The Campaign of Chancellorsville
In the East, then, the army had been led by McDowell, McClellan, Pope, and Burnside, to victory and defeat equally fruitless. The one experiment so far tried, of giving the Army of the Potomac a leader from the West, culminating in the disaster of the second Bull Run, was not apt to be repeated within the year. That soldier of equal merit and modesty, whom the Army of the Potomac had been gradually educating as its future and permanent leader, was still unpretentiously commanding a corps, and learning by the successes and failures of his superiors. And who shall say that the results accomplished by Grant, Sherman, Thomas, Sheridan, and Meade, were not largely due to their good fortune in not being too early thrust to the front? "For," as says Swinton, "it was inevitable that the first leaders should be sacrificed to the nation's ignorance of war."
In the South, the signs of exha