Army of the Potomac – George B. McClellan

George B. McClellan Quotes (272 quotes)

Last Updated April 24, 2016

Quote Made By Circumstances Date Source Document Page
“It seemed as if an intermission had been declared in order that a receptin might be tendered to the general-in-chief. A great crowd continually surrounded him, and the most extravagent demonstrations were indulged in.   Hundreds even hugged the horse’s legs and caressed his head and mane. While the troops were thus surging by, the general continually pointed with his finger to the gap in the mountain through which our path lay..   It was like a great scene in a play, with the roar of the guns for an accompaniment.” A Massachusetts veteran The reaction of soldiers who see McClellan at Middletown on their way to South Mountain From Mr. Lincoln’s Army by Bruce Catton. New York: Anchor Books 1990. 232
“Take off your engineering restraints; dismiss”from the Army every man who know how to build a fortification, and let the men of the North, with their strong arms and indomitable spirit, move down upon the rebels, and I tell you they will grind them to powder in their power.” A Radical Republican A disgusted Radical From How the North Won by Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones. Urbana:   University of Illinois Press 1983. 173
“The last time Abraham visited his children, they gave him a very cool reception, but I venture the next time will be more so.” A soldier from the Iron Brigade A soldier from the Iron Brigade after the relief of McClellan From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 67
“Upon our arrival, we found General McClellan sitting upon his horse in the road”.As each organization passed the general, the men became apparently forgetful of everything but their love for him. They cheered and cheered again, until they became so hoarse they could cheer no longer….A great crowd continually surrounded him, and the most extravagant demonstrations were indulged in. Hundreds even hugged the horse’s legs and caressed his head and mane. While the troops were thus surging by, the general continually pointed with his finger to the gap in the mountain through which our path lay. It was like a great scene in a play, with the roar of guns for an accompaniment.” A soldier in Hooker’s Corps A description of McClellan at South Mountain From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 297
“That we were fighting for the country, and not for any individual.” A Union captain A Union officer rethinks the loyalty of the Army of the Potomac From A Glorious Army by Jeffry D. Wert. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011. 159
“From extreme sadness we passed in a twinkling to a delerium of delight”a Deliverer had come.” a Union soldier A soldier responding to the reappointment of McClellan From “I Fought the Battle Splendidly.” by Wilson A. Greene. Antietam – Essays on the 1862 Maryland Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher Kent OH: Kent State University Press, 1989. 57
“One of my oldest & best friends” A.P. Hill From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 60
“[I’d] remove him at once but for the elections.” Abraham Lincoln Lincoln to NY gubanatorial candidate James Wadsworth Oct 13 1862 From Counter-Thrust From the Peninsula to the Antietam by Benjamin Franklin Cooling. Lincoln: University of Nebraska 2007. 287
“a ruined man if [McClellan] did not move forward, moved rapidly and effectively.” Abraham Lincoln Lincoln describing McClellan if he did not more forward Antietam From A Glorious Army by Jeffry D. Wert. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011. 156
“After the Battle of Antietam, I went up to the field to try to get [McClellan] to move.” Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln to John Hay From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 299
“Are you not overcautious when you assume that you can not do what the enemy is constantly doing? Should you not claim to be at least his equal in prowess, and act upon the claim? It is all easy if our troops march as well as the enemy, and it is unmanly to say they can not do it.” Abraham Lincoln Lincoln prodding McClellan into action From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 59
“bore with an auger too dull to take hold” Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln to Frank Blair Sr. talking of his frustration with McClellan. Frank Blair Sr. to Montgomery Blair, November 7, 1862, From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 319
“But he is too useful just now to sacrifice.” Abraham Lincoln Lincoln to Hays talking about the expediency of relieving McClellan Sep 5 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 318
“but we must use the tools we have” Abraham Lincoln Lincoln to John Hay regarding to opposition in the Cabinet to McClellan’s restoration From Counter-Thrust From the Peninsula to the Antietam by Benjamin Franklin Cooling. Lincoln: University of Nebraska 2007. 156
“For organizing disciplining, and preparing an army fo rthe field and handling it in the field [McClellan] was superior to any of our Genls”that the battles of South Mountain and Antietam were fought with ability-as well as any Genl could have fought them, but McClellan was too slow inhis movements.” Abraham Lincoln Lincoln to Senator Browning From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 323
“Gen McClellan and myself are to be photographed”if we an be still long enough. I feel Gen. M should have no problem”” Abraham Lincoln Lincoln in letter to Mary at the time Lincolns picture is taken by Gardner after the Battle of Antietam letter courtesy of Lloyd Ostendorf Oct 1862 From “Lincoln and McClellan.” by Stephen Sears. Lincoln’s Generals. edited by Gabor Boritt New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
“General McClellan thinks he is going to whip the rebels by strategy; and the army has got the same notion. The have no idea that the war is to be carried on and put through by hard fighting.” Abraham Lincoln Lincoln talking to a group at the White House Nov 10 1862 From A Glorious Army by Jeffry D. Wert. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011. 159
“has acted badly in this matter” Abraham Lincoln Lincoln to John Hay reacting to word of McClellan’s lack of support to Pope From Counter-Thrust From the Peninsula to the Antietam by Benjamin Franklin Cooling. Lincoln: University of Nebraska 2007. 156
“he excels in making others ready to fight” Abraham Lincoln Lincoln to John Hay Sep 5 1862 From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 267
“He is an admirable engineer, but he seems to have a special talent for a stationary engine Abraham Lincoln Lincoln to a group of people about the time of McClellan’s removal From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 323
“I certainly have been dissatisfied with the slowness of Buell and McClellan; but before I relieved them I had great fears I should not find successors to them who would do better; and I am sorry to add that I have seen little since to relieve those fears.” Abraham Lincoln Lincoln in a letter to Carl Shurz Nov 24 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 323
“I have just read your dispatch about sore-tongued and fatigued horses. Will you pardon me for asking what the horses of your army have done since the battle of Antietam that fatigues anything?” Abraham Lincoln From Until Antietam The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army by Jack Mason. Carbondale IL: Southern Illinois Press, 2009. 197
“I must have McClellan to reorganize the army and bring it out of chaos. But there has been a design-a purpose in breaking down Pope without regard of consequences to the country. It is shocking to see and know this, but there is no remedy at present.   McClellan has the army with him.” Abraham Lincoln Lincoln confides to a secretary about reappointing McClellan Sep 5 1862 From Until Antietam The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army by Jack Mason. Carbondale IL: Southern Illinois Press, 2009. 169
“I said I would remove him if he let Lee’s army get away from him, and I must do so. He has got the ‘slows’ Mr. Blair.” Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln to Frank Blair Sr. talking of his frustration with McClellan. Frank Blair Sr. to Montgomery Blair, November 7, 1862, From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 319
“McClellan has the army with him” Abraham Lincoln Lincoln to John Hay regarding to opposition in the Cabinet to McClellan’s restoration From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 6
“McClellan is working like a beaver. He seems to be aroused to doing something by the sort of snubbing he got last week. I am of the opinion that this public feeling against him will make it expedient to take important command from him….He has acted badly in this matter, but we must use what tools we have. Unquestionably he has acted badly toward Pope. He wanted him to fail. That is unpardonable. But he is too useful just now to sacrifice.” Abraham Lincoln Lincoln to John Hay From General John Pope A Life for the Nation by Peter Cozzens.   Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000. 199
“McClellan knows the ground. His speciality is to defend. He is a good engineer, and there is no better organizer. He can be trusted to act on the defensive.” Abraham Lincoln Sep 1862 From Until Antietam The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army by Jack Mason. Carbondale IL: Southern Illinois Press, 2009. 170
“McClellan suffered from the “slows” and was “good for nothing” in an offensive campaign. But in the present sitution, with the need to defend Washington and reorganize the beaten troops and restore their morale, there was on one better.” Abraham Lincoln Lincoln at cabinet meeting where he announces the reappointment of McClellan after Lee’s invasion of Maryland Sep 1862 From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 260
“practical and very serious question”strong enough even with my help-to set your foot upon the necks of Sumner, Heintzelman and Keyes all at once?” Abraham Lincoln Lincoln counseling McClellan on the advisability of not working with his Corps commanders From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 212
“received in quarters which we cannot entirely disregard … as merely an effort to pamper one or two pets” and that he was “constantly told that you consult and communicate with nobody but General Fitz John Porter, and perhaps General Franklin.” Abraham Lincoln Lincoln to McClellan on his partiality toward Porter and Franklin May 9 1862 From “Poor Burn The Antietam Conspiracy that Wasn’t.” by Ethas S. Rafuse. Civil War History #54 (June 2008) Kent: Kent State University Press
“Sending men to that army is like shoveling fleas across a barnyard-not halaf of them get there.” Abraham Lincoln Lincoln describing the task of reinforcing McClellan’s Army on the Peninsula From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 183
“There is no man in the Army who can man these fortifications and lick these troops of ours into shape half as well as he”.If he cant fight himself, he excels in making others fight.” Abraham Lincoln Lincoln to his private secretary regarding the reapppointment of McClellan From “I Fought the Battle Splendidly.” by Wilson A. Greene. Antietam – Essays on the 1862 Maryland Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher Kent OH: Kent State University Press, 1989. 57
“to useful just now to sacrifice.” Abraham Lincoln Lincoln to John Hay reacting to word of McClellan’s lack of support to Pope From Counter-Thrust From the Peninsula to the Antietam by Benjamin Franklin Cooling. Lincoln: University of Nebraska 2007. 156
“Unquestionably McClellan has acted badly toward Pope! He wanted him to fail. That is unpardonable. But he is to useful just now to sacrifice”.We must use the tools we have. I must have McClellan to reorganize the army and bring it out of chaos. McClellan has the army with him.” Abraham Lincoln Lincoln confidint go his secretary John Hay during the Second Manassas Campaign Sep 3 1862 From A Glorious Army by Jeffry D. Wert. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011. 107
“who can man these fortifications and lick these troops of ours into shape half as well as [McClellan] Abraham Lincoln Lincoln to John Hay regarding to opposition in the Cabinet to McClellan’s restoration From Counter-Thrust From the Peninsula to the Antietam by Benjamin Franklin Cooling. Lincoln: University of Nebraska 2007. 157
“Why in the Nation, General Marcy, couldn’t the General have known whether a boat could go through that lock before spending a million dollars getting them there? I am no engineer, but it seems to me that if I wished to know whether a boat would go through a hole or a lock, common sense would teach me to go and measure it. I am almost despairing at these results. Everything seems to fail. The general impression is daily gaining ground that the general does not intend to do anything.” Abraham Lincoln Lincoln to Randolph Marcy after the snafu with the C&O Canal locks and the canal boats. Feb 27 1861 From George B McClellan – The Young Napolean by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 158
that McC was doing nothing to make himself either respected or feared. Abraham Lincoln Lincoln’s observation of McClellan after Antietam From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 55
“Our troops know of none other they can trust” Alexander S. Webb Ltr to Webb’s father Sep 4 1862 From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 265
“a victim not of incapacity or inexperience but of his character and temperament. Impatient of authority, querulous under criticism, religiously certain of divine guidance, deeply egotistical, he lacked the central quality of a great commander”. Allan Nevins The War for the Union (New York, 1960-1971), II 331-332 From “On the McClellan-Go-Round.”by Joseph Harsh. Battles Lost and Won Essays on Civil War History. Ed. John T. Hubbell. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1975. 63
“The [October 4] estimate was founded upon all the information then in my possession, derived from my own operatives, deserters from the Rebel Service, ‘Contrabands’, &c, &c, and was made large, as intimated to you at the time, so as to be sure and cover the entire number of the Enemy that our Army was to meet.” Allen Pinkerton In a letter to George McClellan describing how Pinkerton arrived at his numbers. Nov 15 1862 Fishel, Edwin C. “Pinkerton and McClellan Who Deceived Whom?” Conflict and Command edited by John T. Hubbelll. Kent Ohio: The Kent State University Press, 2012. 108
“Gen McClellan is an indefatigable officer in organization. Nothing seems to escape his attention or his anticipation. Every endeavor is made, and constantly kept up, to enforce drill and discipline and to create and esprit de corps and confidence. I have met no officer at all his equal in this respect.” Alpheus Williams Williams on McClellan From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 53
“Perhaps McClellan has too much of the Fabian policy, but in judging of this one must not forget that he has been placed in circumstances where to lose the game would have been to lose all. My idea is that the cursed policy of this war has its origin at Washington. Old fogyism has ruled in every department. Trepidation for the safety of the Capital seems to have paralyzed all faculties of preparation and promptness.” Alpheus Williams Williams on the removal of McClellan From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 65
“you have lots of enemies. But you must keep cool; don”t allow them to provoke you into a quarrel” Ambrose Burnside Burnside to McClellan, July 15, 1862, McClellan Papers, A73/reel 29:   288-289 Jul 15 1862 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 242
“I felt my flesh cringe.” An officer An officer who witnessed McClellan assuming command from Pope From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 274
“The old cry as to McClellan’s slowness is again being raised. I was much surprised at first myself that we did not cross the river at once, but the more I know of the condition of the army, and other matters, the less certain does it appear that we could have done so to advantage. This corps as yet has received next to no supplies…the men are bery badly off for shoes and blankets. It seems almost as if the purposefully kept them back at Washington.” An officer An officer commenting on the need for supplies before another advance after Antietam From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 358
“We were badly beaten & lost a good deal.   I hope to God this will give us McClellan.” An officer An officer writing to his family Aug 30 1862 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 266
“wants to save all the men he can”” Charles E. Perkins A Union sergeant describes George B. McClellan Jun 2 1862 From A Glorious Army by Jeffry D. Wert. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011. 19
“I wish our dear friends in the North who have forced McClellan to move had to share our comforts with us. I reckon that the US is about played out, as they cannot fed clother or pay us, but it makes no difference if everyone that remains at home can get a political office.” Charles H. Brewster Brewster, an officer in the 10th Mass on the press and demands to advance [letter] Nov 5 1862 From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 63
“A few days will now show whether they have been waiting until this election is over in order to remove McClellan.” Charles S. Wainright Wainwright speculating on whether McClellan would be removed after the elections Nov 7 1862 From A Diary of Battle The Personal Journals of Colonel Charles S. Wainright 1861-1865 by Charles S. Wainwright edited by Allan Nevins. New York:   De Capo Press, 1998. 122
“He has a good face, open and manly, set on a very thick, short neck, and is what may be called thick-set altogether. I should not, from his looks, set him down as a great man by any means. The General rode a splendid bay hourse, a trotter, and rode him well; he shows to advantage on horseback.” Charles S. Wainright Wainwright offers a description of McClellan after his first close look at him during the Presidential visit Sep 30 1862 From A Diary of Battle The Personal Journals of Colonel Charles S. Wainright 1861-1865 by Charles S. Wainwright edited by Allan Nevins. New York:   De Capo Press, 1998. 109
“I have finished reading McClellan’s report, and it has given me a higher opinion of him that I ever had before; I now think him about as near being a great general as it is possible to come without arriving at it. Charles S. Wainright Wainwright on reading McClellan’s report Mar 13 1864 From A Diary of Battle The Personal Journals of Colonel Charles S. Wainright 1861-1865 by Charles S. Wainwright edited by Allan Nevins. New York:   De Capo Press, 1998. 330
“The papers are full of reports of McClellan’s removal, and I fear they will prove only too true. His enemies are very bitter, and will see no good in him, though their is not a doubt that no other man in the country could have saved Washington last month….I am not so strong an admirer of McClellan myself but that I can see he falls short of being a greally great general, such a one as we ought to have in command of this army, but I do think he is head and shoulders above any other man we have.” Charles S. Wainright Wainwright decrying the press’s calls for a movement after Antietam Oct 19 1862 From A Diary of Battle The Personal Journals of Colonel Charles S. Wainright 1861-1865 by Charles S. Wainwright edited by Allan Nevins. New York:   De Capo Press, 1998. 116
