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Beauregard and M'Clellan

The Illustrated London News, vol. 39, no. 1115, p. 445.

November 2, 1861

Beauregard and M'Clellan—The following comparison is drawn by the Times correspondent between the Federal and Confederate Commanders-in-Chief, who were old fellow-students and classmates:—"To my mind there is something of resemblance between the men. Both are below the middle height. They are both squarely built, and famed for muscular power since their college days. Beauregard, indeed, is lean and thin-ribbed; M'Clellan is full and round, with a Napoleonic tendency to embonpoint, subdued by incessant exercise. Beauregard sleeps little; M'Clellan's temperament requires a full share of rest; both are spare and Spartan in diet, studious, quiet. Beauregard is rather saturnine, and, if not melancholic, is of a grim gaiety; M'Clellan is genial, even in his reserve. The density of the hair, the squareness of the jaw, the firmness and regularity of the teeth, and the outlines of the features are points of similarity in both, which would be more striking if Beauregard were not of the true Louisianian creole tint, while M'Clellan is fair-complexioned. Beauregard has a dark, dull, student's eye, the dulness of which arises, however, from its formation, for it is full of fire, and its glances are quick and searching. M'Clellan has a deep, clear eye, into which you can look far and deep, while you feel its searches far and deep into you. Beauregard has something of pretension in his manner—not hauteur, but a folding-armed, meditative sort of air, which seems to say, "Don't disturb me; I'm thinking of military movements." M'Clellan seems to be always at leisue; but you feel at the same time you ought not to intrude too much upon him, even when you seek in vain for the grounds of that impression in anything that he is doing or saying. Beauregard is more subtle, crafty, and astute; M'Clellan is more comprehensive, more learned, more impressionable. Beauregard is a thorough soldier; M'Clellan may prove he is a great General. The former only looks to military consequences, and disregards popular manifestations; the latter respects the opinions of the outer world, and sees political as well as military results in what he orders. They are both the creatures of accident, so far as their present positions are concerned. It remains to be seen if either can control the current of events, and if in either the artilleryman or the cavalry officer of the old United States' army there is the stuff around which history is moulded, such as that of which the artilleryman of Brienne or the leader of the Ironsides was made."

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