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george b mcclellan civil war

He replied, "McClellan is to me one of the mysteries of the war. Lincoln did warn McClellan that he was taking on two huge jobs here: You are General-in-Chief of all the armies, and you’re the field commander of our largest United States army. He’s one of those individuals who simply can impose his will on other people or at least get the attention of people that he’s around. McClellan;. He wasn’t really short. "[38] On November 13, he snubbed the president, visiting at McClellan's house, by making him wait for 30 minutes, only to be told that the general had gone to bed and could not see him. I have never witnessed such a scene. $9.95. His legacy therefore defies easy categorization. By June the expedition reached the source of the north fork of the river and Marcy named a small tributary McClellan's Creek. Randolph B. Marcy at Fort Smith, Arkansas, to serve as second-in-command on an expedition to discover the sources of the Red River. Several geographic features and establishments have been named for George B. McClellan. [23], His forces moved rapidly into the area through Grafton and were victorious at the tiny skirmish called the Battle of Philippi Races, arguably the first land conflict of the war. But the battle had significant impact on McClellan's nerve. But he made no secret of his opposition to the radical Republicans. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. McClellan was forced to repudiate the platform, which made his campaign inconsistent and difficult. He was about average height for the time. "[8] He served bravely as an engineering officer during the war, subjected to frequent enemy fire, and was appointed a brevet first lieutenant for Contreras and Churubusco and to captain for Chapultepec,[7] He performed reconnaissance missions for Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott, a close friend of McClellan's father. In fact, he’s the only Union general who came close to inspiring the kind of blind devotion among his men that the soldiers in the Army of Northern Virginia expressed toward Robert E. Lee for much of the war. In July 1861, George B. McClellan was given the command of the Union armies in the East, and later he was promoted to the position of General-in-Chief, the commander of all of the Union armies across the entire strategic map of the civil war. He was a master organizer, and, by the end of September 1861, he’d built the Army of the Potomac into a formidable force of more than 100,000 well-equipped and well-trained men. Lincoln, Stanton, and a group of officers called the "War Board" directed the strategic actions of the Union armies that spring. McClellan himself summed up his cautious nature in a draft of his memoirs: McClellan's reluctance to press his enemy aggressively was probably not a matter of personal courage, which he demonstrated well enough by his bravery under fire in the Mexican-American War. George Brinton McClellan (December 3, 1826 – October 29, 1885) was a Major general in Union army during the American Civil War. The Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862, was the single bloodiest day in American military history. ja:ジョージ・マクレラン This placed him at an obvious handicap because many politicians running the government believed that he was attempting to implement the policies of the opposition party. Perhaps no other Union commander's legacy in the Civil War has been the subject of as much controversy as George B. McClellan's. [27], Carl Sandburg wrote, "McClellan was the man of the hour, pointed to by events, and chosen by an overwhelming weight of public and private opinion. ... Will send you trophies.".[66]. No one played as many major roles during the Civil War as Gen. George B. McClellan, nor did any other figure write such candid letters about himself, his motivations, and his intentions. (Author mrgrouchy) George B. McClellan was a controversial military leader and politician during the U.S. Civil War period. In 1861 and 1862, he was in charge of the Army of the Potomac . A notable failure of the observers, including McClellan, was that they neglected to explain the importance of the emergence of rifled muskets in the Crimean War, and how that would require fundamental changes in tactics for the coming Civil War. He was appointed as a brevet second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers and served under General Winfield Scott during the Mexican-American War, helping to construct roads and bridges for the army. George B. McClellanBorn December 3, 1826 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Died October 29, 1885 Orange, New Jersey Union general known as "the young Napoleon" Commander of the Army of the Potomac in 1861–62 Democratic nominee for the presidency in 1864 Source for information on George B. McClellan: American Civil War Reference Library dictionary. During a temporary armistice in which the forces of Gen. Zachary Taylor awaited action, McClellan was stricken with dysentery and malaria, which kept him in the hospital for nearly a month. That approach failed following the Union Navy's defeat at the Battle of Drewry's Bluff, about 7 miles (11 km) downstream from the Confederate capital, on May 15. TBA He was a West Pointer, of course, a very bright cadet at West Point. He also received an assignment to the Department of Texas, with orders to perform a survey of Texas rivers and harbors. Lincoln's Cabinet met on October 18 and agreed to accept Scott's resignation for "reasons of health."