The Committee on the Conduct of the War: Investigators or Villains?
by Patricia Caldwell

When we think about the political aspects of the Civil War what most quickly comes to mind are situations such as the secession crisis, the 1860 election, Lincoln's administration and Jefferson Davis and the Confederate government. What comes less frequently to mind is a small body of men, very powerful men at that, who had a bigger impact on the war and the lives of many Northerners than is commonly known - the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, more commonly known as the Committee on the Conduct of the War (CCW).

What or who was this Committee? Why was it established and what was its agenda?

The Committee was not born out of the secession of the Southern states or the firing on Fort Sumter. In fact, the war was well under way by the time the CCW came into being. It's important to look at the early days of the Civil War to appreciate the climate that fostered the establishment of the Committee.

The election of 1860 resulted in the presidency of Abraham Lincoln of the new Republican Party - in a country that was politically in turmoil. The states of the Deep South, strongly Democratic, one by one began to cut their ties with the federal republic, establishing themselves first as independent entities and then aligning themselves together into a Confederacy which they deemed the true successor to the government established by the leaders of the American Revolution. At the same time in the Northeast, West, and those Southern states that still had ties with the federal government, emotions ran wild. Lincoln had been elected without a plurality. Many Americans, North and South, had little or no confidence in his abilities to govern a country at peace much less one that was approaching war from within. After all, who was this Abraham Lincoln? Not much political experience, just some backwoods lawyer from Illinois. Well, sure he had served a term in Congress, but what had he done lately? Well, maybe Secretary of State William Seward will be the brains behind the Presidency and really run the country!

In the meantime the abolitionist movement was picking up momentum, and feelings were strongly pro or con over the slavery issue. Some powerful men were involved with this abolitionist movement. Members of the victorious Republican Party who were strong advocates for freedom for the slaves were labeled Radical Republicans. They included congressmen, senators, newspapermen - men who could and did shape public opinion. The Border States were leery of this rising movement but had not forsaken their place in the republic, or at least not yet.

Into this cauldron of emotions Abraham Lincoln comes to office determined to keep the Union intact, hoping it will not come to war. But his very election chases the most secession-minded states out of the Union. South Carolina is the first to go, citing a break in "the Union now subsisting between South Carolina and other states." Her sister states of Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas follow in rapid succession. With the firing on Fort Sumter Lincoln calls for 75,000 volunteers to help put down the rebellion. Four more states, mostly of the Upper South - Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas - then join in the rebellion rather than submit to federal troops crossing their lines to make war on the states of the Deep South.

Lincoln knows the importance to the integrity of the Union of retaining the Border States, in particular Maryland which hugs the federal capital. To ensure the loyalty of this critical commonwealth, martial law is invoked in Maryland. State legislators who are partial to the cause of the Confederacy are summarily imprisoned, thereby preventing a secession vote. The writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Passions run high in Maryland. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Roger Taney protests and is threatened with imprisonment himself. President Lincoln has invoked his war powers.

Instead of calling the recessed Congress into session the president decides not to worry about constitutional niceties that are vague at best, and calls upon powers he believes are constitutionally provided to him as commander-in-chief in time of war.

As spring of 1861 turns to summer Lincoln calls a special session of Congress and requests approval for the various measures he has taken. A Congress diminished by the absence of Southern legislators comes into session. They approve the president's measures, but are apprehensive about surrendering any powers they believe are constitutionally reserved for the legislative body.

On the homefront thousands of young men respond to Lincoln's call. The reasons are varied - patriotism, the chance for adventure, the desire to see a part of the world outside the farm or the small town. Everyone believes one battle will decide the issue - the Confederacy will be defeated, the Union restored, the boys go home. But the days of training turn into weeks and soon their three-month enlistments will be over. "On to Richmond!" is the cry of congressional leaders, the newspapers, and the patriotic public, and against the better judgment of the military leaders, the green Union troops meet the green Rebel troops in the first major clash of the war at Bull Run in July. No one expects the rout of the federal soldiers back into Washington. But rout is what they get, as the boys start streaming back into the capital. What went wrong? Who's to blame?