“The papers, I see, are getting very impatient, and the old cry as to McClellan’s slowness is again being raised. I was much surprised at first myslef that we did not cross the river at once, but the more I know of the condition of the army, and other matters, the less certain does it appear that we could have done so to advantage.” Charles S. Wainright Wainwright decrying the press’s calls for a movement after Antietam Oct 10 1862 From A Diary of Battle The Personal Journals of Colonel Charles S. Wainright 1861-1865 by Charles S. Wainwright edited by Allan Nevins. New York:   De Capo Press, 1998. 114
“The report too, shows wherein lay McClellan’s strength, and where his weakness. The former was undoubtedly in planning: in the vast scope of his mind, taking in the whole field of operations, and his foresight as to what the enemy would do. Charles S. Wainright Wainwright commenting on McClellan Mar 13 1864 From A Diary of Battle The Personal Journals of Colonel Charles S. Wainright 1861-1865 by Charles S. Wainwright edited by Allan Nevins. New York:   De Capo Press, 1998. 331
“until I can prove General McClellan to have been remiss,or mistaken, I am quite willing to believe he knows best, and has decided rightly. They say he is very active around Washington, and does an immense amount of work.” Charles S. Wainright Wainwright on the “radical” newspapers criticism of McClellan Feb 19 1862 From A Diary of Battle The Personal Journals of Colonel Charles S. Wainright 1861-1865 by Charles S. Wainwright edited by Allan Nevins. New York:   De Capo Press, 1998. 18
“Whatever might be their opinion of McClellan as a general, no one who saw and heard him today as I did could help pronouncing him a good and great man: great in soul if not in mind.” Charles S. Wainright Wainwright observing McClellan’s final moments in command of the Army of the Potomac Nov 9 1862 From A Diary of Battle The Personal Journals of Colonel Charles S. Wainright 1861-1865 by Charles S. Wainwright edited by Allan Nevins. New York:   De Capo Press, 1998. 121
“Why McClellan should have remained at Yorktown until so late, when he must have heard the firing and known that a battle was going on, puzzled me at first.” Charles S. Wainright Wainwright on McClellan’s absence from the Yorktown battlefield May 21 1862 From A Diary of Battle The Personal Journals of Colonel Charles S. Wainright 1861-1865 by Charles S. Wainwright edited by Allan Nevins. New York:   De Capo Press, 1998. 68
“Where Lincoln saw an opportunity for victory by pushing troops toward the battle, McClellan saw risk uncertainty, and potential disster.” D. Scott Hartwig Analysis of difference in Lincoln and McClellan with respect to sending troops toward Manassas From To Antietam Creek by D. Scott Hartwig. Baltimore:The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012 40
“We have driven McClellan out of his fortifications & pursued him twenty miles, taking fifty pieces of artillery & tens of thousands prisoners. Still he claims that he has gained a great victory. The art of lying can go no farther.” D.H. Hill D. Harvey Hill to Isabella Hill. D.H. Hill Papers Jul 9 1862 From Stonewall Jackson The Man, The Soldier, The Legend by James I. Robertson. New York:   Macmillan Publishing Co, 1997. 505
“the mother-in-law Mrs. Marcey looked-like a mother-in-law Daniel Reed Larned A 2nd Lieutenant on his way to the Army encounters the McClellan family in Baltimore Oct 12 1862 From Lincoln’s Darkest Year The War in 1862 by William Marvel. Boston: Houghtin Mifflin Company Company, 2008. 269
“It was known that McClellan had replaced Pope in general command, and that was not plesant news, for Lee regarded McClellan as the ablest of the Federal commanders;” Douglas Southall Freeman Freeman describing reaction when it was heard that McClellan was restored to command in the Maryland Campaign. Foot note is R.E.Lee, Jr.Recollections and Letters, 416 From R.E. Lee A Biography by Douglas Southall Freeman. New York Scribners, 1934. 2:356
“by the Good Lord’s putting it into McClellan’s heart to keep Fitz John Porter’s corps entirely out to the battle, & Franklin nearly all out. I doubt whether many hearts but McClellan’s would have accepted the suggestions, even from a Divine source, for common sense was just shouting, ‘your adversary is backed against a river, with no bridge & only one ford, & that the worst one on the whole river. If you whip him now you destroy him utterly, root & branch & bag & baggage….& such game is worth great risks. Every man must fight & keep on fighting for all he is worth.’ No military genius, but only the commonest kind of every day common sense, was necessary to appreciate that.” E. Porter Alexander Porter Alexander’s observations after the war about McClellan at the battle of Antietam From “The Maryland Campaign in Perspective.” by Gary W. Gallagher. Antietam – Essays on the 1862 Maryland Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher Kent OH: Kent State University Press, 1989. 90
“They believe with all their hearts in McClellan, and are unwilling to be slaughtered in the experiment of muddle headed politician generals.” Edward King Wightman an army recruit on McClellan From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 52
“An especially persuasive indication of his conviction that he was seriously outnumbered is the excessive caution with which he handled his army”.But the strongest evidence that McClellan really believed the enemy had such huge numbers is found in his letters to his wife….These letters dissolve any suspicion that he was knowingly magnifying the enemy….If he had believed that the Confederated did not really outnumer his army, he would have taken pains to saay so to his wife, as one of the reassuranced about his sfety that he occasionally gave her. McClellan did not just believe he was badly outnumbered; he knew it. It was an obsession, a fixation.:” Edwin C.. Fishel Fishel analyzes McClellan’s apparent conviction on the accuracy of his numbers of enemy From “Pinkerton and McClellan Who Deceived Whom?” by Edwin C. Fishel. Conflict and Command edited by John T. Hubbelll. Kent Ohio: The Kent State University Press, 2012. 129
“As he would overstate Confederate numbers in order to gain more troops and more time, so he would underestimate them in order to save his grand campaign.” Edwin C.. Fishel Fishel talks about McClellan’s willingness to manipulate numbers as the situation dictates From “Pinkerton and McClellan Who Deceived Whom?” by Edwin C. Fishel. Conflict and Command edited by John T. Hubbelll. Kent Ohio: The Kent State University Press, 2012. 127
“For that abrupt about-face, irrationality is a much likelier cause than duplicity.” Edwin C.. Fishel Fishel analyzes why McClellan was ready to attack Richmond after he gets orders recalling his Army from the Peninsula From “Pinkerton and McClellan Who Deceived Whom?” by Edwin C. Fishel. Conflict and Command edited by John T. Hubbelll. Kent Ohio: The Kent State University Press, 2012. 130
“His awareness of his wartime exaggerations is also revealed by the omission of the more radical of them from his draft of the memoirs. Evidently he intended to avoid repeating his old errors without expressly correcting them. But in preparing the book for its posthumous publication, his literary executor defeated this attempt at reasonableness by adding wartime documents that included some of McClellan’s claims of enemy strength-years after many readers had come to know better.” Edwin C.. Fishel Fishel addresses a question asked by many regarding whether McClellan ever acknowledged the inaccuracy of his wartime estimates of enemy strength From “Pinkerton and McClellan Who Deceived Whom?” by Edwin C. Fishel. Conflict and Command edited by John T. Hubbelll. Kent Ohio: The Kent State University Press, 2012. 123
“The integrity of Pinkerton’s estimates is thrown into question by the performance of the intelligence bureau that General Joseph Hooker set up three months after McClellan and Pinkerton left. Although this was a much more complete intelligence service than Pinkerton’s, its main sources of information on enemy strength were the same-prisoners, deserters, refugees. And it quickly produced a remarkably accurate estimate of Confederate numbers. This improvement indicates that Pinkerton’s successor employed a more judicious troops-per-regiment average and greater discrimination in accepting the existence of newly reported regiments and brigades. That does not mean that this officer, Colonel George H. Sharpe, was necessarily more conscientious or veracious than Pinkerton, but it suggest that his mission was to develop facts rather than some preconceived version of them.” Edwin C.. Fishel An analysis of the difference in the objectives of Pinkerton’s Secret Service versus George Sharpes Bureau of Military Information From “Pinkerton and McClellan Who Deceived Whom?” by Edwin C. Fishel. Conflict and Command edited by John T. Hubbelll. Kent Ohio: The Kent State University Press, 2012. 128
“Thus we see that a commanding general’s obsession with excessive enemy strength could do more mischief to the Union cause that outright dishonesty in his announced estimates would have don. In the same way that McClellan’s obsession made Pinkerton a failure in history’s eyes, it ruined his own chance to go down in history as the general who won the war.” Edwin C.. Fishel Fishel’s final analysis on McClelan’s motivations From “Pinkerton and McClellan Who Deceived Whom?” by Edwin C. Fishel. Conflict and Command edited by John T. Hubbelll. Kent Ohio: The Kent State University Press, 2012. 131
“They are counting on your death. And are already dividing among themselves your military goods and chattels.” Edwin Stanton Stanton advising McClellan of efforts of Lincoln to discuss with others while McClellan has typhoid fever From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 18
“The war will not end until the North wakes up.   As it is not conducted it seems to me to be a grand farce. When certain politicians, Army contractors and traitors North are put out of the way, we shall succeed. General McClellan is popular with the Army, and we feel that he has not had a fair chance.” Elisha H. Rhodes Rhodes’ view on McClellan From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 62
“This change produces much bitter feeling and some indignation. McClellan’s enemies will not rejoice, but the Army loves and respects him. Like loyal soldiers we submit.” Elisha H. Rhodes Rhodes on the removal of McClellan From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 65
“struck with the facility with which he learned his lessons”strong attachments to friends – qualities for which he has always been remarkable.” Erasmus D. Keyes Keyes, a West Point instructor of McClellan (and a future corps commander working for him) records his impressions of McClellan at West Point From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 34
“the Mexicans had been firing at his party nearly all day without hitting a man.” Ethan Allen Hitchcock Hitchcock reports seeing McClellan returning from a day of reconnoitering the best positions to plan army heavy batteries to shell Vera Cruz Mar 16 1847 From The Mexican War Diary and Correspondence of George B. McClellan by George B. McClellan and Thomas W. Cutrer. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009. 79
“McClellan’s perception of himself as the reasoned, dispassionate statesman-general and those opposed him as self-serving politicians had the unfortunate effect of exacerbating a streak of petulance and self-righteousness that had been a feature of his character since childhood.” Ethan Rafuse Historian Ethan Rafuse’s assessment of Lincoln From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 124
“That they [McClellan’s high intelligence estimates] would have a significant impact on his conduct of operations is undeniable. But to proclaim them the dominant force that shaped his generalship is to go too far.   It is more accurate to say that they reinforced an approach to military affairs that emphasized limitiing the influence of chance as much as was reasonably possible.” Ethan Rafuse Rafuse on McClellan’s use of intelligence From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 132
“for whatever may have been the opinion of his military ability, or his failure to properly support Pope, it was well known that he alone had the power to restore confidance to the Army of the Potomac, and that as an organizer he had no superior in the army.” Ezra Carman Carman on the selection of McClellan to resume active command From The Maryland Campaign of September 1862 Vol. 1 South Mountain. Edited by Tom Clemens. New York: Savas Beatie, 2010. 124
“Let”enemies say what they will, he who could so move upon the hearts of a great army, as the wind sways long rows of standing corn was no ordinary man.” Francis Amasa Walker Walker, Francis Amasa, History of the Second Corps in the Army of the Potomac (New York 1866), p 138 From “On the McClellan-Go-Round.”by Joseph Harsh. Battles Lost and Won Essays on Civil War History. Ed. John T. Hubbell. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1975. 58
“It is considered generally that McClellan has been completely outwitted”I think the whole army felt that it was left to take care of itself, and was only saved by their own brave fighting.   You hav no idea of the imbecility of management both in action and out of it….I think officers and men are disgusted with and have lost confidence in McClellan….The stories of his being everywhere among the men in the fights are untrue.” Francis Barlow Ltr by Barlow to his mother criticizing for his conduct after the Seven Days Jul 4 1862 From Until Antietam The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army by Jack Mason. Carbondale IL: Southern Illinois Press, 2009. 164
“…there are strong grounds for believing that he was the best commander the Army of the Potomac ever had.” Francis Palfrey (BG Francis W. Palfrey, historian and veteran, 1882) February 25, 1909 From http://www.georgebmcclellan.org/
“He made absolutely no use of the magnificent enthusiasm which the army then felf for him” Francis Palfrey Antietam veteran and first historian of the battle From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 323
“it is impossible to believe that McClellan believed”the Confederates had the force he attributed to them.” Francis Palfrey Palfrey addressing McClellan’s enemy estimates From The Secret War for the Union by Edwin C. Fishel. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1996. 583
“Of McClellan’s conduct in the batle there is little to be said in the way of praise beyond the fact that he did fight it voluntarily, without having it forced upon him.” Francis Palfrey Palfrey in his book Antietam and Fredericksburg From “I Fought the Battle Splendidly.” by Wilson A. Greene. Antietam – Essays on the 1862 Maryland Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher Kent OH: Kent State University Press, 1989. 56
“There is strong grounds for believing that he was the best commander the Army of the Potomac ever had….While the Confederacy was young and fresh and rich, and its armies were numerous, McClellan fought a good, wary, damaging, respectable fight”.His failure to accomplish more was partly his misfortune and not altogether his fault….With longer possession of command, greater things might fairly have been expected of him….In such a war…it would have been impossible to retain in command of the Army of the Potomac a man who was not only a democrat but the probable Democratic candidate fore the Presidency at the next election, and that his removal was therefore only a question of time. A growing familiarity with his history as a soldier increased the disposition to regard him with respect and gratitude.” Francis Palfrey Palfrey in his book Antietam and Fredericksburg From “On the McClellan-Go-Round.”by Joseph Harsh. Battles Lost and Won Essays on Civil War History. Ed. John T. Hubbell. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1975. 59
“Let military critics or political enemies say what they will, he who could so move upon the hearts of a great army, as the sways long rows of standing corn, was no ordinary man; now was he who took such heavy toll of Joseph E. Johnston and Robert E. Lee and ordinary soldier.” Francis Walker Walker, historian of the Second Corps says this about McClellan From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 325
“Nothing seemed to them too bold to be undertaken or to difficult to be executed” Frazer Smith Persifor BG Persifor Smith speaking about McClellan and GW Smith at Battles of Contreras and Churubusco Aug 20 1847 From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 23
“this meant that we were to be ready to cheer ‘Little Mac’ when he came along, which of course, we all did. He came, preceded by a squadron of cavalry and accompanied by a very large and brilliantly caparisoned staff, followed by more cavalry. He was dressed in the full uniform of a major general and rode a superbe horse, upon which he sat faultlessly.” Frederick L. Hitchcock Hitchcock describes the passing of George McClellan Sep 13 1862 From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 107
“I never saw men have so much confidence in a man as the soldiers have in McClellan.” Frederick Pettit A Pennsylvanian on McClellan From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 65
“Lieutenant McClellan, frequently detached, and several times in command of the engineer company, is entitled to the highest praise for his cool and daring gallantry on all occasions, in the actions of both the 19th and 20th.” G.W. Smith Smith reporting on McClellans actions at the battles of Contreras and Dhurubusco Aug 20 1847 From The Mexican War Diary and Correspondence of George B. McClellan by George B. McClellan and Thomas W. Cutrer. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009. 109
“McClellan seized the Sergeant’s musket, fired at, and killed the man who shot Hastings.” G.W. Smith Smith reporting on McClellans actions at Saint Cosme gate where he killed a Mexican who wounded one of his men (Sergeant David H. Hastings) From The Mexican War Diary and Correspondence of George B. McClellan by George B. McClellan and Thomas W. Cutrer. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009. 110
“”You have only to defend a strong position”.I propose taking the really difficult and dangerous part of this work on my own hands. I will not ask you to do anything that I would not be willing to do myself”.If you cannot undertake the defense of Philippi with the force now under your control, I must find someone who will….Do not ask for further reenforcements. If you do, I shall take it as a request to be relieved from your command and to return to Indiana. I have spoken plainly. I speak officially. The crisis is a grave one, and I must have generals under me who are willing to risk as much as I am, and to be conten to risk their lives and reputations with such means as I can give them. Let this be the last of it….I wish action now and determination.” George B. McClellan McClellan to Brigadier General Thomas Morris at Philipi Jul 3 1861 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 14