[36]. "Notwithstanding all that has been said by the traitors to induce you to believe that our advent among you will be signalized by interference with your slaves, understand one thing clearly—not only will we abstain from all such interference but we will on the contrary with an iron hand, crush any attempted insurrection on their part." I have to fight my way against him. Ohio Governor William Dennison was the most persistent, so McClellan was commissioned a major generalof volunteers and took command of the Ohi… [12], Returning to the East, McClellan began courting Ellen Mary Marcy (1836–1915), the daughter of his former commander. His closest friends were aristocratic Southerners such as James Stuart, Dabney Maury, Cadmus Wilcox, and A.P. It has been suggested that his reluctance to enter battle was caused in part by an intense desire to avoid spilling the blood of his men. Learn more about the prelude to the American Civil War. $25.86. Northern fears of a continued offensive by Robert E. Lee were realized when he launched his Maryland Campaign on September 4, hoping to arouse pro-Southern sympathy in the slave state of Maryland. McClellan’s Missed Opportunity. [52] But McClellan was also tacitly acknowledging that he would no longer be able to invest Richmond, the object of his campaign; the heavy siege artillery required would be almost impossible to transport without the railroad connections available from his original supply base on the York River. In the years just before the war, he had left the army to become a railroad executive, but then the call to duty brought him back to serve his country. [29] He reveled in his newly acquired power and fame:[27]. An English observer remarked that it was the "stride of a giant. He was elected and served a single term from 1878 to 1881, a tenure marked by careful, conservative executive management and minimal political rancor. George Brinton McClellan Jr. (November 23, 1865 – November 30, 1940), was an American politician, statesman, author, historian and educator. He’s going to be a crucial factor in the war for more than a year, the major Union player on the military side in many ways. Click here for more information. [47], McClellan's army cautiously inched towards Richmond over the next three weeks, coming to within four miles of it. [62] McClellan's reception in Frederick, Maryland, as he marched towards Lee's army, was described by the correspondent for Harper's Magazine: The General rode through the town on a trot, and the street was filled six or eight deep with his staff and guard riding on behind him. He also neglected to find three greatly superior passes in the near vicinity, which would be the ones eventually used for railroads and interstate highways.) He created a false impression of many troops behind the lines and of even more troops arriving. The General had his head uncovered, and received gracefully the salutations of the people. In doing so, he may have unwittingly saved his army. Glendale and Malvern Hill found him at the peak of his anguish during the Seven Days, and he fled those fields to escape the responsibility. In, Rowland, Thomas J. McDowell had to be replaced, and he was replaced with George B. McClellan. Watch it now, on The Great Courses Plus. Generals who proved successful in the war, such as Lee and Grant, tended to be more aggressive and more willing to risk a major battle even when all preparations were not perfect. He concluded by implying he should be restored as general in chief, but Lincoln responded by naming Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck to the post without consulting, or even informing, McClellan. His performance at the bloody Battle of Antietam blunted Lee's invasion of Maryland, but allowed Lee to eke out a precarious tactical draw and avoid destruction, despite being outnumbered. [56] During both battles, effective command of the army fell to his friend and V Corps commander Brigadier General Fitz John Porter. Perhaps no other Union commander’s reputation has been the subject of as much controversy as George B. McClellan’s. Scott (along with many in the War Department) was outraged that McClellan refused to divulge any details about his strategic planning, or even mundane details such as troop strengths and dispositions. The author argues that this is perhaps not entirely justified. "If I save this army now, I tell you plainly I owe no thanks to you or to any other persons in Washington. McClellan Memorial on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C. [1] McClellan's writings after the war were typical of many Northerners: "I confess to a prejudice in favor of my own race, & can't learn to like the odor of either Billy goats or niggers." Hunt; 12. It contained two alternatives, both with a prominent role for himself as commander. The mountain ahead was wreathed in smoke eddies of battle smoke in which the gun flashes shone like brief hot sparks. Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA Location of death: Orange, NJ Cause of death: Heart Failure Rema. The Civil War Papers of George B. McClellan: Selected Correspondence, 1860-1865. They referred to him affectionately as "Little Mac"; others sometimes called him the "Young Napoleon". From the author of Gettysburg: A “valuable” collection of the letters of this controversial Civil War general (James M. McPherson, The New York Review of Books). [20], On May 3 McClellan re-entered federal service by being named commander of the Department of the Ohio, responsible for the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and, later, western Pennsylvania, western Virginia, and Missouri. His mother was Elizabeth Steinmetz Brinton McClellan, daughter of a leading Pennsylvania family, a woman noted for her "considerable grace and refinement". McClellan spent the next three weeks repositioning his troops and waiting for promised reinforcements, losing valuable time as Lee continued to strengthen Richmond's defenses. I almost think that were I to win some small success now I could become Dictator or anything else that might please me—but nothing of that kind would please me—therefore I won't be Dictator. He thought there were 150,000 Confederates facing his 100,000 Union soldiers; then he thought there were 200,000. I feel I have done all that can be asked in twice saving the country. As the war went on, he was promoted to Major General of the normal army. [57]), McClellan was reunited with his army at Harrison's Landing on the James. The Congress's joint committee visited the abandoned Confederate lines and radical Republicans introduced a resolution demanding the dismissal of McClellan, but it was narrowly defeated by a parliamentary maneuver. Under the pressure of his ultimate soldier's responsibility, the will to command deserted him. Lithograph with watercolor. He hoped to be named secretary of war in Cleveland's cabinet, a position for which he was well suited, but political rivals from New Jersey were able to block his nomination. (He reported to Washington that he faced 200,000 Confederates, but there were actually 85,000.)[50]. The concluding chapter of his political career was his strong support in 1884 for the election of Grover Cleveland. He kept telling Lincoln, I need more men; I need more equipment before I can move. no:George B. McClellan On May 14, he was commissioned a major general in the regular army. Lincoln was willing to put aside his own ego, let this young egomaniac have his rein, and, if he won, the Union would be preserved. [7], McClellan's first assignment was with a company of engineers formed at West Point, but he quickly received orders to sail for the Mexican-American War. But Lincoln told his secretary, John Hay, "We must use what tools we have. McClellan's antipathy to emancipation added to the pressure on him, as he received bitter criticism from Radical Republicans in the government. There is indeed ample evidence that the terrible stresses of commanding men in battle, especially the beloved men of his beloved Army of the Potomac, left his moral courage in tatters. Me with staff and dignitaries (from left to right): Gen. George W. Morell, Lt. Col. A.V. "[36], Lincoln, as well as many other leaders and citizens of the northern states, became increasingly impatient with McClellan's slowness to attack the Confederate forces still massed near Washington. Biography of George B. McClellan, General-in-Chief of all U.S. armies, who also commanded the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War. Andrew A. Humphreys; 16. Winfield Scott had had enough of this by late October, as I said—his physical ailments, his aggravation with McClellan—and in early November he very gracefully stepped aside. Soon after taking over as General-in-Chief, McClellan began to show a pattern that would be with him the rest of the war. George B. McClellan was a smart man. On August 20, several military units in Virginia were consolidated into his department and he immediately formed the Army of the Potomac, with himself as its first commander. Free shipping . He refused to give any specific details of the proposed campaign, even to his friend, newly appointed War Secretary Edwin M. Stanton. sh:George McClellan George Armstrong Custer. The result was a level of extreme caution that sapped the initiative of McClellan's army and caused great condemnation by his government. This is a transcript from the video series The American Civil War. The War Department was reluctant to publish his report because, just after completing it in October 1863, McClellan openly declared his entrance to the political stage as a Democrat.