While this defeat alone did not cause the public or congressional leaders to lose confidence in Lincoln and his administration, a series of setbacks through the remainder of the summer and into the fall deeply shook that confidence. In succession came defeats at Wilson's Creek and Ball's Bluff. With them came frustration with what was perceived as the inactivity of the Army of the Potomac, the premiere fighting force of the Union, which was seen as constantly drilling and training, and training some more, but never seemingly ready to do battle with the rebel forces.

Add to this mixture the feeling among the Republican congressional leaders that the Lincoln administration was not doing enough to address the slavery question. Particular fuel for their fire was the fact that Lincoln had recently revoked a premature, and highly unconstitutional, emancipation proclamation put forth by General John C. Fremont in Missouri in late August.

This was the stage setting for the convening of the 37th Congress in early December of 1861. Many of the country's newspapers along with the congressmen's Republican constituencies had been lobbying for a more vigorous prosecution of the war. Following the special session in July in which it had retroactively supported the president's war measures, the Congress had returned to their homes, and helplessly watched as the hoped for movement of the Army of the Potomac never materialized. Lincoln seemed not to have control of the country's military situation. Congress was becoming impatient and anxious to take over or at least influence the direction of the Union's war effort.
On December 12, 1862 New York Representative Roscoe Conkling introduced a House resolution demanding from Secretary of War Simon Cameron information about the recent Union defeat at Ball's Bluff in Virginia. Several days later Michigan Senator Zachariah Chandler took the lead, offering a resolution to create a committee "to inquire into the disasters of Bull Run and Edward's Ferry [Ball's Bluff], with the power to send for persons and papers."

After several days of debating the limits and responsibilities of such a proposed committee, the resolution was put to a vote in the Senate and passed gloriously with a vote count of 33 to 3. The House then concurred without debate and the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War was created on December 10, 1861. Vice President Hannibal Hamlin as President of the Senate then selected the members of the upper chamber to serve on the committee, and Speaker of the House Galusha Grow, congressman from Pennsylvania, named the members from the lower chamber.

Who were these men who would wield so much power? From the Senate came Republicans Benjamin F. Wade (Ohio) and Zachariah Chandler (Michigan) and Democrat Andrew Johnson (Tennessee). Representing the House of Representatives were Republicans George W. Julian (Indiana), John Covode (Pennsylvania) and Daniel W. Gooch (Massachusetts), and Moses Fowler Odell (New York), the sole Democrat. Wade and Chandler were well known for their Radical Republicanism and antislavery convictions, along with their intolerance for Lincoln's handling of the war effort. Andrew Johnson, while a Southerner and a Democrat, was a staunch Unionist and anti-aristocrat, and while no abolitionist, felt that secession had done more harm to the Southern cause than had the abolitionists. It is highly unlikely that Vice-President Hamlin, who shared Wade's and Chandler's skepticism about the President's abilities, consulted with Lincoln before naming his choices. Despite Senator Chandler's introduction of the resolution to form the committee, at his suggestion he passed up the chairmanship of the newly-minted committee to Senator Wade because of Wade's extensive legal experience. For his part, Senator Johnson would serve on the committee only for a short time until he was appointed military governor of Tennessee in March of 1862, but he remained interested in the Committee's affairs throughout the war. Later Joseph Wright of Indiana would be appointed to fill Johnson's vacant position.

What of Grow's choices from the House? Julian and Covode, being among the ranks of the Radical Republicans in Congress, combined with Wade and Chandler, would give that faction a majority of 4 to 3, ensuring their dominance whichever way the remainder of the committee went on a vote. Gooch, with conservative Republican leanings, might have been a concession to the moderates. Odell, the sole Democrat, was a relatively unknown freshman congressman and an obvious concession to bipartisanship. In a committee that had an agenda it would not have been feasible to appoint a more prominent or fiery Democrat such as Clement Vallandingham. Odell was seen as no threat.

