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To Mary Ellen McLellan

[Washington] Friday [c.  October 11, 1861]

Yesterday rode to Chain Bridge, thence to Upton’s Hill & did not get back until after dark.

I can’t tell you how disgusted I am becoming with these wretched politicians— they are a most despicable set of men & I think Seward is the meanest of them all— a meddling, officious, incompetent little puppy— he has done more than any other one man to bring all this misery upon the country & is one of the least competent to get us out of the scrape. The Presdt is nothing more than a well meaning baboon. Welles is weaker than the most garrulous old woman you were ever annoyed by. Bates is a good inoffensive old man— so it goes— only keep these complimentary opinions to yourself, or you may get me into premature trouble. I believe I choked off Seward already— & have strong hopes that he will keep himself to his own business hereafter….

from The Civil War Papers of George B. McLellan: Selected Correspondence 1860-1865, edited by Stephen Sears (Ticknor & Fields, 1989)

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