After the Battle of Malvern Hill, Phillip Kearny wrote this in response to McClellan's order to retreat:

"I, Philip Kearny, an old soldier, enter my solemn protest against this order for retreat. We ought instead of retreating should follow up the enemy and take Richmond. And in full view of all responsible for such declaration, I say to you all, such an order can only be prompted by cowardice or treason."

Kearny was right. Because of McClellan's vanity (his most abiding trait), the Army of the Potomac threw away its best early chance of total victory and the war lasted three more years.

But McClellan still has the last laugh. There are only two equestrian statues in Arlington - one for Kearny - whom Winfield Scott called "the bravest man I ever knew" - and one for a British general who is the perfect representative of the McClellan school - John Greer Dill. This link has the photo of Truman dedicating the Dill statue in 1950; it is a perfect image of why, since that time, the best the United States has ever done in a war is win a tie.





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2 Comments so far

  1. Arch Stanton on June 2, 2016 4:22 pm

    “since that time, the best the United States has ever done in a war is win a tie.”

    Well, wars up till that time were versus First World opponents. The subsequent draws & losses were against Third World.

  2. The ghost of stonewall on June 3, 2016 5:30 am

    Not sure I understand your last sentence. The best the US could ever do was a tie? Really?? I would posit that even though the US has never been the “aggressor”, we’ve always been the winner, whether it was WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, or the current war in the Mideast.


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