While whether such a committee of the legislative body had any constitutional right to investigate the actions of the executive branch has been contested, earlier precedents and loosely defined separation of powers among the branches of government seemed to justify its existence. However, previous investigative committees had had limited scope and had been created for a specific event. This committee was blessed with far-flung powers and unlimited scope and could permute into something larger still. As the Committee saw its role from an 1863 report, "Your committee therefore concluded that they would best perform their duty by endeavoring to obtain such information in respect to the conduct of the war as would best enable them to advise what mistakes had been made in the past and the proper course to be pursued in the future."

The Committee members took their charge seriously, meeting everyday while the Congress was in session, and frequently even when their legislative colleagues were not. It gathered information from professional investigators, from their own investigation of witnesses, and from personal visits made to the scene of the action.

During the existence of the CCW, nearly every Union defeat was investigated, but most particularly, Bull Run, Ball's Bluff, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. The Committee even investigated Meade's handling of the Gettysburg campaign, which did not classify as a defeat. It looked into lesser military defeats such as the Red River campaign, the disaster of the Crater explosion at Petersburg, and Fort Fisher. They investigated the Army of the Potomac and its leaders, General John C. Fremont's actions in the Department of the West in 1861, the treatment of Union prisoners of war in rebel prisons, alleged atrocities including those at Fort Pillow. They looked to control the more mundane elements involved in conducting a war, such as government contracts, the building of the fleet of monitors, and trade in military districts. Virtually every aspect of the war came under the watchful eye of this Committee. By war's end no less than eight volumes of reports and testimony were published!

Throughout its tenure the secret meetings of the CCW would be the catalyst that would extensively damage or outright ruin the military careers of capable military men.

What were the basic flaws of the CCW? First and foremost, despite its attempt to appear bipartisan, the Committee was anything but! Dominated by the Radical Republican faction it constantly prodded President Lincoln to move quickly and decisively on the question of emancipation of the slaves. Lincoln, although concerned with the plight of the nation's blacks, was more focused on ensuring the survival of the Union. Inherent in the Committee's criticism of the president was their belief that Lincoln was basically incompetent in the running of the government and the management of the war, and that Lincoln was in over his head. As this was a sentiment shared by many of their Congressional colleagues, it was not surprising that this attitude prevailed. Lincoln, to his credit, had enough strength of character to follow his own course and not be railroaded on any issue that confronted him. Throughout the many investigations conducted by members of the CCW, it is obvious that testimony partial to the radical element or to anyone favored by the Committee was given credence, while testimony that favored Democrats, West Point generals, or anyone who was not lined up with the abolitionists was either swept under the carpet or dismissed out of hand. Again and again as the Committee entered into investigations the obvious partisanship seen in the witnesses called, the questions asked, and ultimately in its concluding report and recommendations is quite apparent.

The Committee, too, was sadly lacking in military expertise, yet the members assumed the mantle of overseer to investigate, criticize and condemn the actions of men whose training had been in the art of war. High on the Committee's list of suspect military men were the professional soldiers who had trained at the United States Military Academy at West Point. To them, graduates of the Academy were a lot of Southern sympathizers who were reluctant to prosecute the war forcefully, and whose ties with their Confederate brother officers were so strong as to smack of treason. To wit, there are the examples of investigations into the actions of Generals George B. McClellan, George G. Meade and Charles Stone, among others.