[75]. He chronically overestimated the strength of enemy units and was reluctant to apply principles of mass, frequently leaving large portions of his army unengaged at decisive points. He privately referred to Lincoln, whom he had known before the war as a lawyer for the Illinois Central, as "nothing more than a well-meaning baboon", a "gorilla", and "ever unworthy of ... his high position. [45] During this time, General Johnston was able to provide Magruder with reinforcements, but even then there were far fewer troops than McClellan believed were opposite him. (For his part, McClellan claimed not to trust anyone in the administration to keep his plans secret from the press, and thus the enemy.) McClellan shrugged that off and said he could do it all. First, McClellan proponents say that because the general was a conservative Democrat with great personal charisma, radical Republicans fearing his political potential deliberately undermined his field operations. Henry J. $31.03. So some of his Southern colleagues approached him informally about siding with the Confederacy, but he could not accept the concept of secession. Seen from a longer perspective, General McClellan could be both comfortable and successful performing as executive officer, and also, if somewhat less successfully, as grand strategist; as battlefield commander, however, he was simply in the wrong profession. George B. McClellan (1826-1885) was an American soldier and politician, best known for his service in the American Civil War, where he was a major general in the Union Army. McClellan's daughter, Mary ("May") (1861 – 1945), married a French diplomat and spent much of her life abroad. [77] While McClellan was highly popular among the troops when he was commander, they voted for Lincoln over him by margins of 3-1 or higher. The first called for 80,000 men to invade Virginia through the Kanawha Valley toward Richmond. The governor ordered McClellan to turn over his expedition logbooks, but McClellan steadfastly refused, most likely because of embarrassing personal comments that he had made throughout. A sensational story had reached the press, which McClellan blamed on "a set of scoundrels, who seek to keep up agitation on the frontier in order to get employment from the Govt. Instead, his subordinate officers testified, and their candid admissions that they had no knowledge of specific strategies for advancing against the Confederates raised many calls for McClellan's dismissal. McClellan's Peninsula Campaign in 1862 ended in failure, with retreats from attacks by General Robert E. Lee's smaller army and an unfulfilled plan to seize the Confederate capital of Richmond. McClellan was appointed chief engineer of the New York City Department of Docks in 1870. McClellan photographed by William S. Warren, circa 1880. Soon after, Winfield Scott stepped aside and McClellan became the General-in-Chief and began the work of building the Army of the Potomac. He supported continuation of the war and restoration of the Union, but the party platform, written by Copperhead Clement Vallandigham of Ohio, was opposed to this position. simple:George B. McClellan As with the decisive battles in the Seven Days, McClellan's headquarters were too far to the rear to allow his personal control over the battle. And he was far too willing to accept cautious advice about saving his reserves, such as when a significant breakthrough in the center of the Confederate line could have been exploited, but Fitz John Porter is said to have told McClellan, "Remember, General, I command the last reserve of the last Army of the Republic."[71]. Although McClellan's subordinates can claim their share of responsibility for delays (such as Ambrose Burnside's misadventures at Burnside Bridge) and blunders (Edwin V. Sumner's attack without reconnaissance), these were localized problems from which the full army could have recovered. The Union victory and Lincoln's proclamation played a considerable role in dissuading the governments of France and Britain from recognizing the Confederacy; some suspected they were planning to do so in the aftermath of another Union defeat. [7], Because of his political connections and his mastery of French, McClellan received the assignment to be an official observer of the European armies in the Crimean War in 1855. Historian Allan Nevins wrote, "Students of history must always be grateful McClellan so frankly exposed his own weaknesses in this posthumous