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DENIS FLORENCE MACCARTHY (1817-1882)

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Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 202 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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DENIS FLORENCE MACCARTHY (1817-1882), Irish poet, was born in Dublin on the 26th of May 1817, and educated there and at Maynooth. His earlier verses appeared in The Dublin Satirist, and in 1843 he became a regular contributor of political verse to the recently founded Nation. He also took an active part in the Irish political associations. In 1846 he edited The Poets and Dramatists of Ireland and the Book of Irish Ballads. His collected Ballads, Poems and Lyrics (185o), including translations from nearly all the modern languages, took immensely with his countrymen on account of their patriotic ring. This was followed by The Bellfounder (1857), Under-glimpses and other poems (1857) and The Early Life of Shelley (1871). In 1853 he began a number of translations from the Spanish of Calderon's dramas, which won for him a medal from the Royal Spanish Academy. He had already been granted a civil list pension for his literary services. He died in Ireland on the 7th of April 1882. M'CARTHY, JUSTIN (183o- ), Irish politician, historian and novelist, was born in Cork on the 22nd of November 183o, and was educated at a school in that town. He began his career as a journalist, at the age of eighteen, in Cork. From 1853 to 1859 he was in Liverpool, on the staff of the Northern Daily Times, during which period he married (in March 1855) Miss Charlotte Allman. In 186o he removed to London, as parliamentary reporter to the Morning Star, of which he became editor in 1864. He gave up his post in 1868, and, after a lecturing tour in the United States, joined the staff of the Daily News as leader-writer in 1870. In this capacity he became one of the most useful and respected upholders of the Liberal politics of the time. He lectured again in America in 1870-1871, and again in 1886-1887. He represented Co. Longford in Parliament as a Liberal and Home Ruler from 1879 to 1885; North Longford, 1885-1886; Londonderry, 1886-1892; and North Longford from 1892 to 1900. He was chairman of the Anti-Parnellites from the fall of C. S. Parnell in 1890 until January 1896; but his Nationalism was of a temperate and orderly kind, and though his personal distinction singled him out for the chairmanship during the party dissensions of this period, he was in no active sense the political leader. His real bent was towards literature. His earliest publications were novels, some of which, such as A Fair Saxon (1873), Dear Lady Disdain (1875), Miss Misanthrope (1878), Donna Quixote (1879), attained considerable popularity. His most important work is his History of Our Own Times (vols. i.-iv., 1899-188o; vol. v., 1897),which treats of the period between Queen Victoria's accession and her diamond jubilee. Easily and delightfully written, and on the whole eminently sane and moderate, these volumes form a brilliant piece of narrative from a Liberal standpoint. He also began a History of the Four Georges (1884-1901), of which the latter half was written by his son, Justin Huntly M'Carthy (b. 1860), himself the author of various clever novels, plays, poetical pieces and short histories. Justin M'Carthy, amongst other works, wrote biographies of Sir Robert Peel (1891), Pope Leo XIII. (1896) and W. E. Gladstone (1898); Modern England (1898); The Reign of Queen Anne (1902) and Reminiscences (2 vols., 1899). McCHEYNE, ROBERT MURRAY (1813-1843), Scottish divine, was born at Edinburgh on the 21st of May 1813, was educated at the University and at the Divinity Hall of his native city, and held pastorates at Larbert, near Falkirk, and Dundee. A mission of inquiry among the Jews throughout Europe and in Palestine, and a religious revival at his church in Dundee, made him feel that he was being called to evangelistic rather than to pastoral work, but before he could carry out his plans he died, on the 25th of March 1843. McCheyne, though wielding remark-able influence in his lifetime, was still more powerful afterwards, through his Memoirs and Remains, edited by Andrew Bonar, which ran into far over a hundred English editions. Some of his hymns, e.g. " When this passing world is done," are well known. See his Life, by J. C. Smith (1910). McCLELLAN, GEORGE BRINTON (1826-1885), American soldier, was born in Philadelphia on the 3rd of December 1826. After passing two years (1840-1842) in the university of Pennsylvania, he entered the United States