Quote of the Day January 5, 2013

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The Potomac River near Harpers Ferry

“Why in the Nation, General Marcy, couldn’t the General have known whether a boat could go through that lock before spending a million dollars getting them there? I am no engineer, but it seems to me that if I wished to know whether a boat would go through a hole or a lock, common sense would teach me to go and measure it. I am almost despairing at these results. Everything seems to fail.  The general impression is daily gaining ground that the general does not intend to do anything.”  In a rare display of temper Abraham Lincoln chews out McClellan’s chief of staff Randolph Marcy at the White House on February 27, 1862 after learning that the canal boats sent up toward Harpers Ferry did not fit into the locks because the engineers failed to measure them before hand.  From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears.  New York:  Ticknor & Fields, 1988. Page 158.

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Quote of the Day March 10 1862

“wants to save all the men he can…”  Sergeant Charles E Perkins in a letter to his sister on June 2, 1862 describes his impression of the Army of the Potomac commander.  Found in A Glorious Army by Jeffry D. Wert. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011, page 19.  Originally from Civil War Letters, USAMHI.