Gen. George McClellan

“Those hounds in Washington are after me again!”

Gen. George McClellan

Gen. George McClellan
One of the most controversial generals of the war, the flamboyantly theatrical leader called “Little Mac” by his soldiers was more popular in the North than Lincoln. Their troubled relationship came to a head when McClellan challenged Lincoln in the 1864 presidential election. Though he was tremendously popular with his troops, soldiers voted nearly 6 to 1 to re-elect Lincoln.

McClellan, blessed with extraordinary talents and charisma, had an ego to match. But despite the friction and mistrust between him and Lincoln, McClellan is almost universally praised for the job he did in forging a demoralized and inexperienced Union army into one of the most effective fighting forces in history.

Taking Command of the Union Army

“My dearest Ellen: I find myself in a new and strange position here—by some strange operation of magic I seem to have become the power of the land. Pray for me, darling, that I may be able to accomplish my task—the greatest, perhaps, that any poor, weak mortal ever had to do.”

On Emancipation

“My advisors are of the opinion that it is my duty to submit to the president’s proclamation…. I presume they are right.”

To the Troops After Being Dismissed

“To the Army of the Potomac, and bless the day when I shall return to it! Stand by General Burnside as you have stood by me, and all will be well.”

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