“a full and careful survey of the situation and condition of our army, and the strength and position of the enemy, I concluded that the success of an attack on the 18th was not certain”.The troops were greatly overcome by the fatigue and exhaustion attendant upon the long continued and severely contested battle of the 17th, together with the long day and night marches to which they had been subjected during the previous three days.” George B. McClellan McClellan in his final report citing reasons for not attacking on the 18th of September From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 296
“After a night of anxious deliberation and a full and careful survey of the situation and condition of our army, the strength and position of the enemy, I concluded that the success of an attack on the 18th was not certain”.At that moment”the national cause could afford no risks of defeat.” George B. McClellan McClellan justifying his failure to attack on the 18th of Sep From Counter-Thrust From the Peninsula to the Antietam by Benjamin Franklin Cooling. Lincoln: University of Nebraska 2007. 254
“After a rapid examination of the position I found that it was too late to attack that day,” George B. McClellan McClellan’s decision not to attack on Sep 15 Sep 15 1862 From The Maryland Campaign of September 1862 Vol. 1 South Mountain. Edited by Tom Clemens. New York: Savas Beatie, 2010. 409
“Again I have been called upon to save my country.   The case is desperate but with God’s help I will try unselfishly to do my best & if he wills it accomplish the salvation of the nation. My men are true & will stand by me to the last.” George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife describing his challenge Sep 5 1862 From The Battle of South Mountain by John David Hoptak.   Charleston: The History Press, 2011. 26
“all my associates, indeed all of them – are Southerners”[T]he manners, feelings & opinions of the Southerners are far, far more preferable to those of the majority of the Northerners.” George B. McClellan McClellan reflecting on the fact that most of his West Point friends are from the South Jan 21 1843 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 35
“All private property and unarmed persons should be strictly protected”.Military power should not be allowed to interfere with the relations of servitude.” George B. McClellan McClellan’s famous Harrison Landing letter to Abraham Lincoln on McClellan’s views concerning the existing state of the rebellion July 1862 From Lincoln and His Admirals by Craig Symond. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008 173
“and must confess that I have malice enough to want to show them that if I did not graduate head of my class, I can nevertheless do something.” George B. McClellan McClellan to Frederica M. English Aug 16 1846 From The Mexican War Diary and Correspondence of George B. McClellan by George B. McClellan and Thomas W. Cutrer. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009. 20
“Another interruption-this time more important. It was in the shape of Burnside, accompanied by Gen. Buckingham”.They brought with them the order relieving me from command of the Army of the Potomac”.No cause is given”.They [the administration] have made a great mistake. Alas for my poor country! I know in my inmost heart she never had a truer servant….Do not be at all worried-I am not. I have done the best I could for my country; to the last I have done my duty as I understand it. That I must have made many mistakes I cannot deny. I do not see any great blunders; but on one can judge of himself. Our consolation must be that we have tried to do what was right.” George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife on his relief from command Nov 7 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 316
“As I went to our camp I stopped at Colonel Totten’s tent to inform him of the state of affairs-he directed me to step in and report to General Scott. I found him writing a despatch. He seemed to be very delighted and showed me the last words he had written which were “indefatigable Engineers.” George B. McClellan Diary entry where McClellan recounts reporting to General Scott in person Mar 25 1847 From The Mexican War Diary and Correspondence of George B. McClellan by George B. McClellan and Thomas W. Cutrer. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009. 97
“But I may not have command of the army much longer, Lincoln is down on me”.Yes Couch, I expect to be relieved from the Army of the Potomac and to have a command in the West.” George B. McClellan McClellan in a discussion with Darius Couch after receipt of a letter from Lincoln Oct 16 1862 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 355
“But I never expect to have such fine times again as we used to have on the march in Mexico-constant change, constant excitement-if we had no battle, we at least had bull fights-if we could not go to a Protestant Church on Sunday morning, we could go to the theatre on Sunday night-so it went, and alas, it is gone sure enough, probably never to return.” George B. McClellan McClellan fondly recalling the days in Mexico in a letter to Maria Eldridge McClellan Jan 1849 From The Mexican War Diary and Correspondence of George B. McClellan by George B. McClellan and Thomas W. Cutrer. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009. 158
“By thoroughly defeating their armies, taking their strong places, and pursuing a rigidly pretective policy as to private property and unarmed persons, and a lenient course as to common soldiers, we may well hope for the restoration of [a] peaceful Union.” George B. McClellan McClellan explains his thinking to Lincoln in August 61 on the prosecution of the war. Aug 2 1861 From To Antietam Creek by D. Scott Hartwig. Baltimore:The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012 7
“Collect them at once, 15,000 fresh troops have already come up; more will arrive during the night. Tell your men that! We must fight tonight and tomorrow. If we cannot whip the enemy now, we may as well die upon the field. If we succeed we end the war.” George B. McClellan McClellan to George Gordon of the 12th Corps as he arrives in the East Woods Sep 17 1862 From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 272
“command only included the defenses of Washington and did not extend to any active column that might be moved out beyond the line of works; that no decision had yet been made as to the commander of the active army.” George B. McClellan McClellan recalls the initial scope of his command around Washington on September 1 or 2. From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 229
“display of such an overwhelming strength as will convince all”of the utter impossibility of resistance.” George B. McClellan “Memorandum for the Consideration of His Excellency the Presicent, submitted at his own request, McClellan lays out his views on the nature of the war in a memorandum to Lincoln Aug 2 1861 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 120
“During dinner it began to rain like bricks.   We adjourned to Winship’s tent, and the sight we presented would have amused a hermit. The water [was] about an inch deep in the tent, and we four sitting on the bed passing around a tumbler continually replenished from that old keg of commisary whiskey-oh lord!how it did fly ’round! and we were as happy a set of soldiers as ever lived in spite of wind and weather.” George B. McClellan McClellan in a diary entry reports on dinner with some regular army friends Jan 2 1847 From The Mexican War Diary and Correspondence of George B. McClellan by George B. McClellan and Thomas W. Cutrer. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009. 56
“Every poor fellow that is killed or wounded almost haunts me” George B. McClellan McClellan describing the battlefield Jun 1862 From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 196
“Everyone believes, or what is practically the same thing, pretends to believe, that although a long course of study is necessary to fit a man for the pursuit of any civil profession, yet any one can become a good officer by putting on a military coat-that the change of dress can produce as wonderful an alteration in the character of the man more wonderful than that of the colors of the chameleon. The climate of Spitsbergen and Arabia are not more different than the characteristics of a Civil and Military man, and as well might we expect that climates to change in an hour as to see a citizen become a good officer without years of training.” George B. McClellan McClellan to his father complaining about Volunteer Officers Feb 14 1847 From The Mexican War Diary and Correspondence of George B. McClellan by George B. McClellan and Thomas W. Cutrer. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009. 72
“expressed himself as being very much pleased with the results of my summer’s work, & the manner in which it had been conducted.” George B. McClellan McClellan in a letter describing Secy of War Jefferson Davis’s pleasure in McCLellan’s recon of Santo Domingo From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 8
“Have just finished my reply to his Excellency! It is perfectly sickening to deal with such people”.I get more sick of them every day, for every day brings with it only additional proofs of their hypocrisy, knavery, and folly-well, wll, I ought not to write in this way, for they may be right and I entirely wrong.” George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife after he learns that McDowell’s troops wont be sent May 25 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 115
“Hurrah! Aint I glad I’m alive. I tell you what, one cant tell what fine fun it is to live until he has been through about six battle!” George B. McClellan McClellan in a letter to his mother about his happiness that he served honorably Oct 24 1847 From The Mexican War Diary and Correspondence of George B. McClellan by George B. McClellan and Thomas W. Cutrer. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009. 133
“I am aware of the fact that under ordinary circumstances a general is expected to risk a battle if he has a reasonable prospect of success; but at this critical juncture I should have had a narrow view of the condition of the country had been willing to hazard another battle with less than an absolute assurance of success. At that moment – Virginia lost, Washington menaced, Maryland invaded- the national cause could afford no risks of defeat. One battle lost and almost all would have been lost. Lee’s army might have marched, as it pleased, on Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, or New York. It could have levied its supplies from a fertile and undevastated country, extorted tribute from wealthy and populous cities, and nowhere east of the Alleghenies was there another organized force able to arrest its march.” George B. McClellan McClellan’s reasons for not resuming the attack on September 18th From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 297
“I am clear that one of two courses should be adopted: First to concentrate all our available forces to open commuications with Pope; Second to leave Pope to get out of his scrape, and at once use all our means to make the capital perfectly safe. No middle ground will now answer. Tell me what you wish me to do, and I will do all in my power to accomplish it. I wish to know what my orders and authority are. I ask for nothing, but will obey whatever orders you give. I only ask a prompt decision that i may at once five the necessary orders. It will not do to delay longer.” George B. McClellan McClellan to Lincoln Aug 29 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 212
“I am induced to believe that the enemy has at least 100,000 men in our front.” George B. McClellan McClellan in a letter to Scott estimating the strength of the Confederates in his front Aug 8 1861 From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 12
“I am left in command of nothing-a command I feel fully competent to exercise, & to which I can do full justice” George B. McClellan McClellan in a letter to his wife on his mood as the Battle of Second Manassas is fought Aug 30 1862 From To Antietam Creek by D. Scott Hartwig. Baltimore:The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012 41
“I am ready to afford you any assistance in my power, but you will readily perceive how difficult an undefined position, such as I now hold, must be. At wat hour in the orning can I see you alone, either at your house of the office? George B. McClellan McClellan to Halleck Aug 31 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 218
“I am sure that you will agree with me that the true defense of Washington consists in a rapid and heavy blow given by this army upon Richmond.” George B. McClellan McClellan to Halleck Jul 26 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 189
“I am tired of the sickening sight of the battlefield with its mangled corpses & poor suffering wounded” Victory has no charms for me when purchsed at such cost” George B. McClellan McClellan describing the battlefield Jun 1862 From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 196
“I am to watch over you as a parent over his children; and you know that your General loves you from the depths of his heart” George B. McClellan An address by McClellan to the Army of the Potomac Mar 13 1862 From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 166
“I am well but worn out-no sleep for many days.   We have been fighting for many days & are still at it. I still hope to save the army.” George B. McClellan McClellan in a letter to his wife expressing his fatigue in the midst of the Seven Days Jun 30 1862 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 227
“I ask of you, for my sake that of the country & of the old Army of the Potomac thay you and all my friends will lend the fullest & most cordial cooperation to Genl. Pope. George B. McClellan McClellan in a letter to Porter urging cooperation with Pope From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 268
“I believe I have triumphed!! Now they are in trouble they seem to want he ‘Quaker,’ the ‘procrastinator,’ the ‘coward’ & the ‘Traitor.'” George B. McClellan McClellan in a letter to his wife as the Second Manassas Campaign unfolds Aug 21 1862 From To Antietam Creek by D. Scott Hartwig. Baltimore:The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012 37
“I believe I have triumphed!!Just received a telegram from Halleck stating that Pope and Burnside are very hard pressed.” George B. McClellan McClellan in a letter to his wife Aug 21 1862 From The Secret War for the Union by Edwin C. Fishel. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1996. 206
“I came down here with high hopes, with pleasing anticipations of distinction”and acquiring a name and reputation as a stepping stone to a still greater eminence in some future and greater war.” George B. McClellan McClellan describing his aspirations for the Mexican War. Diary of George B. McClellan, pp16-18 From Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters by Elizabeth Brown Pryor. New York: Penguin Group, 2007. 170
“I can do it all” George B. McClellan McClellan responding to Lincoln’s offer to support him as Commander in Chief of the Army Nov 1 1861 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 144
“I cannot express to you the pain & mortification I have experienced today in listening to the distant sound of the firing of my men”If it is not deemed best to entrust me with the command even of my own army, I simply ask to be permitted to share ther fate on the field of battle.” George B. McClellan McClellan pleads with Hallect to be allowed to go to his army then fighting at 2nd Manassas Aug 30 1862 From To Antietam Creek by D. Scott Hartwig. Baltimore:The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012 4
“I cant tell you how disgusted I am becoming with these wretched politicians”.I presume I shall have to go after [the Confederates] when I get ready; but this getting ready is slow work with such an administration. I wish I were well out of it. George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife Oct 2, 1861 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 33
“I cant tell you how disgusted I am becoming with these wretched politicians.” George B. McClellan McCLellan in a letter to his wife From How the North Won by Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones. Urbana:   University of Illinois Press 1983. 80
“I do not know whether he is falling back to an interior position or crossing the river.” George B. McClellan McClellan in a wire to Washington at 8:30 AM regarding the actions of the Confederates. Sep 19 1862 From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 304
“I don”t care much for anybody’s opinion as long as I am in the right” George B. McClellan GBM in letter to brother John Mar 1851 From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 30
“I don”t think that I am of a quarrelsome disposition”but I do have the luck of getting into more trouble than any dozen other officers” George B. McClellan GBM in letter to sister Maria Apr 1851 From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 29
“I feel easy now. Thank you”” George B. McClellan Last words Oct 28 1885 From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 401
“I feel like a fool here, sucking my thumbs and doing nothing but what ought to be done by junior officers. I leave it all in the hands of the Almighty. I will try to do my best in the position that may be assigned to me.” George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife during the Second Battle of Bull Run Aug 31 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 217
“I feel perfectly confident that the enemy has abandoned Frederick, moving in tow directions, viz: On the Hagerstown and Farpers Ferry roads.” George B. McClellan McClellan’s assessment to Halleck of Lee’s actions before finding SO 191 Sep 12 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 242
“I feel so glad and proud that I have got safely through the battles in the war that it will take a heavy, heavy shock to make me despond. Thank God our name has not suffered so far in my hands.” George B. McClellan In a letter to John H.B. McClellan describes his happiness that he served honorably Oct 24 1847 From The Mexican War Diary and Correspondence of George B. McClellan by George B. McClellan and Thomas W. Cutrer. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009. 129
“I feel that I have done all that can be asked in twice saving the country”.I have at least the right to demand a guarantee that I shall not be interfered with.” George B. McClellan McClellan in a letter to his wife after Antietam Sep 20 1862 From Commander of All Lincoln’s Armies – A Life of General Henry W. Halleck by John Marszalek. Cambridge MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2004. 150
“I feel too blue and disgusted to write any more now, so I will smoke a cigar and try to get into a better humor. They have taken all my troops from me! I have even sent off my personal escort and camp-guard, and am here with a few orderlies and aides. I have been listening to the sound of a great battle in the distance. My men engaged in it and i away. I never felt worse in my life.” George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife during the Second Battle of Bull Run Aug 29 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 215
