm of indignation about his ears, so long as McClellan succeeded in doing, and no other man could have returned from the disastrous campaign of the Peninsula, without utterly losing caste. But the people were slow to relinquish their favorite. He was a sort of military first love, and they clung to him in hope, when they really could not in confidence. It cannot be denied that his removal will be a relief to the great body of the loyal people of the nation. While they have no prejudice against him, on personal grounds, they do not consider that he is the man for the crisis. They look upon him as having been effectually weighed in the balance, as a military chieftain, and found wanting. How available a candidate for the Presidency such a man will make, all can judge as well as ourselves.