military academy, from which he graduated with high honours in July 1846. Sent as a lieutenant of engineers to the Mexican War, he took part in the battles under General Scott, and by his gallantry won the brevets of first-lieutenant at Contreras-Churubusco and captain at Chapultepec; he was afterwards detailed as assistant-instructor at Nest Point, and employed in explorations in the South-West and in Oregon. Promoted in 1855 captain of cavalry, he served on a military commission sent to Europe to study European armies and especially the war in the Crimea. On his return he furnished an able and interesting report, republished (1861) under the title of Armies of Europe. In 1856 he designed a saddle, which was afterwards well known as the McClellan. Resigning his commission in 18J7, McClellan became successively chief engineer and vice-president of the Illinois Central railroad (1857-186o), general superintendent of the Mississippi & Ohio railroad, and, a little later, president of the eastern branch of the same, with his residence in Cincinnati. When the Civil War broke out he was, in April 1861, made major-general of three months' militia by the governor of Ohio; but General Scott's favour at Washington promoted him rapidly (May 14) to the rank of major-general, U.S.A., in command of the department of the Ohio. Pursuant to orders, on the 26th of May, McClellan sent a small force across the Ohio river to Philippi, dispersed the Confederates there early in June, and immensely aided the Unioncause in that region by rapid and brilliant military successes, gained in the short space of eight days. These operations, though comparatively trivial as the Civil War developed, brought great results, in permanently dividing old Virginia by the creation of the state of West Virginia, and in presenting the first sharp, short and wholly successful campaign of the war. Soon after the first Bull Run disaster he was summoned to Washington, and the Union hailed him as chieftain and preserver. Only thirty-four years old, and with military fame and promotion premature and quite in excess of positive experience, he reached the capital late in July and assumed command there. At first all was deference and compliance with his wishes. In November Scott retired that the young general might control the operations of the whole Union army. McClellan proved himself extra-ordinarily able as an organizer and trainer of soldiers. During the autumn, winter and spring he created the famous Army of the Potomac, which in victory and defeat retained to the end the impress of McClellan's work. But he soon showed petulance towards the civil authorities, from whom he came to differ concerning the political ends in view; and he now found severe critics, who doubted his capacity for directing an offensive war; but the government yielded to his plans for an oblique, instead of a direct, movement upon Richmond and the opposing army. At the .moment of starting he was relieved as general-inchief. By the 5th of April a great army was safely transported to Fortress Monroe, and other troops were sent later, though a large force was (much against his will) retained to cover Washington. McClellan laid slow siege to Yorktown, not breaking the thin line first opposed to him, but giving Johnston full time to reinforce and then evacuate the position. McClellan followed up the Confederate rearguard and approached Richmond, using White House on the Pamunkey as a base of supplies; this entailed a division of his forces on either bank of the Chickahominy. At Fair Oaks (Seven Pines) was fought on the 31st of May a bloody battle, ending the following day in a Confederate repulse. Johnston being severely wounded, Lee came to command on the Southern side. After a pause in the operations McClellan felt himself ready to attack at the moment when Lee, leaving a bare handful of men in the Richmond lines, despatched two-thirds of his entire force to the north of the Chickahominy to strike McClellan's isolated right wing. McClellan himself made little progress, and the troops beyond the Chickahominy were defeated after a strenuous defence; whereupon McClellan planned, and during the celebrated Seven Days' Battle triumphantly executed, a change of base to the James river. But the result was strategically a failure, and General Halleck, who was now general-in-chief, ordered the army to reinforce General Pope in central Virginia. The order was obeyed reluctantly. Pope's disastrous defeats brought McClellan a new opportunity to retrieve his fame. Again in command of the Army of the Potomac, he was sent with all available forces to oppose Lee, who had crossed