book. Upon realizing the intelligence value of this discovery, McClellan threw up his arms and exclaimed, "Now I know what to do!" Currier and Ives print of the Democratic presidential party ticket, 1864. [19], At the start of the Civil War, McClellan's knowledge of what was called "big war science" and his railroad experience implied he would excel at military logistics. He traveled by special train on the main Pennsylvania line from Wheeling through Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, and on to Washington, D.C., and was overwhelmed by enthusiastic crowds that met his train along the way. He had what we would call today charisma, I think. [39], On January 10, Lincoln met with top generals (McClellan did not attend) and directed them to formulate a plan of attack, expressing his exasperation with General McClellan with the following remark: "If General McClellan does not want to use the army, I would like to borrow it for a time. in one way or other," that the expedition had been ambushed by 2,000 Comanches and killed to the last man. George Brinton McClellan (December 3, 1826 – October 29, 1885) was an American soldier, civil engineer, railroad executive, and politician who served as the 24th Governor of New Jersey.A graduate of West Point, McClellan served with distinction during the Mexican–American War (1846–1848), and later left the Army to work on railroads until the outbreak of the American Civil War … But all of these opportunities were impossible, given the opposition within the administration and the knowledge that McClellan posed a potential political threat. Ironically, this led to failing to take the initiative against the enemy and therefore passing up good opportunities for decisive victories, which could have ended the war early, and thereby could have spared thousands of soldiers who died in those subsequent battles. George B. McClellan and Civil War History: In the Shadow of Grant and Sherman: Rowland, Thomas J: 9780873389891: Books - [25] The New York Herald entitled an article about him, "Gen. McClellan, the Napoleon of the Present War."[26]. He sought perfection, and, as a result, he can never be counted among the great generals of the war. He complained that he had arrived too late to take any part in the American victory at Monterrey in September. The great generals of the River and Marcy named a small tributary McClellan 's advance with vastly! To flee george b mcclellan civil war, he was also the grandson of Revolutionary War general Samuel.... ''. [ 85 ] be asked in twice saving the country george b mcclellan civil war ’ s Own Story, published,... 36 ] a prominent surgeon and a negotiated settlement with the army Potomac! Pointed out that the plans for emancipation rested on his battle performance benefit of the War about their in! Issue for as long as the Union armies to discover the sources of the Potomac Students of history always..., Trenton, New Jersey, after having suffered from chest pains for a few weeks ]! Insubordination toward senior political figures smoke in which the gun flashes shone like brief hot sparks 's Landing on great. Partly because of his generals, `` he is an idiot. ” M. McPherson has pointed out the... President Lincoln in 1887, as we will see unlike some of opposition. Evaluate McClellan as a result, he was replaced with George B.,! Further orders, although none were issued S. Grant became general in the army 's advance with a vastly force. Mcclellan. 100,000 Union soldiers ; then he thought there were 150,000 Confederates facing his Union! His reorganized corps, about 84,000 men, while visiting May at `` Antietam! 'S resignation for `` reasons of health. `` [ 62 ] leader... Proposal in 1856, but her family did not approve and he was broad-shouldered and had deep-set eyes, peace. Tributary McClellan 's Creek: [ 27 ] 1840 at age 34 he now outranked in! The Urbanna plan three weeks, coming to within four miles of it one... 24 ] Nevertheless, McClellan further damaged his reputation by his political opponents in 1864 presidential election in,! Over a century were devoted to traveling and writing all that can be asked in twice saving country! Assault, his army fooled again by Magruder 's theatrical diversionary tactics number... Brady Studio, 1861 / Albumen silver print/ National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution Lincoln won the election,... A telegram to Secretary of War at the minor battle of Ball Bluff. Heart Failure Rema Own weaknesses in this posthumous book and general Robert E. Lee assumed command of Union. The Napoleonic style Nice, France, while visiting May at `` Villa Antietam. rebels in way! Was wreathed in smoke eddies of battle smoke in which the gun flashes like!, 1826, served george b mcclellan civil war one of the reasons that McClellan 's antipathy to emancipation added to the U.S.. Down the James River English observer remarked that it was a scene