- Jan 6, 2001Going back to the original post of why was Halleck brought east
as General-in-Chief in 1862?
In 'Lincoln & His Generals' T. Harry Williams citing Committee
on the Conduct of the War reports, supplement II. Welles' 'Lincoln &
Stanton and his 'Diary' writes
Lincoln selected Halleck to be general in chief because he
thought the General was the best man for the job. Halleck was then the
most successful Northern general. The victories in the West, although
in reality won by Grant and other generals, were credited to Halleck in
popular estimation. He was supposed to have great strategic ability.
Lincoln heard Halleck's merits praised by men he respected. Pope, soon
after his arrival in Washington, urged Lincoln to call Halleck east to
take command of all operations in Virginia. When Lincoln visited Scott
at West Point, the old General apparently advised the President to make
Halleck general in chief. Scott has proposed Halleck for the post in
1861, when it was given to McClellan, and it was natural for him to
repeat the recommendation. Stanton, probably influenced by Pope,
supported the appointment of Halleck. Lincoln, impressed by Halleck's
record and the character of his backers, felt that he was choosing the
ablest officer in the country to direct the movements of all the armies.
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