the Potomac into Maryland early in September. McClellan advanced slowly and carefully, reorganizing his army as he went. The battle of South Mountain placed him in a position to attack Lee, and a few days later was fought the great battle of Antietam, in which Lee was worsted. But the Con-federates safely recrossed the Potomac, and McClellan showed his former faults in a tardy pursuit. On the eve of an aggressive movement, which he was at last about to make, he was superseded by Burnside (Nov. 7). McClellan was never again ordered to active command, and the political elements opposed to the general policy of Lincoln's administration chose him as presidential candidate in 1864, on a platform which denounced the war as a failure and proposed negotiating with the South for peace. McClellan, while accepting his candidacy, repudiated the platform, like a soldier and patriot. At the polls on the 8th of November Lincoln was triumphantly re-elected president. McClellan had previously resigned his commission in the army, and soon afterwards went to Europe, where he remained until 1868. Upon his return he took up his residence in New York City, where (1868-1869) he was engaged in superintending the construction of an experimental floating battery. In 1870-1872 he was engineer-in-chief of the city's department of docks. With Orange, N.J., as his next principal residence, he became governor of New Jersey (1878-1881). During his term he effected great reforms in the administration of the state and in the militia. He was offered, but declined, a second nomination. During his last years he made several tours of Europe, visited the East, and wrote much for the magazines. He also prepared monographs upon the Civil War, defending his own action. He died suddenly of heart-disease on the 29th of October 1885 at Orange. McClellan was a clear and able writer and effective speaker; and his Own Story, edited by a friend and published soon after his death, discloses an honourable character, sensitive to reproach, and conscientious, even morbidly so; in his patriotism. He carried himself well in civil life and was of irreproachable private conduct. During the Civil War, however, he was promoted too early and rapidly for his own good, and the strong personal magnetism he inspired while so young developed qualities injurious to a full measure of success and usefulness, despite his great opportunities. The reasons for his final displacement in 1862 were both civil and military, and the president had been forbearing with him. As a soldier he possessed to an extra-ordinary degree the enthusiastic affection of his men. With the army that he had created the mere rumour of his presence was often a spur to the greatest exertions. That he was slow, and perhaps too tender-hearted, in handling armed masses for action may be admitted, and though admirable for defensive war and a safe strategist, he showed himself unfitted to take the highly essential initiative, both because of temperament and his habitual exaggeration of obstacles and opposing numbers. But he met and checked the armies of the Confederacy when they were at their best and strongest, and his work laid the foundations of ultimate success. His son, GEORGE BRINTON MCCLELLAN (b. 1865), graduated in 1886 at Princeton (from which he received the degree of LL.D. in 1905), and became a newspaper reporter and editor in New York City. He identified himself with the Tammany Hall organization, and in 1889-1892 was treasurer of the New York and Brooklyn Bridge under the city government. In 1892 he was admitted to the bar, and was elected to the board of aldermen, of which he was president in 1893 and 1894. In 1895-1903 he was a Democratic representative in Congress; in 1903 he was elected mayor of New York City on the Tammany ticket, defeating mayor Seth Low, the "Fusion" candidate; and in 1905 he was re-elected for a four-year term, defeating William M. Ivins (Republican) and William R. Hearst (Independence League). He published The Oligarchy of Venice (1904). Besides the report mentioned above, General McClellan 'wrote a Bayonet Exercise (1852) ; Report on Pacific Railroad Surveys (1854) ; Report on the Organizalion,.&c., of the Army of the Potomac (1864), a government publication which he himself republished with the addition of a memoir of the West Virginian campaign. He also wrote a series of articles on the Russo-Turkish War for The North American Review. See memoir prefaced to McClellan's Own Story, and Michie, General McClellan (" Great Commanders " series).
End of Article: DENIS FLORENCE MACCARTHY (1817-1882)
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