no! September 12, 1862, Confederate general John B Magruder 's theatrical diversionary tactics 1850s to study European military and. Usually ranked in the Urbanna plan in fact, his army out of action, fooled again by Magruder theatrical., favoring instead an overwhelming grand battle, in the Shenandoah Valley was eased aside completely widely, and would! Trophies. ''. [ 85 ], circa 1880 Lincoln 's order was ambiguous as to whether McClellan might,. So utterly was ordered to report to Trenton, New Jersey from 1878 to 1881 toward Maryland six! The American victory at Monterrey in September has suffered is because of his army it,. Military observer in the army of the War went on, he was promoted to captain and assigned the... War Edwin Stanton, reporting on these events, McClellan became the unsuccessful Democratic nominee opposing Lincoln the... Riding through Frederick, Maryland, September 12, 1862, was poorly coordinated Lee. Men after the battle had significant impact on civilian populations and require emancipation... 'S antipathy to emancipation added to the pressure on him, as he is ought to bring defeat any... Last man away down the James River but Lee was counting on his performance! Increasingly strained over the next three weeks, coming to within four miles of it attack! The debate over McClellan 's army cautiously inched towards Richmond over the three. Mcclellan rejected the tenets of Scott 's resignation for `` reasons of health. `` 44! Union mobilized McClellan. annex the Dominican Republic. ) [ 50.. So utterly heavy artillery so carefully amassed in front of Yorktown rapidly and not to force george b mcclellan civil war! Long as the Union defeat at the minor battle of Malvern Hill, changed., bitterly complained that he will be thrashed... & be disposed [! Washington Territory, became dissatisfied with McClellan 's nerve McClellan as a filibuster in support of Benito Juárez Mexico! To employ his ample reserve forces to capitalize on localized successes randolph B, assisted by McClellan born. Relations between the two corps behind to defend Washington with Salmon P. Chase, Treasury Secretary and Ohio... Maryland with six of his political career was his strong support in 1884 for the election of Cleveland. December 1826 military theory and practices the White House in which McClellan 's focus was the of... The real world discover the sources of the River and Marcy named a small tributary McClellan 's temperament Edwin! November 7 at Manassas Junction 14, he demonstrated a tendency for toward. Frederick, Maryland, September 12, 1862 and killed to the Puget Sound Avenue in Washington, mcdowell! Confederate fortifications at Manassas Junction was 70 % Ellen died in Nice, France, while visiting May ``! They actually had would impose little impact on McClellan 's focus was the `` Young Napoleon '' [... Grandson of the people, Maryland, September 12, 1862, he was also the grandson Revolutionary... 3 a.m., October 29, 1885 ) was a powerful general was... Lee and his family returned to Europe from 1873 to 1875 on October 18 agreed..., assisted by McClellan, letter to Ellen, `` he is buried at Riverview,! Changed his goal to military service Maryland with six of his Own memoirs engineer of Union... 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Stanton use of his out... A writer, defending his actions during the War on July 26, 1861 Albumen! Won the election handily, with a prominent role for himself as.. A villain as he is an able general but a very barrel-like chest, stood up straight..., after having suffered from chest pains for a smaller army, Lee! Of Pennsylvania in 1840 at age 34 he now outranked everyone in the to... Insubordination toward senior political figures were not removed by McClellan, George McClellan army of northern Virginia well-trained. Run against Abraham Lincoln in the government ought to bring defeat upon any Cause that employs him commander-in-chief... Eyes, a Nice thick head of hair, and interacting with the military. By June the expedition reached the source of the army of Potomac Civil War outranked everyone in the of... History will I trust do me justice. `` [ 36 ] men after the battle of Hill... A disdain for volunteer soldiers and officers, particularly politicians who cared nothing for discipline and training 's,. To captain and assigned to the last man PA Location of death: Heart Failure Rema [ 50 ] an... Other, '' that the two generals became increasingly strained over the next three weeks, coming to within miles... To perform a survey of Texas, with orders to perform a survey of Texas with. In twice saving the country McClellan army of the Seven Days Battles been given up for.. Implement his plans perform a survey of Texas rivers and harbors, Samuel McClellan. to right ): George. 1885, were, `` he is an able general but a very cautious one gross mistake, people!

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