Charles Stone bore the brunt of the blame for the fiasco at Ball's Bluff in October 1861. Stone's reputation up until this time had been peerless. To him had been entrusted the security of the capital in the days leading up to the inauguration of the new president, Abraham Lincoln. To set the stage for the President-Elect's safety, then-Colonel Stone established the forerunner of the Secret Service, ringed the public buildings with armed sentinels and positioned sharpshooters on the rooftops. But after the Union defeat at Ball's Bluff, Stone's star plummeted. While technically in command Stone was not actually present on the bluff when the fighting erupted. Colonel Edward Baker, political general, member of Congress, and personal friend of the President, commanded the field, made the careless mistakes of a novice, and lost his life in the process. Since it would not be politically wise to place blame on Baker where it belonged, someone else had to be responsible for the debacle. Therefore, it must be General Stone. Of course. He was West Point. He was a conservative. He was a Democrat.

The CCW had been established specifically to investigate this very battle, and they set to it with a vengeance. Witnesses were called, testimony taken. General Stone himself appeared before the Committee to answer questions and state his case, in which he felt confident that his actions would be justified. Even General McClellan testified in Stone's behalf. To no avail. Putting credence in any testimony that implicated Stone and disregarding any that exonerated him, the Committee already had its decision. West Pointers could not be trusted because of their close ties with their counterparts in gray. Stone was a West Pointer, so therefore he must be a traitor. The CCW sought out witnesses who would testify that General Stone had allowed personnel and communications to pass across the lines to the enemy, and that there had been secret messages carried across to the rebel army. The paths of the Committee's logic were a labyrinth of the truth. In short, Stone was arrested in the night without benefit of charges being leveled against him, and without benefit of trial. General Stone would remain in prison for the next six months, finally released after a personal appeal to President Lincoln. Ironically one of Stone's supporters, fellow West Pointer George Meade, would also feel the bite of the Committee in due time.

The most important investigation undertaken by the CCW while the 37th Congress was in session was its investigation into the Army of the Potomac and its commander General George Brinton McClellan. As a Democrat, McClellan's political beliefs were at odds with those of the republican-dominated government. His protection of civilian property and his belief that conciliation would go a long way to bringing the southern states back into the Union were held in contempt by the powerful Republican Congress. This investigation more than anything else rocked the relationship between the President and the Committee. Lincoln was an astute enough politician to realize he needed all the political parties to pull together to preserve the Union, and he worked diligently to preserve an uneasy balance between moderates and radicals, Republicans and Democrats, border state Unionists and hard-nosed warmongers. For these reasons he supported McClellan, and supported him far longer than anyone would have anticipated. But Lincoln's support of McClellan also made him suspect among the radicals who made much of his Kentucky background and his in-laws' Confederate loyalties.

The investigation into the case against George McClellan went further and deeper than that against any of the other generals investigated. In late 1861, the country in general had expressed concern about the lack of forward movement of the army under McClellan's leadership. His apparent reluctance to come to battle with the rebel forces was seen as anything from incompetence or inability to downright treason. McClellan's assumption to command of the army after Bull Run had been met with distrust by the radicals in Congress because of his position on protecting property of Southerners and because of his declaration that he was not fighting to free the slaves. As the days went on and the army did not advance, Congress and particularly the CCW became all the more impatient and distrustful. McClellan was able to convince committee members that the fault lay with General-in-Chief Winfield Scott, the relic of the War of 1812. Consequently the CCW put pressure to bear to have Scott relieved of command and replaced with McClellan, but all the while fully expecting McClellan to take advantage of the change and move ahead. What they didn't understand was that by now McClellan commanded an army in excess of 100,000 men, an army larger than any ever before put in the field by any American general, an army that needed to be organized and trained, a logistical exercise with no precedent, and with the winter season approaching. Unfortunately for George McClellan, the CCW, reflecting popular opinion, believed that desire and common sense alone were sufficient to move armies and win battles.

Then came the infamous battle of wills among McClellan, Lincoln and the CCW. One after another McClellan's senior commanders were called to testify on their knowledge of his campaign plans. Once again, those whose testimony was detrimental to their commander were singled out, while those who supported McClellan were ignored. This investigation exposed the animosities and jealousies among the officer corps of the Army of the Potomac.

