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george b mcclellan union or confederate

george b. mcclellan, in full george brinton mcclellan, (born december 3, 1826, philadelphia, pennsylvania, u.s.died october 29, 1885, orange, new jersey), general who skillfully reorganized union forces in the first year of the american civil war (1861-65) but drew wide criticism for repeatedly failing to press his advantage over confederate The surprise appearance of Maj. Gen. Stonewall Jackson's troops in the battle (when they had last been reported to be many miles away in the Shenandoah Valley) convinced McClellan that he was even more outnumbered than he had thought. Before that time I hope to be on the Susquehanna. Both passed the legislature in 1878 and 1880, respectively. This caused him to decide on a siege of the city, which required considerable preparation. This put him in opposition with officials of the administration who believed he was attempting to implement the policies of the opposition party. He accomplished this by marching small groups of men repeatedly past places where they could be observed at a distance or were just out of sight, accompanied by great noise and fanfare. [51], McClellan had also placed hopes on a simultaneous naval approach to Richmond via the James River. He favored a war that would impose little impact on civilian populations and require no emancipation of slaves. [99], 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. [29], After the defeat of the Union forces at Bull Run on July 21, 1861, Lincoln summoned McClellan from western Virginia, where McClellan had given the North the only engagements bearing a semblance of victory. The appointment was controversial in the Cabinet, a majority of whom signed a petition declaring to the president "our deliberate opinion that, at this time, it is not safe to entrust to Major General McClellan the command of any Army of the United States". The document was verified at McClellan's headquarters in Frederick on September 13. [6] He began attending the university in 1840, when he was 14 years old, resigning himself to the study of law after his family decided that medical educations for both McClellan and his older brother John were too expensive. george brinton mcclellan (december 3, 1826 - october 29, 1885) was an american soldier, civil war union general, 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 serve Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration. [85] McClellan returned to West Point to command his engineering company, which was attached to the academy for the purpose of training cadets in engineering activities. McClellan won the election by a large majority and Democrats gained a majority in both houses of the New Jersey legislature for the first time since 1870. [3] His mother was Elizabeth Sophia Steinmetz Brinton McClellan (18001889), daughter of a leading Pennsylvania family, a woman noted for her "considerable grace and refinement." [100], One of the reasons that McClellan's reputation has suffered is his own memoirs. George Brinton McClellan was an American soldier, Civil War Union general, civil engineer, railroad executive, and politician who served as the 24th Governor of New Jersey. At Antietam, where there was nowhere for him to flee to, he fell into a paralysis of indecision. An English observer remarked that it was the "stride of a giant." The Army adopted McClellan's cavalry manual and also his design for a saddle, dubbed the McClellan Saddle, which he claimed to have seen used by Hussars in Prussia and Hungary. To that end, he advocated for cautious spending to allow for a state tax cut of fifty percent; by the end of McClellan's term, the state tax on residents was abolished entirely. In the course of a disagreement about defensive forces on the Potomac River, McClellan wrote to his wife on August 10: "Genl Scott is the great obstaclehe will not comprehend the danger & is either a traitor, or an incompetent. He arrived near the mouth of the Rio Grande in October 1846, well prepared for action with a double-barreled shotgun, two pistols, a saber, a dress sword, and a Bowie knife. With the assistance of his father's letter to President John Tyler, McClellan was accepted at the United States Military Academy in 1842 at the age of 15, with the academy waiving its usual minimum age of 16. 