|Maj. Gen. McClellan|
Halleck had to blame someone and there were several good candidates. First, he blamed the officers of this department for being "negligent or ignorant of their duties in this respect." Then, Halleck blamed his predecessor Maj. Gen. Frémont. He charged the officers with becoming "negligent under the Frémont régime of all law, regulations, and orders." Then, he asked for more time to bring about this reformation because he was "doing everything in my [his] power to effect it."
|Maj. Gen. Halleck|
Bruce Catton in Grant Moves South (Chapter Ten p. 198), summed up the situation perfectly.
General Halleck probably meant nothing in particular by his sudden attack on Grant. He himself had been chided by McClellan for failure to keep Washington informed about troop numbers and dispositions, and a major general who is reprimanded is quite likely to do two things almost automatically - to pass the reprimand along to an underling, and to show that whatever fault existed was not his own. Grant was ideally situated to take both reprimand and blame, and Halleck gave them to him - his attitude sharpened, possibly by his recent disappoints.
Halleck's desire to blame Grant for all of the problems in the West continued until his superiors in Washington brought him to the East to replace McClellan.