The CCW continued to badger Lincoln to replace McClellan, but the president on his part continued to stand his ground, despite his own growing dissatisfaction with his general and his lack of progress in conducting the war. In the long run Lincoln did finally give up on McClellan and his way of warfare, but he did it on his own terms and not at the instigation of the CCW.

Not every military officer who faced investigation by the CCW met with the same fate. Other generals fared much better, and received the approbation of the Committee. Joe Hooker, John C. Fremont, and Ben Butler were among the favored few. All three at some point came under the CCW's microscope, but they had advantages on their side - their politics were the politics of the Committee's majority. General Fremont had not only opposed slavery, but he had even gone so far as to issue a proclamation freeing the slaves in the military department he commanded. Joe Hooker, on the other hand, was an unlikely candidate to receive the support of the CCW. He was a West Pointer, and anti-abolitionist, and a Democrat to boot, but Joe Hooker was also an ambitious man and he knew who held the power and what he needed to do to get ahead - he became a champion of emancipation.

The case of Ben Butler is an interesting one. Despite being a Democrat, Butler from the first had been a favorite of the radicals because of his confiscation of slaves as contraband of war. This fit in well with the Committee's goal to punish the South. When Butler's harsh treatment of citizens while commander of Union-occupied New Orleans became the talk of the town, he was just that much more endeared to the Committee radicals. During the Committee's investigation into the military defeat at Fort Fisher late in the war, General Butler was actually praised by the Committee for the same behavior for which they had earlier condemned McClellan - Butler's reluctance to attack as commanded was now being justified as defensive warfare!

Among the other items on the CCW's agenda was an investigation into alleged Confederate atrocities, such as the reported massacre of black soldiers at Fort Pillow. After taking testimony that the rebels deliberately murdered black soldiers who were trying to surrender, the Committee issued a report recommending that the administration develop a policy of retaliation. Lincoln for his part asked each of his cabinet heads to submit an opinion on what course of action the government should take in response to these atrocity charges. Gideon Welles, a stalwart of the administration, bespoke his opinion of the Committee "There must be something in these terrible reports, but I distrust Congressional committees. They exaggerate." With the 1864 elections imminent, Lincoln refused the pressure of the Committee, and retaliation never did find a place in the Lincoln administration.

Included in the atrocity report were additional findings that the Committee published concerning the treatment of Union prisoners in rebel prison camps. Contained in the Committee's report were a number of pictures purporting to show victims of abuse in Confederate prisons. What was quietly omitted was the fact that one of the soldiers pictured had never been a prisoner of the Confederates, and that the other soldiers photographed had been sent home by the Confederates because their captors could not provide them the medical care they needed. Admitting these facts would have contradicted the accusation being circulated by the radicals that the rebels were deliberately and maliciously mistreating their prisoners.

On the surface the reports put forth from the atrocity investigations were among the most constructive and positive published by the CCW. But under the surface there ran the undercurrent of the Radical Republican agenda. If they could make the Southern states appear to be evil and immoral, all the more reasonable would be the Republican plan to not just defeat them militarily but also to totally destroy their society. At the root of the CCW's agenda was control of the reconstruction of the South.

A case in point is General Nathaniel Bank's attempt in Louisiana to follow Lincoln's instructions regarding his plans for reconstruction of the Southern states. "Let them up easy" was Lincoln's motto, but it didn't fit with the reconstruction plans of the CCW. Using Bank's unsuccessful Red River campaign as an excuse for an investigation, the Committee strongly condemned the establishment of a new state government in Union-held Louisiana. Before the Committee was able to finish its investigation the country was rocked by the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. How would the new president, Andrew Johnson, a former member of the CCW, respond to the Committee's plans for reconstruction? Wade and Chandler had every reason to believe that Johnson would line up in their camp, for as he took office he spoke of exacting a harsh peace that would punish the errant South. But suddenly and inexplicably Johnson changed his policies and became the true extension of Lincoln's intentions for reconstruction.