“I find myself in a new and strange position here-Presdt, Cabinet, Genl Scott and all deferring to me-by some strange operation of magic I seem to become the power of the land.” George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife describing the first days in Washington July 28, 2015 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 119
“I find the whole ‘Army’ just about as disorganized as was the Army of the Potomac when I assumed command-everything at sixes & sevensk-no system, no order-perfect chaos. I can & will reduce it to order-I will soon have it working smoothly.” George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife after assuming command of the entire US Amry Nov 2 1861 From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 14
“I fought the battles of South Mountain and Antietam with a halter around my neck; If the Army of the Potomac had been defeated and I had survived I would no doubt have been tried for assuming authority without orders and”probably been condemned to death.” George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife describing the battle of Antietam From “I Fought the Battle Splendidly.” by Wilson A. Greene. Antietam – Essays on the 1862 Maryland Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher Kent OH: Kent State University Press, 1989. 57
“I handed the President tonight a carefully considered plan for conducting the war on a large scale. I shall carry this thing on en grand and crush the rebels in one campaign.” George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife Aug 2 1861 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 26
“I have a terrible task on my hands now-perfect imbecility to correct. No means to act with, no authority-yet determined if possible to save the country”.Two of my corps will either save that fool Pope or be sacrificed.” George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife on the deteriorating situation around Washington as the Second Manassas Campaign unfolds Aug 29 1862 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 264
“I have been listening to the sound of a great battle in the distance. My men engaged in it and I away! I never felt worse in my life.” George B. McClellan McClellan in a letter to his wife Aug 30 1862 From To Antietam Creek by D. Scott Hartwig. Baltimore:The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012 4
“I have not felt authorized to instrude upon you personally in the midst of the deep distress I know you feel in the sad calamity that has befallen you and your family. Yet I cannot refrain from expressing to you the sincere and deep sympath I feel for you. You have been a kind true friend to me in the midst of the great cares and difficulties by which we have been surrounded during the past few months. Your confidence has upheld me when I should otherwise have felt weak. I wish now only ot assure you and your family that I have felt the deepest sympaty in your affliction. I am pushing to prompt completion the measures of which we have spoken, & I beg tha you will not allow military affairs to give you a moments trouble.” George B. McClellan McClellan extending his sympathy in the death of Lincoln’s son Willie From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 60
“I have now in my mind actively turned towards another plan of campaign that I do not think at all anticipated by the enemy nor many of our people.” George B. McClellan McClellan confiding to Lincoln about a new plan From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 16
“I have seen enough on this march to convince me that Volunteers and Volunteer Generals wont do. I have repeatedly seen a Secnd Lieutenant of the regular army exercise more authority over the Volunteers-officers and privates-than a Mustang General.” George B. McClellan McClellan in a diary entry on his disgust with volunteers. Jan 4 1847 From The Mexican War Diary and Correspondence of George B. McClellan by George B. McClellan and Thomas W. Cutrer. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009. 59
“I have sent up every man I have, pushed everything, & am left here flat on my back without any commnd whatever. It is dreadful to listen to the cannonading & not be able to take any part in it-but such is my fate.” George B. McClellan McClellan in a letter to his wife on his mood as the Battle of Second Manassas is fought Aug 30 1862 From To Antietam Creek by D. Scott Hartwig. Baltimore:The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012 41
“I have the satisfaction of knowing, that God has, in His mercy, a second time made me the instrument for saving the nation.” George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife describing the battle of Antietam From “The Maryland Campaign in Perspective.” by Gary W. Gallagher. Antietam – Essays on the 1862 Maryland Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher Kent OH: Kent State University Press, 1989. 86
“I have the whole Rebel force in front of me but am confident and no time shall be lost”.I think Lee has made a gross mistake and he will be serverely punished for it.The Arm is in motion as rapidly as possible. I hope for success if the plans of the Rebels remain unchanged….I have all the plans of the Rebels and will catch them in their own trap if my men are equal to the emergency….Will send you trophies.” George B. McClellan McClellan to Lincoln describing the situation on September 13, 1862 Sep 13 1862 From A Glorious Army by Jeffry D. Wert. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011. 119
“I have tried to do my best, honestly and faithfully, for my country. That I have to a certain extent failed I do not believe to be my fault, though my self conceit blinds me to many errors that others see.” George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife Jul 20 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 186
“I hope that God has given us a great success.   It is all in his hands, where I am content to leave it. Those in whose judgement I rely tell me that I fought the battle splendidly & that it was a masterpiece of art. I am well nigh tired out by anxiety & want of sleep… George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife the day after the battle. Sep 18 1862 From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 294
“I intend to be careful, and do as well as possible. Don’t let them hurry me, is all I ask.” George B. McClellan McClellan asking for Lincoln’s support to prepare carefully for the campaign Oct 10, 1861 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 34
“I know full well the capacity of the Generals opposed to me, for by singular chance they were once my most intimate friends.” George B. McClellan McClellan to Samuel L.M. Barlow Nov 8 1861 From The Mexican War Diary and Correspondence of George B. McClellan by George B. McClellan and Thomas W. Cutrer. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009. 179
“I presume Pope is having his hands quite full today; is probably being hard pressed by Jackson. I cannot help him in time, as I have not the means of transportation; but I foresee that the government will try to throw upon me the blame of their delays and blunders. So be it.” George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife discussing John Pope situation Aug 11 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 195
“I realize the dreadful responsibility on me-the lives of my men, the reputation of the country, and the success of our cause”.I shall feel my way and be very cautious, for I recognize the fact that everything requires success in first operations. You need not be at all alarmed as to the result; God is on our side.” George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife Jul 2&5, 1861 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 13
“I saw yesterday Gen. Scott’s letter asking to be placed on the retired list and saying nothing about Halleck”.They propose to make me at once [General]-in-Chief of the army. I cannot get up any especial feeling about it. I feel the vast responsibility it imposes upon me. I feel a sense of relief at the prospect of having my own way untrammeled, but I cannot discover in my own heart one sympton of gratified vanity or ambition George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife on learning of his proposed elevation to Commander in Chief of the Army Oct 31 1861 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 37
“I shall carry this thing on ‘En grand’ and crush the rebels in one campaign”I will leave nothing to undone to gain it.” George B. McClellan McClellan in a letter to his wife concerning his strategy Aug 2 1861 From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 11
“I shall make the first battle mainly an artillery combat. As soon as I gain possession of the ‘Old Tavern’ I will push them in upon Richmond and behind their works; then I will bring up my heavy [siege] guns, shell the city, and carry it by assault.” George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife outlining his plans for the final assault on Richmond Jun 15 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 135
“I take it for granted that my orders will be as disagreeable as it is possible to make them, unless Pope is beaten, in which case they will want me to save Washington again. Nothing but their fears will induce them to give me any command of importance or to treat me otherwise than with discourtesy.” George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife on the changing situation Aug 23 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 204
“I think it should be wise to follow Capt. Lee’s advice, that is, to write to my sweetheart to take somebody else as I shall not return for at least ten years.” George B. McClellan McClellan decrying his long stay in Mexico in a letter to his mother Oct 24 1847 From The Mexican War Diary and Correspondence of George B. McClellan by George B. McClellan and Thomas W. Cutrer. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009. 131
“I think, they are pretty well scared in Washington, and probably with good reason. I am confident that the disposition to be made of me will depend entirely upon the state of their nerves in Washington. If they feel safe there I will no doubt be shelved….I…an not fond of being a target for the abuse and slander of all the rascals in the country. Well, we will continue to trust in God and feel certain that all is for the best.” George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife on the changing situation Aug 21 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 203
“I throw to one side, all the questions as to the past-political parties etc.-the Govt is in danger, our flag insulted & we must stand by it.” George B. McClellan McCLellan to a Porter shortly after the firing on Fort Sumter Apr 18 1861 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 91
“I urged him to follow a conservative course [as to slavery and emancipation], and supposed that he would do so. He more than once assured me that he was fully satisfied with my whole course from the beginning; that the only fault he could possibly find was that I was perhaps to prone to be sure that everything was ready before acting, but that my actions were all right when I started. I said to him that I thought a few experiments with those who acted before they were ready would probably convince him that in the end I consumed less time than they did. He told me that he regarded me as the only general in the service capable of organizing and commanding a large army, and that he would stand by me….He told me…that he would stand by me against “all comers”; that he wished me to continue my preparations for a new campaign, not to stir an inch until fully ready, and when ready to do what I thought best. He repeated that he was entirely satisfied with me; that I should be let alone; that he would stand by me. I have no doubt that he meant exactly what he said. He parted from me with the utmost cordiality.” George B. McClellan McClellan in a letter to his wife Oct 2 and 5 1862 Oct 2 & 5 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 300
“I was perfectly disgusted coming down the river. I found that every confounded Voluntario in the “Continental Army” ranked me-to be ranked and put aside for a soldier of yesterday, a miserable thing with buttons on it, that knows nothing whatsoever, is indeed too hard a case.” George B. McClellan McClellan in a diary entry on his disgust with volunteers. Dec 5 1846 From The Mexican War Diary and Correspondence of George B. McClellan by George B. McClellan and Thomas W. Cutrer. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009. 48
“I went to the Senate to get [a bill] through, and was quite overwhelmed by the congratulations I received and the respect with which I was treated”.They give me my way in everything, full swing and unbounded confidence. All tell me that I am responsible for the fate of the nation, and that all its resources shall be placed at my disposal. It is an immense task that I have on my hands, but I believe that I can accomplish it. When I was in the Senate chamber today and found those old men flocking around me; when I afterwards stood in the library, looking over the Capitol of our great nation, and saw the crowd gathering around me to stare at me, I began to feel how great the task committed to me. Oh! how sincerely I pray to God that I may be endowed with the wisdom and courage necessary to accomplish the work. Who would have thought when were   married, that I should so soon be called upon to save the country? George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife Jul 30 1861 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 25
“I will soon leave here on the wing for Richmond-which you may be sure I will take.” George B. McClellan McClellan in a letter to friend Samuel L. M. Barlow From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 20
“I will succeed but for the sake of the cause I must make a sure thing of it.” George B. McClellan McClellan to Samuel Barlow on the eve of Lee’s Seven Days battle Jun 23 1862 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 220
“I would really prefer fighting three battles to writing the report of one. You are necessarily combating “the vanity of every officer concerned.” George B. McClellan McClellan writing to his wife about the difficult in writng his official report From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 341
“If I am not reinforced”it is probable that I will be obliged to fight nearly double my numbers, strongly entrenched” George B. McClellan McClellan asking for reinforcements from Stanton May 1862 From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 186
“if possible repeat the manoeuvre of Cerro Gordo”no prospect of a brilliant victory shall induce me to depart from my intention of gaining success by manoeuvering rather than by fighting”.I am trying to follow a lesson long ago learned from him, ie. Not to move until I know that everything is ready, and then move with utost rapidity and energy….It would be exceedingly foolish to give way to impatience and advance before everything was prepared” George B. McClellan In a letter to E.D. Townsend, McClellan recalling Scott’s strategy at Cerro Gordo when he himself commands troops at Rich Mountain early in the civil war and wishes to avoid Gideon Pillows senseless headlong assaults Jul 5 1861 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 114
“If we were defeated the Army and the country would be lost” George B. McClellan McClellan describing his rationale for retreating after Gaines Mill From Cavalryman of the Lost Cause by Jeffry D. Wert. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2008. 110
“In the arrangement and conduct of campaigns the direction should be left to professional soldiers. A statesman may, perhaps, be more competent than a soldier to determine the political objects and direction of a campaign; but those once decided upon, everything should be left to the responsible military head, without interference from civilians. In no other manner is success probable. The meddling of individual members of committees of Congress with subjects which, from lack of experience, they are of course incapable of comprehending, and which they are apt to view through the distorted medium of p artisan or personal prejudice, can do no good, and is certain to produce incalculable mischief.” George B. McClellan In his offical report, McClellaan expounds on the role of politicians in military operations From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 324
“Indications that enemy intend fighting at Richmond. Policy seems to be to concentrate everything there. They hold central position, and will seek to meet us while divided. I think we are committing a great military error in having so many independent columns. The great battle should be fought by our troops in mass; then divide if necessary.” George B. McClellan McClellan to Seward May 18 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 111
“It has always been my opinion that the true course in conducting military operations, is to make no movement until the preparations are as complete as circumstances permit, and never to fight a battle without some definite object worth the probable loss” George B. McClellan Draft of McClellan’s memoirs McClellan’s Own Story From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 293
“it has become necessary to crush a population sufficiently numerous, intelligent, and warlike to constitute a nation. We have not only to defeat their armed and organized forces in the field but to display such an overwhelming strength, as will convince all our antagonists, especially those of the governing aristocratic class of the utter impossiblity of resistance.” George B. McClellan McClellan describing to Lincoln his plan for subjugating the South Aug 2 1861 From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 11
“It is a great mistake to suppose that I had the cordial support of Gen. Scott; the contrary was too much the case”.Gen Scott was no longer himself when the war broke out. The weight of years and great bodily suffering pressed heavily upon him, and really rendered him incapaable of performing the duties of his station. For some time before he retired he was simply an obstacle, and a very serious one, in the way of active work. he did not wish me to succeed him as general-in-chief, but desired that place for Halleck, and long witheld his reirement that Halleck might arrive East and fall hier to his place.” George B. McClellan McClellan in the postwar period describes his poor relation with General Scott From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 22
“It is much easier to conduct campaigns and fight battles than to write their history-at least I find it so.” George B. McClellan McClellan to Edward Everett while compiling his Report on the Organization of the Army of the Potomac, and Its Campaigns in Virginia and Maryland Feb 20 1863 From A Diary of Battle The Personal Journals of Colonel Charles S. Wainright 1861-1865 by Charles S. Wainwright edited by Allan Nevins. New York:   De Capo Press, 1998. 332
“It probably would have been better for me personally had my promotion been delayed a year or more” George B. McClellan From McClellan’s Own Story by George B. McClellan From Mr. Lincoln’s Army by Bruce Catton. New York: Anchor Books 1990. 55
“Mason, Foster, and I think Stevens, relieved Captain Lee, Beauregard, Smith and myself at three A.M.” George B. McClellan Diary Entry McClellan working with future Confederate Army leaders on the artillery batteries for the siege of Vera Cruz Mar 19 1847 From The Mexican War Diary and Correspondence of George B. McClellan by George B. McClellan and Thomas W. Cutrer. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009. 92