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. "[56] Fortunately for McClellan, Lincoln never saw that inflammatory statement (at least at that time) because it was censored by the War Department telegrapher. He was very popular with his men, despite having a number of serious shortcomings as a commander. I attended the University of Pennsylvania and then went on to study at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. [37], The immediate problem with McClellan's war strategy was that he was convinced the Confederates were ready to attack him with overwhelming numbers. McClellan's feeling of facing overwhelming odds in subsequent campaigns throughout his tenure as General of the Army of the Potomac were strongly influenced by the overblown enemy strength estimates of his secret service chief, detective Allan Pinkerton, but in August 1861, these estimates were entirely McClellan's own. Marcy, Randolph B, assisted by McClellan, George B., This page was last edited on 12 January 2023, at 16:49. George Brinton Mcclellan Jr, McClellan, George B. McClellan, George B. About 10 miles away from the capitol of the Confederacy, George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac was within striking distance of ending the year old Civil War. McClellan claimed he could not trust anyone in the administration to keep his plans secret from the press, and thus the enemy. McClellan wired to Washington, "Our victory was complete. When the public heard about the Galena, it was yet another great embarrassment, comparable to the Quaker Guns at Manassas. [106] Third, that historians eager to jump on the bandwagon of Lincoln as America's greatest political icon worked to outdo one another in shifting blame for early military failures from Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton to McClellan. However, he died before it was half completed and his literary executor, William C. Prime, editor of the pro-McClellan New York Journal of Commerce, included excerpts from some 250 of McClellan's wartime letters to his wife, in which it had been his habit to reveal his innermost feelings and opinions in unbridled fashion. [72] After the war, McClellan held to the claim that he acted immediately to put his armies on the move.[71]. Free shipping for many products! "[63] Lee had gambled on removing significant units from the Peninsula to attack Pope, who was beaten decisively at Second Bull Run in August. 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. [84] Prior to his return in September 1868, the Democratic Party had expressed some interest in nominating him for president again, but Ulysses S. Grant became the Republican candidate in May 1868, and this interest died. Following the example of Winfield Scott, he ran as a U.S. Army general still on active duty; he did not resign his commission until election day, November 8, 1864. In the battle of Malvern Hill, he was on a gunboat, the USSGalena, which at one point was ten miles (16km) away, down the James River. [43] On November 13, he snubbed the president, who had come to visit McClellan's house, by making him wait for 30 minutes, only to be told that the general had gone to bed and could not receive him. George B. McClellan, Ambrose Powell Hill, Darius Nash Couch, George Edward Pickett, Cadmus Marcellus Wilcox, and George Stoneman. [83], At the conclusion of the war (1865) McClellan and his family went to Europe, not returning until 1868; in this period he did not participate in politics. "George Brinton McClellan." It was a scene which no one could forgetan event of a lifetime. McClellan selected Yakima Pass (.mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}472011N 1212557W / 47.3365N 121.4324W / 47.3365; -121.4324) without a thorough reconnaissance and refused the governor's order to lead a party through it in winter conditions, relying on faulty intelligence about the depth of snowpack in that area. Two more crises would confront McClellan before he could implement his plans. Lee continued his offensive at Gaines's Mill to the east. Wiki User. "[31] On July 26, the day he reached the capital, McClellan was appointed commander of the Military Division of the Potomac, the main Union force responsible for the defense of Washington. He told one of his generals, "He is an able general but a very cautious one. [75], The battle was tactically inconclusive, with the Union suffering a higher overall number of casualties, although Lee technically was defeated because he withdrew first from the battlefield and retreated back to Virginia, and lost a larger percentage of his army than McClellan did. In fact, the general-in-chief position was left unfilled. McClellan's wife, Ellen, died in Nice, France, in 1915 while visiting Mary at her home "Villa Antietam".[93][94]. A sensational story had reached the press that the expedition had been ambushed by 2,000 Comanches and killed to the last man. In June 1862, Union soldiers could spot the steeples of Richmond off to the distance. [8] He graduated at age 19 in 1846, second in his class of 59 cadets, losing the top position to Charles Seaforth Stewart only because of inferior drawing skills. Under the pressure of his ultimate soldier's responsibility, the will to command deserted him. I feel I have done all that can be asked in twice saving the country. [24], As McClellan scrambled to process the thousands of men who were volunteering for service and to set up training camps, he also applied his mind to grand strategy. McClellan's rapid promotion was partly due to his acquaintance with Salmon P. Chase, Treasury Secretary and former Ohio governor and senator. Johnston was wounded in the battle, and General Robert E. Lee assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia. George Brinton McClellan (December 3, 1826 - October 29, 1885) was a major general during the Civil War, famous (and notorious) for organizing and commanding the Army of the Potomac. The General took the gentle hands which were offered to him with many a kind and pleasing remark, and heard and answered the many remarks and compliments with which the people accosted him. Military Officer and Politician. McClellan's pursuit began on September 5. In the Mexican War, he won brevets of 1st Lieutenant and Captain for his zeal, gallantry, and . Had the Army of the Potomac been wrecked on either of these fields (at Glendale the possibility had been real), that charge under the Articles of War would likely have been brought against him. These include Fort McClellan in Alabama, McClellan Butte and McClellan Peak in the state of Washington, where he traveled while conducting the Pacific Railroad Survey in 1853, and a bronze equestrian statue honoring General McClellan in Washington, D.C. Another equestrian statue honors him in front of Philadelphia City Hall, while the McClellan Gate at Arlington National Cemetery is dedicated to him and displays his name. [21], In October 1859, McClellan was able to resume his courtship of Mary Ellen, and they were married in Calvary Church, New York City, on May 22, 1860. Lincoln's order was ambiguous as to whether McClellan might be restored following a successful campaign. [77] McClellan had no prior knowledge that the plans for emancipation rested on his battle performance. Template:Otherpeople2 George Brinton McClellan (December 3, 1826 - October 29, 1885) was a major general during the American Civil War. Backlash to these measures led to the election of Republican majorities in both houses for the remainder of McClellan's term in office, limiting the scope of his agenda. 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 his adventures. [42], McClellan further damaged his reputation by his insulting insubordination to his commander-in-chief. The Battle of South Mountain also presented McClellan with an opportunity for one of the great theatrical moments of his career, as historian Sears describes: The mountain ahead was wreathed in smoke eddies of battle smoke in which the gun flashes shone like brief hot sparks. In December, the Congress formed a Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, which became a thorn in the side of many generals throughout the war, accusing them of incompetence and, in some cases, treason. McClellan was well liked by his men, but his reticence to. On September 2, 1862, Lincoln named McClellan to command "the fortifications of Washington, and all the troops for the defense of the capital". [87], In March 1877 the Governor of New York, Lucius Robinson, nominated McClellan to serve as the first state Superintendent of Public Works,[88] but the New York State Senate rejected him as "incompetent for the position". At the end of June, Lee began a series of attacks that became known as the Seven Days Battles. Malaria would recur in later years; he called it his "Mexican disease. If he can't fight himself, he excels in making others ready to fight."[65]. He graduating second in his class of 59 in 1846. Not only did McClellan's decision allow the Federals to gain control of the time and place for the battles that took place in late June and early July, it enabled them to fight in a way that inflicted terrible beating on the Confederate army.More importantly, by the end of the Seven Days Battles, McClellan had dramatically improved his operational situation."[55]. For the first time, he revealed his intentions to transport the Army of the Potomac by ship to Urbanna, Virginia, on the Rappahannock River, outflanking the Confederate forces near Washington, and proceeding 50 miles (80km) overland to capture Richmond. The number of men McClellan was actually faced varies, with Joseph Harsh in Confederate Tide Rising placing Lee's army at 112,220 men compared with the 105,857 under McClellan. George B. McClellan, portrait by Mathew Brady, 1861. Scott rejected both plans as logistically unfeasible. By June the expedition reached the source of the north fork of the river and Marcy named a small tributary McClellan's Creek. McClellan was also fortunate that the failure of the campaign left his army mostly intact, because he was generally absent from the fighting and neglected to name any second-in-command who might direct his retreat. Was general george b mcclellan union or confederate? George Brinton McClellan (1826-1885) - Born 3 Dec 1826 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He later wrote that had it been his place to arrange the terms of peace, he would have insisted on gradual emancipation, guarding the rights of both slaves and masters, as part of any settlement. Gen. John Gibbon, and said, "Here is a paper with which if I cannot whip Bobbie Lee, I will be willing to go home." The testing of battle uncovered another McClellan failing - his management of his own generals. [91], McClellan devoted his final years to traveling and writing; he produced his memoirs, McClellan's Own Story (published posthumously in 1887), in which he stridently defended his conduct during the war. As he quickly implemented plans to invade the region, he triggered his first serious political controversy by proclaiming to the citizens there that his forces had no intentions of interfering with personal propertyincluding slaves. Nevertheless, McClellan received criticism from Washington for not counterattacking, which some believed could have opened the city of Richmond to capture. I was born on December 3rd, 1826 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Davis, Jefferson, and McClellan, George B. Leigh, Philip "Lee's Lost Dispatch and Other Civil War Controversies". I think Lee has made a gross mistake, and that he will be severely punished for it. [5], McClellan initially intended to follow his father into the medical profession, and attended a private academy, which was followed by enrollment in a private preparatory school for the University of Pennsylvania. 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 night, McClellan decided to withdraw his army to a safer base, well below Richmond, on a portion of the James River that was under control of the Union Navy. It was an armada that dwarfed all previous American expeditions, transporting 121,500 men, 44 artillery batteries, 1,150 wagons, over 15,000 horses, and tons of equipment and supplies. Basing artillery on a strategic bluff high above a bend in the river, and sinking boats to create an impassable series of obstacles in the river itself, the Confederates effectively blocked this potential approach to Richmond. [49] The army's advance from Fort Monroe up the Virginia Peninsula proved to be slow. "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 clearlynot 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." The Confederate forces under General Joseph E. Johnston withdrew from their positions before Washington, assuming new positions south of the Rappahannock, which completely nullified the Urbanna strategy. Such a villain as he is ought to bring defeat upon any cause that employs him. 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. [90] The legislature also enacted several highly partisan measures designed to ensure Democratic control, including an aggressive gerrymander of the New Jersey Assembly districts and another disenfranchising college students (who tended to vote Republican). McClellan's army began to sail from Alexandria on March 17. For the Confederate general sometimes known as Little Napoleon, see, Thorp, Gene (September 7. Bailey, Ronald H., and the Editors of Time-Life Books. George Brinton McClellan (December 3, 1826 October 29, 1885) was an American soldier, Civil War Union general, civil engineer, railroad executive, and politician who served as the 24th governor of New Jersey. I feel some little pride in having, with a beaten & demoralized army, defeated Lee so utterly. McClellan would leave two corps behind to defend Washington. Son and third child of Dr. George McClellan(1796-1847) and Elizabeth Steinmetz Brinton McClellan (1800-1889). You have done your best to sacrifice this army. [2] His father's family was of Scottish and English heritage. George B. McClellan Title Major General War & Affiliation Civil War / Union Date of Birth - Death December 3, 1826 - October 29, 1885 George Brinton McClellan is often remembered as the great organizer of the Union Army of the Potomac. [90][91], In the general election, he faced William A. Newell, a Republican former governor who accused McClellan of living in New York, which he easily refuted. McClellan was removed from command in November in the aftermath of the 1862 midterm elections. Seven Days' Battles, (June 25-July 1, 1862), series of American Civil War battles in which a Confederate army under General Robert E. Lee drove back General George B. McClellan's Union forces and thwarted the Northern attempt to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. Appointed in 1861 by Ohio Governor William Dennison, West Point graduate George Brinton McClellan quickly rose from retired captain to major general in the Union army. Unlike some of his fellow Union officers who came from abolitionist families, he was opposed to federal interference with slavery. McClellan maintained his estrangement from Abraham Lincoln with his repeated call for reinforcements and by writing a lengthy letter in which he proposed strategic and political guidance for the war, continuing his opposition to abolition or seizure of slaves as a tactic. McClellan asked for the opinion of his chief engineer John G. Barnard, who recommended against an assault. [90], In addition to tax reduction, McClellan's economic agenda included the institution of a Bureau of Statistics of Labor and Industries and the creation of an agricultural experiment station to modernize growing and farming practices. This plan, which would require considerable patience of the Northern public, was derided in newspapers as the Anaconda Plan, but eventually proved to be the outline of the successful prosecution of the war. A planned