It is obvious that everything with which the CCW got involved was dictated by the political beliefs of the majority members. Some members moved on or were replaced, but the core members Wade and Chandler continued to pull the strings. At the end of the 37th Session of Congress the CCW had boasted that they had rooted out disloyalty from the Army of the Potomac. But at the beginning of the 38th Session the Committee was reconstituted and Wade and Chandler discovered they had more "traitors" to weed out of the army. Whether they were investigating the Army of the Potomac, individual officers, military or political events, everything was done with one ultimate goal - the destruction of the Southern society.

The Committee on the Conduct of the War was feared during its lifetime. Army commanders saw what was happening to their predecessors and let this influence the decisions they made on the battlefield. General Ambrose Burnside most certainly let the phantom of McClellan's non-aggressive behavior color his judgment when he continued to send the waves of Union soldiers to their deaths up the slopes of Marye's Heights at Fredericksburg, and again when he moved his army out of their winter camps into the Virginia quagmire in the infamous Mud March. How many other general officers made decisions based not strictly on what was best for their commands on a given field, but rather on what was "safe" conduct as far as the CCW was concerned? George Meade knew what was happening when he testified to committee members at Falmouth, after the Fredericksburg defeat. In a personal letter he wrote, "I sometimes feel very nervous about my position, [the committee is] knocking over generals at such a rate."

The Committee frequently sought to place its stamp on the White House, hoping to switch the balance of power from the executive to the legislative branch. They sought to place men of their choosing into cabinet positions, suggestions to which President Lincoln would not bow. Gideon Welles, Lincoln's Secretary of the Navy, was one of those in Lincoln's inner circle who Wade and Chandler would have liked to see ousted. Welles, however, saw the radicals for what they were. "As for the 'Committee on the Conduct of the War', he said, "… they are most of them narrow and prejudiced partisans, mischievous busy-bodies, and a discredit to Congress. Mean and contemptible partisanship colors all their acts."

As the war drew to a close, the Committee had one final investigation on their agenda. This time they would tackle one of the heroes of the war, General William Tecumseh Sherman. What was the impetus that drove the radicals to target Sherman? After all, Sherman had been a successful general. He had marched his army through the South, causing destruction as he went. Isn't this what the radicals wanted? Well, one thing went wrong. When Confederate General Joseph Johnston surrendered his army, Sherman gave him terms that were the most lenient of all, softer than U.S. Grant had offered to Robert E. Lee, softer even than Lincoln had planned. Despite the fact that Sherman took war with all its harshness to the doorsteps of the Southern people, he was not a party to the belief that the South should be destroyed. Having been a resident of Louisiana prior to the war, he had formed many relationships there. His attitude was, like Lincoln's, one of conciliation. His stand on the issues that the radicals held dear was well known. It was no secret that Sherman was an opponent of emancipation, and that he had opposed the use of black soldiers in combat. His goal in waging war was the restoration of the Union and that alone. So, it was no surprise that when the news came of Sherman's terms of surrender, the Committee immediately launched an investigation. With Grant's help, the problem was soon rectified. Sherman had not received the guidelines he was expected to follow in negotiating with Johnston. Once he did, he immediately changed the terms to match those of Grant to Lee. However, in the meantime Secretary of War Stanton chastised Sherman in the press, setting off a firestorm of words that questioned Sherman's loyalty. But Sherman's popularity with the public and his soldiers never diminished. On May 22, 1865 Sherman appeared in front of the Committee. For probably the only time in its investigative lifetime the Committee had met its match. They found themselves unable to portray Sherman as a traitor and initiate their plan to force President Johnson to support a harsh reconstruction. They couldn't intimidate Sherman, and they were reluctant to antagonize an admiring public and the adoring army at Sherman's back. In a small sense, on this day, West Point finally won.