“My dear Sir, I have not felt authorized to intrude upon you personally in the midst of the deep distress I know you feel in the sad calamity that has befallen you &: your family-yet I cannot refrain from expressing to you the sincere & deep sympathy I feel for you. You have been a kind true friend to me in the midst of the great cares and difficulties by which we have been surrounded during the past few months – your confidence has upheld me when I should otherwise have felt weak. I wish now only to assure you & your family that I have felt the deepest sympathy in your affliction. I am pushing to prompt completeness the measures of which we have spoken & beg that you will not allow military affairs to give you one moment’s trouble-but that you will rest assured that nothing shall be left undone to follow up the successes that have been such an auspicious commencement of our new campaign. I am very sincerely & respectfullly friend and obdient servnt George B. McClellan The president’s s eleven year old son Willie had died of typhoid fever on February 20 1862 Feb 22 1862 From The Civil War Papers of George B. McClellan. By George B. McClellan, Ed. Stephen W. Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1989. 187
“My intention is simply this-I will pay no attention to popular clamor-quietly, & quickly as possible, make this Army strong enough & efficient enough to give me a reasonable certainty that, if I am able to handle the form, I will win the first battle.” George B. McClellan McClellan in a letter to friend Nov 7 1861 From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 15
“No feeling of self-interest or ambition should ever prevent me from devoting myself to your service”.I shall work just as cheerfully as before, and no consideration of self will in any manner interfere with the discharge of public duties” George B. McClellan McClellan replies to Lincoln’s demotion from Commander in Chief Mar 12 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 69
“Now they are in trouble they seem to want the ‘Quaker,’ the ‘procrastinator,’ the ‘coward’ and the ‘traitor.’ Bien”” George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife on the changing situation Aug 21 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 203
“One of our chief difficulties consists in the scarcity of instructed staff officers, it is simply impossible to improvise staff officers-mere intelligence & courage will not answer-a good military education is absolutely necessary.” George B. McClellan McClellan to Cameron on the need for trained staff officers Nov 1861 From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 46
“Pleasanton is driving the enemy across the river. Our victory is complete. The enemy is driven back into Virginia. Maryland and Pennsylvania are now safe.” George B. McClellan Sep 19 1862 From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 304
“preparations are slow and I have an infinite deal to do before my army is really ready to fight a great battle”.[N]one will be fought until I advance, and that I will not do until I am fully ready-so soon as I feel that my army is well organized and well disciplined and strong enough, I will advance.” George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife on preparations to move the Army Oct 6 1861 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 136
“pursuing a rigidly protective policy as to private property and unarmed persons, and a lenient course as to private soldiers, we may well hope for a permanent restoration of a peace-full Union.” George B. McClellan McClellan describing to Lincoln his plan for subjugating the South Aug 2 1861 From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 11
“queer sort of town. Well enough for Texas, but would not be thought much of in the States.” George B. McClellan McClellan while stationed in Texas in 1852 describing Galveston From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 60
“some quiet young woman of moral turn of mind, who can sew on buttons, look happy when I come home, drive off my neuralgia, & make herself generally useful.” George B. McClellan McClellan describing in a letter what he expected out of a dull content life as a railroad executive Dec 5 1859 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 80
“Spectacle yesterday was the grandest I could conceive of-nothing could be more sublime. Those in whose judgement I rely, tell me that I fought the battle splendidly & that it was a masterpiece of art.” George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife describing the battle of Antietam Sep 18 1862 From Our Boys Did Nobly Schuylkill County Pennsylvania, Soldiers at the Battles of South Mountain and Antietam by John David Hoptak. John David Hoptak, 2009. 263
“Still entirely too indefinite to justify definite action.” George B. McClellan McClellan to Halleck describing his lack of knowledge about Lee early in the Maryland Campaign From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 88
“Such men as Duncan and Lee are kept down-they are sufficiently rewarded by an empty brevet, meaning nothing and doing them no good. But patterson, a rich old broker, Pillow, a twenty-fifth rate country lawyer, and such mena are our generals!” George B. McClellan McClellan to Sen Daniel Sturgeon complaining about the promotion system. Oct 30 1847 From The Mexican War Diary and Correspondence of George B. McClellan by George B. McClellan and Thomas W. Cutrer. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009. 135
“Tell General Sumner to risk nothing. I expect him to hold his present position at every cost. This is the great battle of the war and every man must do his duty”.Tell the general to crowd every man and gun into the ranks, and, if he thinks it practicable, he may advance Franklin to carry the woods in front, holding he rest of the line with his own command, assisted by those of Banks and Hooker.” George B. McClellan McClellan to Lt Wilson replying to Sumner’s request for clarification to his earlier order. Sep 17 1862 From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 271
“that if the President had confidence in me it was not right or necessary to entrust my designs to the judgement of others,”that no general commanding an army would willingly submit his plans to the judgement of such an assembly in which some were incompetent to for a valuable opinion, and others incapable of keeping a secret.” George B. McClellan At a Cabinet Meeting, McClellan in response to a request by Lincoln to describe his plan From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 18
“the beach is covered with wagons, boats, tents, jackasses, Irishmen, Dutchmen, and every thing you can think of.” George B. McClellan McClellan to Arthur and Mary McClellan near Vera Cruz reporting on the contents of the beach near Anton Lizardo Apr 2 1847 From The Mexican War Diary and Correspondence of George B. McClellan by George B. McClellan and Thomas W. Cutrer. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009. 99
“The certainty that the enemy had”at ascertained places, other troops than those known in detail, in considerable numbers necessarily caused in my estimates additions to be made for the sake of that safety, to the known quantities; which may have created the impression that the force of the enemy in front of Washington was exaggerated.” George B. McClellan McClellan in a paper prepared fo but omtted from the final r eport of his command of the Army of the Potomac From The Secret War for the Union by Edwin C. Fishel. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1996. 106
“The design was to make the main attack upon the enemy’s left-at least to create a diversion in favor of the main attack, with the hope of something more by assailing the enemy’s right-and, as soon as one or both of the flank movements were fully successful, to attack their center with any reserve I might then have on hand.” George B. McClellan McClellan in his initial report explains his plan of attack OR 19 (1) 30
“The duties of my position are such as often to make it necessary for me to remain in the rear-an awful thing” George B. McClellan GBM ltr to wife Ellen describing 7 Days Battles Jul 1862 From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 215
“the enemy have from 3 to 4 times my force-the Presdt is an idiot, the old general in his dotage-they cannot wr will not see the true state of affairs.” George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife Aug 16 1861 From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 12
“The force I have recommended is large; the expense is great. It is possible that a smaller force might accomplish the object in view, but I understand it to be the purpose of this great nation to reestablish the power of the Government and restore peace to its citizens in the shortest time.” George B. McClellan McClellan’s Memorandum to the President whre he outlines his strategy Aug 2 1861 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 27
“the Government has not sustained this army”.If I save this army now”I own no thanks to you or any other persons in Washington. You have done your best to sacrifice this army.” George B. McClellan McClellan in a telegram to Stanton in the midst of the Seven Days battle Jun 27 1862 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 223
“The momentous consequences involved in the struggle of the next few days impel me, at the risk of being considered slow and overcautious, to most earestly recommend that every availaable man at once be added to this army”.If we should be so unfortunate, as to meet with defeat, our country is at their mercy.” George B. McClellan McClellan requests reinforcements from Halleck Sep 11 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 240
“The night however, presented serious questions, morning brought with it grave responsibilities. To renew the attack again on the 18th or to defer it, with the chance of the enemy’s retirement after a day of suspense, were the questions before me. A careful and anxious survey of the condition of my command, and my knowledge of the enemy’s force and position, failed to impress me with any reasonable certainty of success if I renewed the attack without reinforcing columns. A view of the shattered state of some of the corps sufficed to deter me from pressing them into immediate action, and I felt that my duty to the army and the country forbade the risks involved in a hasty movement which might result in the loss of what had been gained the previous day. Impelled by this consideration, I awaited the arrival of my reinforcements, taking advantage of the occasion to collect together the dispersed, give rest to the fatigued, and remove the wounded. George B. McClellan In his preliminary report, McClellan addresses his decision not to attack on Sep 18 Oct 15, 1862 OR 19 (1) 32
“the people of the South should understand that we are not making war upon the institution of slavery, but that if they submit to the Constitution and laws of the Union they will be protected in their constitutional rights of every nature.” George B. McClellan McClellan in a letter to Halleck describing his politics Aug 1 1862 From Commander of All Lincoln’s Armies – A Life of General Henry W. Halleck by John Marszalek. Cambridge MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2004. 139
“The remedy for political error if any are committed”to to be found only in the action of the people at the polls.” George B. McClellan McClellan after the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation urgint the army to support the government. From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 349
“There is a great deal of hardship, but we have our own fun. If we have to get up and start long before daybreak, we make up for it when we gather around the campfires at night. You never saw such a merry set as we are. No care, no trouble, we criticize the Generals, laugh ansd swear at the mustangs and volunteers, smoke our cigars and drink our brandy-when we have any- go without when we have none. A Regular officer has no habits-it is immaterial to him whether he gets up at 2A.M. or 9-or whether he don’t go to bed at all. When on a march we get up at 2 or 3, when we halt, we snooze it till 8 or 9.   When we have cigars, we smoke them, when we have none, we go without. When we have brandy, we drink it, when we have none, we make it up by laughing at our predicament. That is the way we have.” George B. McClellan McClellan in a letter to his mother reports on the life of a Regular Officer. Feb 4 1847 From The Mexican War Diary and Correspondence of George B. McClellan by George B. McClellan and Thomas W. Cutrer. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009. 68
“There is many a good fellow that wears the shoulder straps going under the sod before this thing is over”.If I should get knocked on the head, Mr. President, you will put another man immediately into my shoes.” George B. McClellan McClellan comforting Abraham Lincoln on the loss of his friend Edward Baker at Ball’s Bluff Oct 22 1861 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 140
“There is many a good fellow that wears the shoulder-straps going under the sod before this thing is over. There is no loss too great to be repaired. If I should get knocked on the head, Mr. President, you will put another man immediately into my shoes.” George B. McClellan McClellan to Lincoln on the night of the Balls Bluff disaster and death of Lincoln’s friend Colonel Edward Baker Oct 21 1861 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 35
“There is only one safe rule in war-i.e. to decide what is the very worst thing that can happen to you and prepare to meet it.” George B. McClellan McClellan to Gov Wm Dennison concerning the need to prepare for every contingency April 18 1861 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 93
“They are committing a fatal error in withdrawing me from here, and the future will show it. I thin the result of their machination will be that Pope will be badly thrashed within ten days, and that they will be very glad to turn over the redemption of their affairs to me.” George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife discussing John Pope situation Aug 10 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 195
“They will be very glad to turn their affairs over to me.” George B. McClellan McClellan in a letter to his wife as the crisis unfolds during the Second Manassas Campaign From The Secret War for the Union by Edwin C. Fishel. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1996. 207
“Thus far, our success is complete but let us follow up closely but warily. Attack whenever you see a fair chance of success.” George B. McClellan McClellan in orders to Franklin after the Battle of South Mountain Sep 15 1862 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 303
“to prone to be sure that everything was ready before acting” George B. McClellan McClellan recalls that Lincoln offered this criticism of him during his visit after the battle but that was all. From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 346
“to speak frankly & the occasion requires it, there appears to be a total absence of brains & I fear the total destruction of the Army.” George B. McClellan McClellan to Halleck describing the state of affairs at the end of the Second Bull Run campaign Aug 31 1862 From Commander of All Lincoln’s Armies – A Life of General Henry W. Halleck by John Marszalek. Cambridge MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2004. 146
“To speak frankly-and the occasion requires it-there appears to be a total absence of brains, and I fear the total destruction of the army”.The occasion is grave and demands grave measures. The question is the salvation of the country.” George B. McClellan McClellan to Halleck Aug 31 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 218
“to take command of [Washington] defensed, expressly limiting my jurisdiction to the works and their garrisons, and prohibiting me from exercising any control over the troops actively engaged in fron under General Pope.” George B. McClellan McClellan’s recollection of his assignment of responsibilites by Halleck Sep 1 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 220
“To the Army of the Potomac and bless the day when I shall return to it.” George B. McClellan McClellan’f final champagne toast to his staff after his relief From Counter-Thrust From the Peninsula to the Antietam by Benjamin Franklin Cooling. Lincoln: University of Nebraska 2007. 288
“Under the War Department order of yesterday I have no control over anything except my staff, some 100 men in my camp here, and the few remaining near Fort Monroe.” George B. McClellan McClellan to Halleck clarifying his status during the Battle of Second Bull Run Aug 31, 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 217
“unless I command every picket & lead every column I cannot be sure of success.” George B. McClellan McClellan on his perceived need to oversee everything. From Burnside’s Bridge The Climactic Struggle of the 2nd and 20th Georgia at Antietam Creek by Phillip T. Tucker. Mechanicsburg: Stackpole, 2000. 74
“Until I know what my command & position are to be, & whether you still intend to place me in the command indicated in your first letter to me, & orally through Genl Burnside at the Chickahominy I cannot decide where I can be of most use. If your determination is unchanged I ought to go to Alexandria at once. Please define my position and duties.” George B. McClellan McClellan wires Halleck asking for clarification on his duties and responsibilities Aug 24 1862 From To Antietam Creek by D. Scott Hartwig. Baltimore:The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012 37
“Until my own sphere of command and responsibility was extended from the Army of the Potomac to all the armies, I supposed that some general plan of operations existed, but now learned that there was none such, and that utter disorganization and want of preparation pervaded the Western Armies. Even if the Army of the Potomac had been in condition to undertake a campaign in the autumn of 1861, the backward state of affairs in the West would have made it unwise to do so; for on no sound military principle could it be regarded as proper to operation on one line alone while all was quiescent on the others, as such a course would have enabled the enemy to concentrate everything on the one active army.” George B. McClellan McClellan in his memoirs on the state of affairs when he became General in Chief of the Army From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 15
“We are hard pressed by superior numbers”.My army has behaved superbly and have done all that men could do. If none of us escape weshall at least have done honor to the country. I shall do my best ot save the Army.” George B. McClellan McClellan to Stanton in the midst of the Seven Days Battles Jun 30 1862 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 227
“We fought yesterday a terrible battle against the entire rebel army. The battle continued fourteen hours; the fighting on both sides was superb. The general result was in our favor; that is to say, we gained a great deal of ground and held it. It was a success but whether a decided victory depends on what occurs today.” George B. McClellan George McClellan to his wife on the outcome of the battle Sep 18 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 294
