Although McClellan had fought Lee to a draw a the Battle of Antietam in September, he had failed to make the most of that victory. For weeks his troops had remained in position, while Lee fell back to Virginia and reorganized his army, and J.E.B. Stuart raided the Union rear. In October McClellan attributed his inaction and failure to obey Lincoln's direct orders to advance to fatigued horses. Lincoln famously replied, 150 years ago today, “Will you pardon me for asking what the horses of your army have done since the battle of Antietam that fatigues anything?"