- Johnston and McClellan wanted a system and doctrine for cavalry; they naturally supposed their seniors, suchlike as Sumner and Harney, would oppose any such or screw it up.
- McClellan fixed on the solution of a U.S. Cavalry Board to set doctrine, training, and tactics. He thought the SecWar could appoint progressive thinkers, bypassing the senior men.
- Davis, as Secretary of War was board-averse and had already tried to replace the existing board system (and failed).
- Johnston, reading Davis's personality, lobbied McClellan to draft training and doctrine documents and to submit them directly to Davis for issue by fiat without use of a board.
- [McClellan in my view, would have regarded this as dangerous for the long-term development of the branch.]
- McClellan, persisting in writing to Davis about the good of a Cavalry Board was called to a private meeting with Davis - this meeting triggered his resignation from the army submitted a day later.
- Before leaving service, McClellan developed and submits his collection of cavalry recommendations and proposals. Thus, he ends up following Johnston's advice too late to help himself. Some of his recommendations were adopted.
- [As general-in-chief and commander of the Army of the Potomac, McClellan settled for half a loaf - a chief of cavalry and artillery (branch chiefs).]
Cavalry doctrine intrigues
Have been re-reading The Delafield Commission and the American Military Profession, the parts about the cavalry doctrine struggles between McClellan, Johnston and Davis. To summarize (crudely):