“We ought immediately to concentrate everything”.All minor considerations should be thrown to one side and allour energies and means directed towards the defeat of Johnston’s army in front of Richmond.” George B. McClellan McClellan to Stanton urging concentration of forces May 8 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 105
“Well Burnside, I turn over command to you.” George B. McClellan George McClellan upon learning of his relief from command of the Army of the Potomac Nov 7 1862 From A Glorious Army by Jeffry D. Wert. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011. 159
“When I returned yesterday, after a long ride, I was obliged to attend a meetig of the cabinet at eight p.m., and was bored and annoyed. There are some of the greatest geese in the Cabinet I have ever seei-enough to tax the patience of Job.” George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife describing a cabinet Oct 10 1861 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 33
“With my usual impudence, I feel quite equal to the task.” George B. McClellan McClellan describing his new duties as Chief Engineer of the Illinois Central Railroad From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 68
“would go to the right to conduct the attack in person.” George B. McClellan Henry Hunt recalls McClellan saying this as he heads to the right to confer with Sumner and Franklin Sep 17 1862 From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 272
“You don”t know what a task has been imposed upon me! I have been obliged to do the best I could with the broken & discouraged fragments of two defeated armies defeated by no fault of mine – nothing but a desire to do my duty could have induced me to accept the command under such circumstances. George B. McClellan McClellan to his wife describing his challenge Sep 2 1862 From The Battle of South Mountain by John David Hoptak.   Charleston: The History Press, 2011. 26
“You may count on our making every effort to relieve you”.Hold out to the last.” George B. McClellan McClellan urges Miles to hold out at Harpers Ferry Sep 14 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 248
“and I hear that officers and men all declare that they will fight under no one but “Our George,” as the scamps have taken it into their heads to call me. I ought to take good care of these men, for I believe they love me from the bottom of their hearts. I can see it in their faces when I pass among them.” George B. McClellan McClellan in a letter to his wife describing the eminent retirement of General Scott Oct 30 1861 From The Civil War Papers of George B. McClellan. By George McClellan, Ed. Stephen W. Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1989. 112-113
“We attacked a large force of the enemy yesterday occupying a strong pass four miles west of Middletown. Our troops old and new regiments behaved most valiantly & gained a signal victory. R.E. Lee in command. The Rebels routed and retreating in disorder this morning. We are pursuing and taking many prisoners.”   September 15, 1862, George B. McClellan George B. McClellan in a telegram to retired Brevet Lieutenant General Winfield Scott. From The Civil War Papers of George B. McClellan. Ed. Stephen W. Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1989. 464
“I hope to God this will give us McClellan.” George Bayard Bayard in a letter to his father after the Second Battle of Manassas From Counter-Thrust From the Peninsula to the Antietam by Benjamin Franklin Cooling. Lincoln: University of Nebraska 2007. 135
“I have more confidence in General McClellan than in any man alive.” George Custer February 5, 1909 From http://www.georgebmcclellan.org/
“everyone who returns to camp says that McClellan’s position is most precarious, and that if he does not advance soon and do something brilliant, he will be superseded.” George G. Meade Meade in a letter to his wifeabout the precariousness of McClellan’s position after the Battle of Antietam From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 358
“Had their been no McClellan, there would have been no Grant; for the army made no essential improvements under any of his successors.” George G. Meade Meade on the impact of George McClellan From A Diary of Battle The Personal Journals of Colonel Charles S. Wainright 1861-1865 by Charles S. Wainwright edited by Allan Nevins. New York:   De Capo Press, 1998. 3
“I think myself he errs on the side of prudence and caution, and that a little more rashness on his part would improve his generalship.” George G. Meade Meade to his wife, Oct 12 1862 Oct 12 1862 From George Gordon Meade and the War in the East by Ethan S. Rause.   Abilene: McWhiney Founation Press, 2003. 46
“This removal now proves conclusively that the cause is political, and the date of the order, November 5 (the day after the New York election) confirms it.” George G. Meade Meade on the removal of McClellan and the timing of it after the election. From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 64
“tired of playing this war without risks. We must encounter risks, if we fight, and we cannot carry on war without fighting.   That was McClellan’s vice. He was always waiting to have everything just as he wanted it before he would attack” George G. Meade Meade discussing McClellan’s approach Mar 17 1863 From How the North Won by Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones. Urbana:   University of Illinois Press 1983. 466
“very unfortunate in his friends and backers” George G. Meade Meade to his wife Oct 7 1864 discussing McCLellan’s run for president Oct 7 1864 From George Gordon Meade and the War in the East by Ethan S. Rause.   Abilene: McWhiney Founation Press, 2003. 150
“will be a mortifying affair to McClellan, and will do him, I fear, serious injury.” George G. Meade Meade describing the effect of Stuart’s Pennsylvania raid in October 1862 From A Glorious Army by Jeffry D. Wert. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011. 157
“You have secluded yourself from political associations and interests. I an others who know you understand this;,, but the country don”t. It is a popular war”you do not bow to popular feeling.” George Gibbs Gibbs a longtime friend of McClellan warned McClellan in a letter he needed to reassure moderate and conservative Republicans that he was not an agent of the Democrats From To Antietam Creek by D. Scott Hartwig. Baltimore:The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012 14
“Here, upon our arrival, we found General McClellan sitting upon his horse in the road”.As each organization passed the general, the men became apparently forgetful of everything but their love for him. They cheered and cheered again, until they became so hoarse they could cheer no longer. It seemed as if an intermission had been declared in order that a reception might be tendered to the general….A great crowd continually surrounded him, and the most extravagant demonstrations were indulged in. Hundreds even hugged the horse’s legs and caressed his head and mane. While the troops were thus surging by, the general continually pointed with his finger to the gap in the mountain through which our path lay. It was like a great scene in a play, with the roar of the guns for an accompaniment.” George Kimball A Union soldier describes the dramatic scene of McClellan at South Mountain From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 254
“The scene that followed [the announcement of McClellan’s return] can be more easily imagined than described. From extreme sadness we passed in a twinkling to a delirium of delight. A deliverer had come.” George Kimball George Kimball of the 12th Mass. reacting to the news of McClellan’s return to command From To Antietam Creek by D. Scott Hartwig. Baltimore:The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012 47
“McClellan’s style of work”to entrench himself, advance five miles, and then spend three weeks getting up another line of fieldworks”.Perhaps no one whose specialite’ is military engineering can be a great captain and handle men in the field with decision.” George Templeton Strong Strong, expressing impatience with the slow movement of McClellan From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 239
“An intelligent engineer and officer”to fight is not his forte”the study of military operations interests and amuses him”[liked] show, parade and power”wishes to outgeneral the rebels, but not to kill and destroy them.” Gideon Welles Welles in his diary succinctly describes McClellan From Counter-Thrust From the Peninsula to the Antietam by Benjamin Franklin Cooling. Lincoln: University of Nebraska 2007. 184
“can be trusted to act on the defensive, but he is troubled with the ‘slows’ and good for nothing for an onward movement. Gideon Welles Welles in his diary recalling the cabinet meeting and Lincoln’s words about McClellan Sep 2 1862 From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 24
“had beyond any officer the confidence of the army. Though deficient in the positive qualities necessary for an energetic commander, his organizing powers could be made temporarily available till the troops were rallied.” Gideon Welles Welles in his diary recalling the cabinet meeting and Lincoln’s words about McClellan Sep 2 1862 From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 24
“He [Lincoln] knew full well the infirmities of McClellan, who was not an affirmative man; was worth little for onward movement; but beyond any other officer he had the confidence of the army, and he could more efficiently and speedily reorganize it and put it into condition than any other general….For an active fighting general he was sorry to say McClellan was a failure; he the ‘slows’; was never ready for battle, and probably never would be; but for this exigency, when organization and defense were needed, he considered him the best man for the service, and the country must have the benefits of his talents though he had behaved badly.” Gideon Welles Welles in his diary recalling the cabinet meeting and Lincoln’s rationale for restoring McClellan to command of the Army of the Potomac From The Maryland Campaign of September 1862 Vol. 1 South Mountain. Edited by Tom Clemens. New York: Savas Beatie, 2010. 126
“my faith in McClellan’s energy and reliability was shaken nine months ago; that as early as last December had,”xpressed my disappointment in the man.” Gideon Welles Welles responding in part to Stanton’s letter of no confidence in McClellan From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 24
“Some of our best educated officers have no facility to govern, control and direct an army in offensive warfare. We have many talented and capable engineers; good officers in some respects, but without audacity and in that respect almost utterly deficient as commanders.” Gideon Welles Welles commenting after 2nd Bull Run August 1862 From Until Antietam The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army by Jack Mason. Carbondale IL: Southern Illinois Press, 2009. 169
“Stanton makes an occasional sneering remark, Chase now and then a better one. There is no abatement of hostility toward McClellan.” Gideon Welles Welles records the feeling of the Cabinet toward McClellan after the Battle of Antietam Sep 21 1862 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 343
“that we overrate our own strength and underestimate the Rebels, this has been the talk of McClellan, which none of us have believed.” Gideon Welles Welles in his diary about McClellan’s overestimation of the enemy Aug 31 1862 From The Secret War for the Union by Edwin C. Fishel. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1996. 581
“To attack or advance with energy and power is not in him”He likes to show, parade, andpower..Wishes to outgeneral the rebels, but not to kill and destroy them.” Gideon Welles Welles offers a summary of McClellan in his diary From To Antietam Creek by D. Scott Hartwig. Baltimore:The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012 30
“was overcautious, he always hurt them more than any of the other Union generals when he did fight.” Gordon Bradwell Bradwell, a Georgian soldier later remembers McClellan and welcomed the change From Counter-Thrust From the Peninsula to the Antietam by Benjamin Franklin Cooling. Lincoln: University of Nebraska 2007. 289
“The men are right in sentiment, though many leading officers are McClellanized.” Grenville M. Dodge A western general who visits Grant’s HQ From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 46
“But you cannot delay the operations of the army for these drafts”.The country is becoming very impatient at the want of activity. There is a decided want of legs in your troops. They have too much immobility”.not sufficiently exercised in marching; they lie still in camp too long…to make them good and efficient soldiers.” Henry Halleck Halleck in a letter to McClellan after the Battle of Antietam urging McClellan to move From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 347
“Gen. McClellan is in many respects a most excellent and valuable man, but he does not understand strategy and should never plan a campaign”his friends have excited his jealousy”I did sustain him, and in justice to me and to the country, he ought now to sustain me.   I hope he will but I doubt it.” Henry Halleck Halleck describing McClellan in a letter to his wife. Jul 28 1862 From Commander of All Lincoln’s Armies – A Life of General Henry W. Halleck by John Marszalek. Cambridge MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2004. 138
“get General McClellan to move. He has now lain still twenty days since the battle of Antietam and I cannot persuade him to advance an inch. It puts me out of all patience.” Henry Halleck Halleck to his wife complaining on McClellan’s lack of movement after Antietam Oct 7 1862 From How the North Won by Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones. Urbana:   University of Illinois Press 1983. 266
“It requires the lever of Archimedes to move this inert mass. I have tried my best, but without success.” Henry Halleck Halleck to Hamilton R. Gamble speaking of the Army of the Potomac Oct 30 1862 From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 332
“McClellan was the ablest military man in the world.” Henry Halleck Halleck to J.N. Alsop, a friend of McClellan as he rode the train east to assume command Jul 1862 From Commander of All Lincoln’s Armies – A Life of General Henry W. Halleck by John Marszalek. Cambridge MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2004. 131
“The President does not expect impossibilities, but he is very anxious that all this good weather should not be wasted in inactivity.” Henry Halleck Halleck to McClellan urging him to move. From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 359
“He seemed to be everywhere…Every earthwork thrown up, every gun mounted, every position taken, every regiment moved, and almost every gun fired, are guided by his personal direction” Henry J. Raymond Written by NY Times editor Jun 1862 From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 202
“Nothing has yet been done today. McClellan is cautious and seems anxious to make a sure thing of it. What the events of the day may bring forth, I do not know. One thing is certain, it can result only in victory for us.” Henry Royer Capt Royer of the 96th Pennsylvania describes the Antietam battle. Sep 18 1862 From Our Boys Did Nobly Schuylkill County Pennsylvania, Soldiers at the Battles of South Mountain and Antietam by John David Hoptak. John David Hoptak, 2009. 262
“a good strategist, McClellan had an almost prescient grasp of the tactical realities. His organizational ability and his capacity to inspire the loyalty and affection of his troops well complemented these qualities. But as Johnston correctly realized, McClellan’s excessive caution and tendency to exaggerate difficulties virtually nullified all these outstanding attributes.” Herman Hattaway From How the North Won by Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones. Urbana:   University of Illinois Press 1983. 173
“The one-armed lift the wine to you, McClellan / And great Antietam’s cheers renew.” Herman Melville “The Victor of Antietam”) February 5, 1909 From http://www.georgebmcclellan.org/
“If anything can try the patience and courage of troops it must be their fighting all day for five consecutive days and then falling back every night.” Israel B. Richardson Richardson’s official report of the Seven Days Battles Jul 6 1862 From Until Antietam The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army by Jack Mason. Carbondale IL: Southern Illinois Press, 2009. 165
“With the exception of Major W.H. Taylor on General Lee’s staff, I know no one equal to him as an Assistant Adjutant General in the field.” J.E.B. Stuart Stuart recommending McClellan for promotion Jan 15 1864 From Cavalryman of the Lost Cause by Jeffry D. Wert. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2008. 328
“his manner of doing business impressed all with the belief that he knew what he was about.” Jacob Cox Cox’s impression of George McClellan From To Antietam Creek by D. Scott Hartwig. Baltimore:The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012 6
“His whole appearance was quiet and modest, but when drawn out he showed no lack of confidence in himself. Jacob Cox Cox meets McClellan for the first time Apr 23 1861 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 4
“I noted with satisfaction the cool and business-like aire with which he made his examination under fire.” Jacob Cox Cox describes McClellan’s reconnaisance of the terrain on September 15, 1862 Sep 15 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 261
“I was personally rejoiced at it. I was really attached to him, believed him to be, on the whole, the most accomplished officer I knew, and was warmly disposed to give hm loyal friendship and service.” Jacob Cox Jacob Cox reacting to the news of McClellan’s return to command From To Antietam Creek by D. Scott Hartwig. Baltimore:The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012 46
“McClellan showedthat he fully understood the difficulties there would be before him, and said no man could wholly master them at once, although he had confidence that if a few weeks time for preparation were given, he would be able to put the Ohio division into reasonable form for taking to the field.” Jacob Cox Cox and McClellan meet with Gov Dennison of Ohio on the challenges of mobilizing the forces From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 4
“was, at this time, a little depressed in manner, feeling keenly his loss ofpower and command, but maintaining a quiet dignity that became him better than any show of carelessness would have done. He used no bitter or harsh language in criticising others. Pope and McDowell he plainily disliked, and rated them low as to capacity for command; but he spoke of them without discourtesy or vilification.” Jacob Cox Cox describes McClellan’s state of mind during the Battle of Second Bull Run From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 218
“The fiction as to the strength of Lee’s forces is the most remarkable in the history of modern wars. Whether Mcclellan was the victim or the accomplice of the inventions of his ‘secret service’ we cannot tell. It is almost incredible that he should be deceived, except willingly.” Jacob D. Cox Cox addressing McClellan’s enemy estimates From The Secret War for the Union by Edwin C. Fishel. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1996. 583