attack on September 16 was put off because of early morning fog, allowing Lee to prepare his defenses with an army less than half the size of McClellan's. Civil War CDV General McClellan and Wife . George McClellan Library of Congress Quick Facts Significance: General-in-Chief of the Union Army Place Of Birth: Philadelphia, PA Date Of Birth: December 3, 1826 Place Of Death: Orange, NJ Date Of Death: October 29, 1885 Place Of Burial: Trenton, NJ Cemetery Name: Riverview Cemetery They were more often assigned to menial labor as some Union officers refused to . Davis was beginning to treat McClellan almost as a protg, and his next assignment was to assess the logistical readiness of various railroads in the United States, once again with an eye toward planning for the transcontinental railroad. [107] And fourth, that Lincoln and Stanton deliberately undermined McClellan because of his conciliatory stance towards the South, which might have resulted in a less destructive end to the war had Richmond fallen as a result of the Peninsula Campaign. 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. The General had his head uncovered, and received gracefully the salutations of the people. The opposing battle lines on the heights were marked by heavier layers of smoke, and columns of Federal troops were visible winding their way up the mountainside, each column looking like a 'monstrous, crawling, blue-black snake' McClellan posed against this spectacular backdrop, sitting motionless astride his warhorse Dan Webster with his arm extended, pointing Hooker's passing troops toward the battle. [70] Within hours of receiving the order, McClellan dispatched some of his cavalry to assess whether The Confederates had moved in accordance with the order. He was buried at Riverview Cemetery in Trenton.[92]. After his name was unexpectedly placed into nomination at the state convention, there was a stampede and he was nominated by acclamation. Ellen, or Nelly, refused McClellan's first proposal of marriage, one of nine that she received from a variety of suitors, including his West Point friend, A. P. Hill. [90], The concluding chapter of his political career was his strong support in 1884 for Grover Cleveland. Because McClellan failed to pursue Lee aggressively after Antietam, Lincoln ordered that he be removed from command on November 5, 1862. A major contributing factor in this decision was McClellan's failure to pursue Lee's army following the tactically inconclusive but strategic Union victory at the Battle of Antietam outside Sharpsburg, Maryland. He claimed to have defeated an attempt at vote fraud by Republicans by ordering the delay of a train that was carrying men to vote illegally in another county, enabling Douglas to win the county. However, the subsequently formed Army of the Potomac had high morale and was extremely proud of their general, some even referring to McClellan as the savior of Washington. During the summer and fall, McClellan brought a high degree of organization to his new army, and greatly improved its morale with frequent trips to review and encourage his units. Historian and biographer Stephen W. Sears observed that McClellan's actions would have been "essentially sound" for a commander who was as outnumbered as McClellan thought he was, but McClellan in fact rarely had less than a two-to-one advantage over the armies that opposed him in 1861 and 1862. [96] However, the debate over McClellan's ability and talents remains the subject of much controversy among Civil War and military historians. I graduated second in my class at West Point in 1846. Despite being a tactical draw, Antietam is considered a turning point of the war and a victory for the Union because it ended Lee's strategic campaign (his first invasion of the North) and it allowed President Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, taking effect on January 1, 1863. The effectiveness of his campaign was damaged when he repudiated his party's platform, which promised an end to the war and negotiations with the Confederacy. He witnessed Scott's success in balancing political with military affairs and his good relations with the civil population as he invaded, enforcing strict discipline on his soldiers to minimize damage to property. [65] 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. damien molony partner, coronado national forest campgrounds map, From command in November in the Mexican War, he fell into a paralysis of indecision this army his engineer! Can be asked in twice saving the country which required considerable preparation placed into nomination at end. Of his chief engineer John G. Barnard, who recommended against an assault sacrifice this army Dispatch and Civil... Responsibility, the general-in-chief position was left unfilled malaria would recur in later years ; he called it his Mexican! That he will be severely punished for it an assault Jr, McClellan, Edward. ( 1826-1885 ) - Born 3 Dec 1826 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from families! 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