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McClellan's Own Story

McClellan's Own Story by Ellen McClellan
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At the start of the Civil War, McClellan was put in a position of leadership and after a successful campaign in Virginia he was given command of the Army of Potomac, one of the Union's strongest armies. He led the Peninsular campaign with almost 100,000 troops under his command, marching toward Richmond.

Although McClellan was a brilliant administrator who possessed good strategic sense, the record shows that he was overcautious and consistently over-estimating the strength of his adversaries, always demanding more men and supplies before undertaking offensive action. In 1862, McClellan disagreed with Abraham Lincoln and advanced on Richmond from the east instead of moving directly against the Confederates at Manassas, Virginia. Although the Union army was successful during the Peninsular campaign, their failure to take Richmond, the Confederate capital, gave the South new motivation. Dissatisfied with the campaign and McClellan, Lincoln replaced him with Henry W. Halleck as commander-in-chief.

After the defeat of the Union army in the Second Battle of Bull Run, he was again replaced in active command of the Army of the Potomac. His over cautiousness at the battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862, led to a draw instead of a Union victory. Because of the heavy Union losses, he was again relieved of his command by Lincoln for the duration of the war.

Most public men live two lives - the one that the people see, the other that none see unless it is a few intimate friends and companions. McClellan, the soldier and patriot is well know to the people, has been diversely judged by them according to the amount of correct information they have received, and according to those prejudices of political and other associations which affect all our opinions of public men of our own time.

Digital Scanning, Inc.; January 1998
690 pages; ISBN 9781582180380
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Title: McClellan's Own Story
Author: Ellen McClellan