“but one of the best that the world ever saw”prince of Generals”will yet vindicate his claim to be considered the greatest General of modern times. Jacob Miller Miller a Pennsylvanian talks about McClellan From Counter-Thrust From the Peninsula to the Antietam by Benjamin Franklin Cooling. Lincoln: University of Nebraska 2007. 67
“The hallucination that McClellan was not capable of serious work seemed to pervade the army, even to this moment of dreadful threatening.” James Longstreet Longstreet after the war describing his hesitation about fighting a battle in Maryland From The Maryland Campaign of September 1862 Vol. 1 South Mountain. Edited by Tom Clemens. New York: Savas Beatie, 2010. 294
McClellan “sat there with indecision stamped on every line of his countenance” John Beatty Describing McCLellan’s arrival at the Battle of Rich Mountain Jul 11, 1861 From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 90
“The Federal cavalry arm “had not yet fallen into the hands of those who knew th proper use to make of it” John C. Tidball “The Artillery Service in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-65” Journal of the Military Service Institution of the United States March 6, 1909 From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 307
“fight better under him than under anybody else.” John Gibbon Gibbon on the removal of McClellan From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 65
“it did my heart good to hear my brigade cheer when I told them he [McClellan] was in command. They were perfectly wild with delight hurled their caps in the air and showed the great enthusiasm, right within hearing, too of Genl. Pope who has turned out a complete failure.” John Gibbon Gibbon in a letter to his wife Sep 3 1862 From “John Gibbon and the Black Hat Brigade.” by Steven J. Wright.   Giants in Their Tall Black Hats – Essays on the Iron Brigade. Ed. Alan T. Nolan and Sharon Eggleston Vipond.   Single Grand Victory The First Campaign and Battle of Manassas. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998. 59
“There is but one opinion upon this subject among the troops and that is the Government has gone mad. It is the worse possible thing that could have been done and will be worth to the south as much as a victory.” John Gibbon Gibbon on the removal of McClellan From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 65
“There are those who insist that it is from incompetence that he has been removed. But the soldiers, who are not so steeped in prejudice that they can see nothing but party, claim he had submitted to one reduction after another of his forces until he has a smaller army than Lee although we are the attacking party. The soldiers believe he has accomplished nothing short of a miracle in saving his army.” John Haley Haley of th 17th Maine on McClellan’s removal From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 65
“Boys, McClellan is in command again! Three cheers!” John Hatch Hatch announcing McClellan’s reassumption of command Sep 3 1862 From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 262
“As to my tone towards Porter and McClellan-that is an important matter. I have toiled and labored through ten chapters over [McClellan]. I think I have left the impression of his mutinous imbecility, and I have done it in a perfectly courteous manner”.It is of the utmost moment that we should seem fair to him, while destroying him….Destroy this letter.” John Hay Hay in a private letter to Lincoln’s other secretary John Nicolay regarding his efforts to depict McClellan Dec 10 1885 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 52
“the President was very outspoken in regard to McClellan’s present conduct. He said it really seemed to him that McC wanted Pope defeated”.The President seemed to think him a little crazy. Envy, jealousy, and spite are probably a better explanation for his present conduct….He acts as chief alarmist and marplot of the Army.” John Hay Hay recalls Lincoln’s reaction to McClellan’s actions regarding Pope From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 221
“there was no cessation of their friendly relations, it was not unnatural for [the President] to infer that his frequent visits had become irksome to the general.” John Hay Hay observes the relationship of Lincoln and McClellan From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 41
“the machinations of McClellan and his parasites”the praetorian faction in the Army of the Potomac.” John Pope Pope complaining to Halleck after being sent west to confront the Sioux uprsising in Minnesota From Counter-Thrust From the Peninsula to the Antietam by Benjamin Franklin Cooling. Lincoln: University of Nebraska 2007. 156
“McClellan is acting with much prudence and caution”Six weeks will tell the story, in that time we will beat them badly or will be beaten ourselves.” John Sedgwick Sedgwick complaining about McClellan’s slow approach toward Richmond May 17, 1862 From Until Antietam The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army by Jack Mason. Carbondale IL: Southern Illinois Press, 2009. 137
“Nowhere has a charge of slowness been less justly levelled…On September 2, 1862, McClellan assumed command of the disorganized, dispirited and chaotically intermingled fragments of five separate armies. Within one week, he marched into Maryland with a field army which was still sorting out its wagons and batteries and leavened by a high percentage of raw troops snatched directly from the mustering-in ceremonies. In another week he brought Lee to bay at Antietam and inflicted on im the severest casualty rate ever suffered by the Army of Northern Virginia in the bloodiest days battle of the entire war.” Joseph Harsh Harsh rseponding to charges of slowness against George McClellan From “I Fought the Battle Splendidly.” by Wilson A. Greene. Antietam – Essays on the 1862 Maryland Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher Kent OH: Kent State University Press, 1989. 56
“McClellan had not enough of the devil in him.” Joseph Hooker Col Lamson heard this said by Hooker about McClellan as reported by Charles S. Wainwright Dec 31 1862 From A Diary of Battle The Personal Journals of Colonel Charles S. Wainright 1861-1865 by Charles S. Wainwright edited by Allan Nevins. New York:   De Capo Press, 1998. 150
“McClellan was too good a man to command an army in this country.” Joseph Hooker 12/28/1863 From http://www.georgebmcclellan.org/
“He is not only not a soldier, but he does not know what soldiership is.” Joseph Hooker Hooker responding to McClellan’s cautiousness From “The Destruction of Fighting Joe Hooker.” by Gene Smith. American Heritage Magazine October 1993, Vol 44 Issue 6 [Online] Available http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/ah/1993/6/1993_6_95.shtml
“We are engaged in a species of warfare at which we can never win. It is plain that General McClellan will adhere to the system adopted by him last summer, and depend for success upon his artillery and engineering.” Joseph Johnston Johnston to Lee regarding the need to take the offensive to thwart McClellan’s tactics Apr 30 1862 From The Maryland Campaign of September 1862 Vol. 1 South Mountain. Edited by Tom Clemens. New York: Savas Beatie, 2010. 50
“I did not doubt that this route would be taken by General McClellan as it would be the most difficult to meet.” Joseph Johnston Genl Johnston’s fears about McClellans plan for the Peninsula Campaign From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 60
“No one but McClellan could have hesitated to attack” Joseph Johnston Johnston describing McClellan’s failure to immediately attack at Williamsburg Apr 1862 From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 180
“We are engaged in a species of warfare at which we can never win. It is plain that General McClellan will adhere to the system adopted by him last summer, and depend for success upon artillery and engineering. We can compete with him in neither.” Joseph Johnston Johnston in a letter to Robert E. Lee on McClellans plans May 1 1862 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 94
“the old McClellan method of fighting in detail, one corps at a time, the rest of the army looking on”.Lee’s army ought not to have gotten away so easily, but should have beenpushed to the wall, and fought without mercy every day. From experience, however, we know that General McClellan is not equal to great occasions, and therefor it is useless to expect brilliant results while he is in command.” Josiah Marshall Favill an officer in the 57th NY talking about McClellan From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 51
“The parade showed up a wonderfully fine looking body of men which, under a capable leader, could do almost anything.” Josiah Marshall Favill A lieutenant, no fan of McClellan’s From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 66
“we cannot understand why we should entrench ourselves so powerfully, when we came here for the purpose of attacking.   Our commander-in-chief is very timid, certainly, and the prospects for a further advance upon Richmond seem extremely slender.” Josiah Marshall Favill Favill wonders why McClellan is so timid May 1861 From Until Antietam The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army by Jack Mason. Carbondale IL: Southern Illinois Press, 2009. 147
“We understand the present advance has been ordered peremptorily by the President, who is disgusted with McCellan’s torpidity, and is bound to make him take the offensive.” Josiah Marshall Favill Favill, A New York officer on rumors of the movement of the Army after Antietam From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 63
“It is a little thing, accomplishing not much harm, and yet the President well night lost his temper over it.” Lincoln’s Secretary Lincoln’s secretry recroding Lincoln’s reaction to Stuarts ride around the Army of the Potomac in October 1862 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 351
“Circumstances make your presence here necessary”.Come hither without delay.” Lorenzo Thomas Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas dispatch to McClellan to report to Washington after First Bull Run Jul 22 1861 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 19
“The Army is in mourning & this is a blue day for us all. It is known that his removal was planned & to be carried into effect the moment the Elections were over-They did not dare to remove him before the Election.” Marsena R. Patrick Patrick on the removal of McClellan and the timing of it after the election. From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 64
“without the loss of a man in battle”The greatest strategy on recker. And McClellan is the sole proprieter.” Matthew Marvin An enlisted man’s view of McClellan’s inclination to spare the lives of his men May 6 1862 From The Last Full Measure The Life and Death of the First Minnesota Volunteers by Richard Moe. New York:   Avon Books, 1993. 130
“a mind that was derivative and deductive, rather than innovative and analyticall, and preferred to work within existing paradigms, rather than think creatively.” Matthew Moten Historian Matthew Moten comments on the reports that McClellan wrote for the military commission. From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 63
“An indefinable air of success about him and something of the man of destiny.” Member of the US Sanitary Commission Member of the US Sanitary Commission describes McCLellan From To Antietam Creek by D. Scott Hartwig. Baltimore:The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012 6
“Permit me to suggest that a careful comparison of the notices which appear in the newspapers, lists of prisoners of war, and deserters, if made by an intelligent, educated man, would soon give us a tolerably correct idea of the force opposing us. If this has ever been done in this part of the country, there is, I fear, reason to believe that it has been done by incompetent or unfaithful hadns.” Montgomery Meigs Meigs in a letter disputing the methodology of estimating enemy truth strength From The Secret War for the Union by Edwin C. Fishel. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1996. 583
“But Johnston knew his man as did indeed every Confederate leader later on. Lee, Longstreet, Jackson, the Hills all knowing his points, while serving in the U.S. Army could now rightly measure him. McClellan was a lovable man, an admirable organizer, but with little taste for battle unless largely outnumbering his opponent”. Moxley Sorrel Sorell speaking of McClellan in the Peninsula campaign From Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer by Moxley G. Sorell. New York: Bantam edition, 1992. 40
“The gaudium certaminis [joy of argument, competition or of battle] was no part of him” Moxley Sorrel Sorell speaking of McClellan Winter of 1861/62 From Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer by Moxley G. Sorell. New York: Bantam edition, 1992. 15
“McClellan was of decided ability in many respects; timorous, but safe; and there was no better organizer. He seemed to hate battle, and it is surprising that with such a record he should have secured and retained the devotion and confidence of his men to the very end. There was no lack of physical courage; it was a mental doubt with him.” Moxley Sorrel Talking about McClellan From Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer by Moxley G. Sorell. New York: Bantam edition, 1992. 102
“…they believed in him, and so did I.” Nathaniel Hawthorne (Nathaniel Hawthorne on the Army and McClellan, 1862) February 5, 1909 From http://www.georgebmcclellan.org/
“His error was in expecting and requiring a degree of perfection in preparation and of absolute safeguard against the possibility of failure, such as the highest generalship would not, under the circumstances, have exacted” New York Times Obituary Oct 30 1885 From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 401
“We consider this war substantially over.” New York Tribune Horace Greely’s newspaper asses the end of the war is near with McClellan 5 miles from Richmond Jun 3 1862 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 218
“I don”t know what Genl. McClellan is doing. I wish he would wake up to the impatience of the country a little and make us move with a little more rapidity. I do not believe he lacks genius for his profession, but I think he inclines too much to engineering.” Oliver O. Howard From Until Antietam The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army by Jack Mason. Carbondale IL: Southern Illinois Press, 2009. 136
“The most popular, if not most prominent, cadet in the corps during my four years at West Point was George B. McClellan. He stood next to the head and was first captain in his class. His was one of the most faultless personalities I ever have known. He was full of life and enthusiasm, had charming address and manners, was void of pretension, and a steadfast friend. I loved him like a brother. He was a leader and organizer, natural born.” Orlando Willcox Willcox in his memoirs describing McClellan at West Point From Forgotten Valor – The Memoirs, Journals & Civil War Letters of Orlando B. Willcox.Robert G. Scott Editor. Kent: Kent State University Press, 1999 55
“Lincoln proposed that I should go with him to call on Genl McClelland [sic] which I did, being my first meeting with him. I was favourably impressed-like his plain, direct straight forward way of talking and acting. He has brains-more than an ordinary man.” Orville H. Browning Senator Browning’s first impression of McClellan Dec 19 1861 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 45
“Lieutenant G.W. Smith, in command of the engineer company, and Lieutenant McClellan, his subaltern, distinguished themselves throughout the whole of the three actions”Nothing seemed to them too bold to be undertaken, or too difficult to be executed; and their services as engineers were as valuable as those they renderdin battle at the head of their gallant men.” Persifor Smith Persifor Smith reporting on the actions of the engineer company at the battles of Contreras and Churubusco Aug 20 1847 From The Mexican War Diary and Correspondence of George B. McClellan by George B. McClellan and Thomas W. Cutrer. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2009. 109
“It does not seem possible to find any other battle ever fought in the conduct of which more errors were committed than are clearly attributable to the commander of the Army of the Potomac.” Peter S. Mitchie General Peter S. Mitchie regarding McClellan’s role at Antietam From “I Fought the Battle Splendidly.” by Wilson A. Greene. Antietam – Essays on the 1862 Maryland Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher Kent OH: Kent State University Press, 1989. 56
“But McClellan’s want of Generalship, or treason, has gotten us into a place, where we are completely boxed up.” Philip Kearny Kearny after Malvern Hill Jul 1862 From Until Antietam The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army by Jack Mason. Carbondale IL: Southern Illinois Press, 2009. 164
“I, Phillip Kearney, an old soldier, enter my solemn protest against this order for retreat I say to you all, such an order can only be prompted by cowardice or treason” Philip Kearny Kearny protesting McClellans retreat order after Malvern Hill Jul 1 1863 From Until Antietam The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army by Jack Mason. Carbondale IL: Southern Illinois Press, 2009. 162
“Still although there is no one to exactly replace McClellan-But I now proclaim distinctly that unless a Chief, a live officer, not an Engineer, of military prestige, (success under fire with troops) is put in command of the Army of the Potomac, (leaving McClellan the bureau duties of General in Chief), that we will be in for some awful disaster..McClellan’s fault is, that calculating for a future presidency, he succumbed to the politicians.” Philip Kearny Kearney commenting on McClellans lack of front line troop leading experience From Until Antietam The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army by Jack Mason. Carbondale IL: Southern Illinois Press, 2009. 124
“Virginia creeper” Philip Kearny From Until Antietam The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army by Jack Mason. Carbondale IL: Southern Illinois Press, 2009. 136
“As regards General McClellan, I have always entertained a high opinion of his capacity, and have no reason to think that he omitted to do anything that was in his power.” Robert E. Lee Lee to B.H Wright, January 8, 1869 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 326
“I asked him which of the Federal generals he considered the greatest, and he answered most emphatically “McClellan by all odds” Robert E. Lee In a July 15 1870 visit with Mr. Cassius Lee General Lee’s first cousin,in Alexandria, Virginia, he was asked which of the Federal generals he considered the greatest. Jul 15 1870 From Recollections and Letters by Robert E. Lee. New York: Barnes and Noble, 2004. 374
“I fear they may continue to make these changes till they find some one whom I don”t understand” Robert E. Lee Lee to James Longstreet commenting on McClellan’s dismissal in Battles and Leaders From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 341
