Recd. letter from Robt. Dale Owen (addressed to the President) eloquently urging General Emancipation; which I handed to the President at Cabinet. Stanton showed me Halleck's telegram to McClellan, dated Aug. 31, which was substantially as follows:—
“I do not know the terms of Order. I expected to leave you in full command, except of troops temporarily detached to Pope. I beg you to come up and give me the benefit of your talents, experience and judgment at this critical moment. Am completely tired out.”
This telegram announced the surrender of Halleck to McClellan. It saddens me to think that a Commander in Chief, whose opinion of his subordinate's military conduct is such as I have heard Halleck express of McClellan, should, in a moment of pressure, so yield to that very subordinate. Good may come of it, but my fears are stronger than my hopes. How differently old Genl. Scott would have acted! When up all night at the critical period immediately following the first battle of Bull Run, he was never heard to complain of being “completely tired out,” or known to try to shift any part of his responsibility upon another.
SOURCE: Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 86