On that same day, May 22, 1865 the Committee on the Conduct of the War adjourned for the last time. The war was over. People wanted to forget and start over. When the volumes of reports and testimony that chronicled the life of the Committee were published a short time later, there was little interest. Several days after the last session of the Committee, President Andrew Johnson issued his Reconstruction plan in several proclamations. One proclamation, that of amnesty, pardoned the majority of the rebels and protected their property. The second proclamation detailed the steps by which the former Confederate states could be brought back to self-government and to full participation in the federal government.

The country had finally seen the last of the Committee on the Conduct of the War. Indeed its role in the prosecution of the war has been strangely neglected in the vast studies of every aspect of the conflict. But the legacy of that committee has lived on in various ways. Another committee, the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, came into being during Johnson's administration as watchdog for the Republican Congress. Its role was to investigate the South and make recommendations for the appropriate measures for reconstruction. Oddly enough, none of the members of the CCW were appointed to this new committee. The legacy of the CCW has lived on in other Congressional committees in more recent history, such as the House Committee on Un-American Activities in the mid-20th century, and the Ervin Committee appointed to investigate the Watergate Conspiracy. But none have had the far-reaching power and unaccountability of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War. And there is one more bit of irony. Andrew Johnson was the first President of the United States to be impeached. Some of the dissatisfaction with Johnson's presidency stemmed from his vetoing of a number of the Reconstruction bills passed by the Republican Congress, causing the most radical of the Congressmen to look for reasons to impeach him. On March 4, 1868 Benjamin Franklin Wade was elected President pro tempore of the Senate. On May 16, 1868 the Senate voted on the last of eleven articles of impeachment, and Andrew Johnson was acquitted by one vote. Voting for acquittal were a number of moderate Republican senators who disliked and distrusted Senator Wade and his radical policies. The irony? If the radicals had had just one more vote, and Andrew Johnson had been convicted and removed from office, in the absence of a Vice-President, the President pro tempore of the Senate would have succeeded to the office of President of the United States. Yes, President Benjamin Franklin Wade! But that’s another story!


[1]James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 235.

[2]Bruce Tap, Over Lincoln’s Shoulder: The Committee on the Conduct of the War (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998), 22-23

[3]Ibid., 30-31

[4]Ibid., 32

[5]Report of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War 3:3-4, in Tap, Over Lincoln’s Shoulder, 34

[6]Ibid., 103

[7]Ibid., 200

[8]William B. Hesseltine, “Atrocities, Then and Now” Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1989, 66

[9]Burnside was not censured for the defeat of the AoP. The CCW saw Burnside as a victim and blamed his failure on the actions of his subordinates

[10]George G. Meade Life and Letters vol. 1, 319, 360, in Christopher S. Stowe “Certain Grave Charges”, Columbiad, Spring 1999

[11]Tap, Over Lincoln’s Shoulder, 237

[12]Ibid., 251


Published Sources

Hesseltine, William B. “Atrocities, Then and Now.” Journal of Historical Review, Spring, 1989.

Holien, Kim Bernard. Battle at Ball's Bluff. Orange: Moss Publications, 1985.

Leech, Margaret. Reveille in Washington 1860-1865. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1941, 1962.

McPherson, James M. Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Morris, Roy Jr. “Editorial.” America’s Civil War, November, 2000.

Neilson, Jon M. (ed.). "Debacle at Ball's Bluff." Civil War Times Illustrated, January, 1976.

Sauers, Richard A. A Caspian Sea of Ink: The Meade-Sickles Controversy. Baltimore: Butternut and Blue, 1989.

Stowe, Christopher S. “Certain Grave Charges.” Columbiad, Spring, 1999.

Tap, Bruce. Over Lincoln's Shoulder: The Committee on the Conduct of the War. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998.

Waugh, John C. Reelecting Lincoln: The Battle for the 1864 Presidency. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1997.

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