Henry Halleck was so worried about sullying his reputation as “Old Brains” that he utterly failed to rise to the occasion when he became general in chief of the army. He became, I think, the ultimate “CYA” man. Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles complained that Halleck “originates nothing, anticipates nothing…takes no responsibility, plans nothing, suggests nothing, is good for nothing.”
Worried about his reputation, he’s best remembered today as Lincoln described him: “little more than a first rate clerk.”
Does anyone else find this ironic?