“I hate to see McClellan go. He and I had grown to understand each other so well.” Robert E. Lee Lee in a letter to his wife bemoaning the departure of McClellan From How the North Won by Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones. Urbana:   University of Illinois Press 1983. 266
“McClellan will make this a battle of Posts. He will take position from position, under cover of his heavy guns & we cannot get at him withough storming his works, which with our new troops is extremely hazardous.” Robert E. Lee In letter to Jefferson Davis Jun 5 1862 From Reading the Man – A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters by Elizabeth Brown Pryor. New York: Penguin Group, 2007. 317
“We always understood each other so well.   I fear they may continue to make these changes till they find some one whom I don’t understand.” Robert E. Lee Lee to Longstreet on the relief of George McClellan by President Lincoln From The Perfect Lion The Life and Death of Confederate Artillerist John Pelham by Jerry Maxwell. Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 2011. 235
“Why in the name of heaven McClellan did not renew the battle on Thursday, and follow speedily across the river, I can’t understand. It looks to me as though it would have been better to crush them with fresh troops on Thursday than to have them skedaddle of under the pretext of burying their dead in plain sight of our general. I am provoked, perhaps without cause, but I cannot help feeling that it prolongs this horrid war.” Robert G. Carter One of Porter’s men frustrated about McClellan’s unwillingness to attack on Sep 18, in a letter home From “I Fought the Battle Splendidly.” by Wilson A. Greene. Antietam – Essays on the 1862 Maryland Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher Kent OH: Kent State University Press, 1989. 81
“[T]he enthusiasm of the troops for him is great, and that they fight under him better than under any one else, is proved by the difference between this battle and those around Manassas. Robert Gould Shaw Lt Shaw on Gen. McClellan From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 50
“I think everyone in the army regrets it, except, perhaps, some envious major-generals.” Robert Gould Shaw Shaw on the removal of McClellan From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 65
“McClellan has done well-gained a decided victory, saved Washington, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, and given the Rebels a hard stroke. How splendidly his men fought under him, compared to what the troopd did under Pope.” Robert McAllister Col McAllister of the 11th New Jersey sent this letter on Sep 21 Sep 21 1862 From “The Maryland Campaign in Perspective.” by Gary W. Gallagher. Antietam – Essays on the 1862 Maryland Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher Kent OH: Kent State University Press, 1989. 86
“Everywhere the joy was great, and was spontaneously and uproariously expressed. I was a happy man again.” Rutherford B. Hayes Rutherford Hayes reacting to the news of McClellan’s return to command From To Antietam Creek by D. Scott Hartwig. Baltimore:The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012 47
“General McClellan is undoubtedly a great favorite with [the] men under him. Last night, it was announced that he was again in command”Everywhere the joy was great, and it was spontaneously and uproariously expressed. It was a happy army again.” Rutherford B. Hayes Hayes reporting the restoration of McClellan to command From The Battle of South Mountain by John David Hoptak.   Charleston: The History Press, 2011. 27
“If the gentleman in the White House could have seen what I saw this morning-could have heard the cheers from those 100,000 soldiers which rent the air and deadened the artillery itself as the parting salute was fired-they would have felt that a mistake or crime has been committed by them, which the Army of the Union will never forgive.” S.L.M. Barlow McClellan’s Democratic advisor on the relief of McClellan From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 65
“McClellan is a clear luxury-fifty days-fifty miles-fifty millions of dollars-easy arithmetic but not satisfactory” Salmon P. Chase Chase talking to Horace Greeley May 1862 From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 185
“My conviction is clear”that McClellan has a force which, properly handled, is vastly superior to any that can be brought against him.” Salmon P. Chase Chase on a visit to the Peninsula May 1862 From The Secret War for the Union by Edwin C. Fishel. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1996. 581
“”he was the most extraordinary man I ever saw.   I do not see how any man could leave so much to others; and be so confident that everything could go just right” Samuel Heintzelman Heinzelman testifying before Comm on Conduct of the War February 6, 1909 From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 216
“great dissatisfaction”.No less than three generals report to me about it, and one of them this morning was afraid his name would have to changed to Porter before he could be able to do anything.” Samuel Heintzelman Heintzelman in his diary complaining of McClellan’s favoritism to Fitz-John Porter From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 211
“If we are attacked under Pope we fear another defeat, [whereas] McClellan would restore confidance to officers and men and he would be received with enthusiasm by the whole Army.” Samuel Heintzelman Heintzelman in his journal speculating on the return of McClellan after Second Manassas Aug 31 1862 From Counter-Thrust From the Peninsula to the Antietam by Benjamin Franklin Cooling. Lincoln: University of Nebraska 2007. 154
“The president continued to pore over a map”making remarks not remarkably profound, but McClellan listened if much edified”.when Gen. McClellan had seen the President to the door”he came in &as he pushed the door to looking back said ‘Isn’t he a rare bird.'” Samuel Heintzelman Heintzelman records in his diary an episode between McClellan and Lincoln Nov 11 1861 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 41
“I wish those northern editors, who have been striving to poison the public mind against McClellan, had to sit in my present position to write their infamous editorials. No one is better pleased than myself with this advance, but endurance has its bounds even in this soldier and they have been far overstepped by northern civilians when talking about a winter campaign.” Seymour Dexter A New York private on the press and demands to advance From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 63
“If you take a flat map and move wooden blocks upon it strategically, The thing looks well, the blocks behave as they should. The science of war is moving live men like blocks And getting the blocks into place at a fixed moment. But it takes time to mold your men into blocks And flat maps turn into country where creeks and gullies Hamper your wooden squares. they stick in the brush, They are tired and rest, they straggle after ripe blackberries, And you cannot lift them up in your hand and move them. A string of blocks curling smoothly around the left Of another string of blocks are slow To move, when they start they take too long on the way – The General loses his stars and the block-men die In unstrategic defiance of martial law Because still used to just being men, not block-parts Stephen Vincent Benet From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 2
“Circumstances make your presence here necessary, come hither without delay.” Telegram Telegram directing McCLellan to report to Washington Jul 22 1861 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 118
“Well, McClure will do something. If he can’t do better he’ll instruct the toll-gate keeper not to permit Lee’s army to pass through. But as to McClellan, God only knows what he’ll do.” Thaddeus Stevens Stevens on the apparently eminent invasion of Pennsylvania and the reaction of Major McClure and George McClellan From Mr. Lincoln’s Army by Bruce Catton. New York: Anchor Books 1990. 219
“I believe he was, both as a military man and as a manager of a country under military occupation, the greatest general this war has produced.” Theodore Lyman Theodore Lyman letter to Elizabeth Russell, 2 June 1864 Jun 2 1864 From “Theodore Lyman letter to Elizabeth Russell, 2 June 1864.” Family Tales. Retrieved from http://www.familytales.org/dbDisplay.php?id=ltr_thl6954
“he lacks nerve” Thomas Jackson Jackson commenting about McClellan’s advance up the peninsula. Hotchkill Journal, Apr 24 1862, Reel 1 Apr 24 1862 From Stonewall Jackson The Man, The Soldier, The Legend by James I. Robertson. New York:   Macmillan Publishing Co, 1997. 366
“I thought I knew McClellan, but this movement of his puzzles me.” Thomas Jackson Jackson upon the apparent aggressiveness of McClellan at South Mountain. As told by John Walker ??? Sep 15 1862 From “I Fought the Battle Splendidly.” by Wilson A. Greene. Antietam – Essays on the 1862 Maryland Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher Kent OH: Kent State University Press, 1989. 62
“If he can handle his troops in the field with the same ability with which he organizes them in camp, he will be simply invincible” Thomas Jackson James Graham asked Jackson for a candid opinion of his classmate George McClellan. Graham “Some Reminiscences” 126, 197 SHSP, 43 (1920): 64 Feb 1862 From Stonewall Jackson The Man, The Soldier, The Legend by James I. Robertson. New York:   Macmillan Publishing Co, 1997. 325
“felt for the first time in along while a decided sensation of enthusiasm burning in the ashes of my defunct patriotism.” Thomas P. Southwick A private in the 5th New York on McClellan’s departure From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 65
“reception by the officers and soldiers was marked by the most unbounded enthusiasm. In every camp his arrival was greeted by hearty and prolonged cheering, and manisfestations of the wildest delight. Many of the soldiers”wept with joy at having again for their commander one upon whom they could place implicit reliance. Already his hurried visit to our camps has wrought a remarkable change in the soldiers.” Thomas T. Ellis Thomas Ellis, an army surgeon recalls the return of McClellan to the army From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 228
“The excitement of the camp is intense, there is nothing else talked of, and many, very many of the best officers express a desire to quit the service.” Thomas T. Ellis A Union surgeion (Ellis) on the feeling of the Army on the relief of McClellan From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 317
“It always seemed to me that McClellan, though no commander ever had the love of his soldiers more, or tried more to spare their lives, never realized the metal that was in his grand Army of the Potomac”.He never appreciated until too late what manner of people he had with him.” Thomas W. Hyde Hyde reflecting on McClellan’s relationship with his army From Mr. Lincoln’s Army by Bruce Catton. New York: Anchor Books 1990. 315
“we have too many Maj. Genls.-too little brains.   McClellan is to me one of the mysteries of the war. As a young man he was always a mystery. He had the way of inspiring you with the idea of immense capacity, if he would only have a chance. Then he is a man of unusual accomplishments, a student, and a well-read man. I have never studied his campaigns enough to make up my mind as to his military skill, but all my impressions are in his favor. I have entire confidence in McClellan”s loyalty and patriotism. But the test which was applied to him would be terrible to any man, being made a major-general at the beginning of the war. It has always seemed to me that the critics of McClellan do not consider this vast and cruel responsibility”the war, a new thing to all of us, the army new, everything to do from the outset, with a restless people and Congress. McClellan was a young man when this devolved upon him, and if he did not succeed, it was because the conditions of success were so trying. If McClellan had gone into the war as Sherman, Thomas, or Meade, had fought his way along and up, I have no reason to suppose that he would not have won as high a distinction as any of us.” U.S. Grant Grant writing about McClellan From Around the World with General Grant: A Narrative of the Visit of General U.S. Grant, Ex-President of the United States, to Various Countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa, in 1877, 1878, 1879; To Which Are Added Certain Conversations with General Grant on Questions Connected with American Politics and History, by John Russell Young. 2 volumes New York: American New Company, 1879. 216
“Speaking of McClellan,”[ said the general] I should say that the two disadvantages under which he labored were his receiving a high command before he was ready for it, and the political sympathies which he allowed himself to champion. It is a severe blow to any one to begin so high. I always dreaded going to the army of the Potomac. After the battle of Gettysburg I was told I could have the command; but I managed to keep out of it. I had seen so many generals fall, one after another, like bricks in a row, that I shrank from it. After the battle of Mission Ridge, and my appointment as Lieutenant-General, and I was allowed to choose my place, it could not be avoided. Then it seemed as if the time was ripe, and I had no hesitation.” U.S. Grant Grant writing about McClellan From Around the World with General Grant: A Narrative of the Visit of General U.S. Grant, Ex-President of the United States, to Various Countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa, in 1877, 1878, 1879; To Which Are Added Certain Conversations with General Grant on Questions Connected with American Politics and History, by John Russell Young. 2 volumes New York: American New Company, 1879. 463
“Come hither without delay” War Dept Telegram A War Dept telegram orders McClellan to Washington the day after First Bull Run Jul 22 1861 From To Antietam Creek by D. Scott Hartwig. Baltimore:The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012 6
“The Union commander was a circumspect man, with a tendency to magnify difficulties at times, and he hesitated to take what he considered to be an unnecessary risk of serious defeat.” Warren W. Hassler Jr. Warren W. Hassler Jr. in General George B. McClellan Shield of the Union From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 88
“It was a grave misfortune,” writes Gen. Merritt, “that the controllers of our Army organization in the early part of the rebellion did not appreciate the part that cavalry was to play in the war ” a misfortune for the country ” a greater misfortune for the cavalry. *** The few cavalry regiments which were permitted by by our frugal Government *** were emasculated and disorganized by furnishing details as escorts , guides, orderlies, and small scouting parties, until nowhere in the State of Virginia was there a sufficient force of Union cavalry to meet successfully the splendidly-organized squadrons of Southern horse under Stuart and the younger Lees. No one was more to blame for this than McClellan, and no one of the unfortunate commanders of the Army of the Potomac suffered more because of the lack of properly organized cavalry than this general. Nor did he know how to use the cavalry he had in hand. His treatment of cavalry and cavalry commanders was proverbially harsh and unjust. He divided it up with a lavish hand among his infantry corps, division and brigade commanders, so that the smallest infantry organization had its company or more of mounted men, whose duty consisted in supplying details , as orderlies for mounted staff officers, following them mounted on their rapid rides for pleasure or for duty; or in camp, acting as grooms and bootblacks at the various head-quarters. It is not wonderful that this treatment demoralized the cavalry. It is not strange that the early cavalry commanders looked with despair on their shattered squadrons, and submitted in disgust to the disintegration which their best efforts could not prevent, and afterward in silence to the abuse for failures which they did not deserve. It was not until McClellan was removed that the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac was fairly organized under Stoneman, with Buford and David Gregg as his lieutenants. Then it was that we commenced practicing the lessons which the enemy had taught us, pursuing his tactics to his ruin.” Wesley Merrit Gen. Merritt, by the way, opens his contribution to this volume with some plain-spoken criticisms upon McClellan and his treatment of the cavalry when he had assumed command of the Army From Crossed Sabers. “Book Review From Everglades to Canyon. March 3, 2009. Retrieved from http://crossedsabers.blogspot.com/2009/03/book-review-from-everglade-to-canyon.html
“a total lack of understanding and sympathy with the eccentric and mystical, but yet great-hearted and stupendous genius.” Wiliam Starr Myers Historian William Starr Myers describes the development of McClellan’s relationship with Lincoln from their days in Illinois” From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 75
“I do not know that I have expressed myself very strongly to you about McClellan’s relief. Although he had many faults which were making themselves more apparent as we all got more experience, still, he was better than anyone who has yet appeared, and the feeling of the Army is excessive indignation.” William B. Franklin Franklin expressesto his wife his feelings for McClellan upon his removal Nov 15 1862 From From First to Last The Life of Major General William B. Franklin by Mark Snell. New York: Fordham University Press, 2002 203
“Our little Genl is well, but in my opinion loses influence every day. I do not think that he is firm enough with those he had to deal with, though I believe that he had treated me badly (perhaps unwittingly) in not taking more notice of my fight [at Crampton’s Gap], Do not say anything about this for the world.” William B. Franklin Franklin to his wife and his growing disillusionment with George McClellan after Antietam Oct 5 1862 From From First to Last The Life of Major General William B. Franklin by Mark Snell. New York: Fordham University Press, 2002 200
“We are all indignant at the manner in which McClellan has been treated. Yesterday he came out here and was received most enthusiastically by my troops. You never heard such cheers. There is a very deep feeling among the men, and what will be the event no ne can yet tell. Burnside is as sorry as the rest of us.” William B. Franklin Franklin describes McClellan’s removal from command. Nov 11 1862 From From First to Last The Life of Major General William B. Franklin by Mark Snell. New York: Fordham University Press, 2002 201
“”you intended to work by strategy and not by fighting” William Franklin Letter from Franklin to GBM describing conversation with Stanton discussing GBMs plan Apr 7 1862 From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 176
“things had gone so well on all the other parts of the field that he was afraid to risk the day by an attack there on the right at that time.” William Franklin Franklin reflecting on why McClellan did not order his corps to attack on Sep 17. From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 324
“amiable and agreeable”in everything a gentleman in the highest interpretation of the term.” William Gardner Gardner, a classmate of McClellan’s at West Point recalls him From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 34
“the effect of this man’s presence upon the Army of the Potomac-in sunshine or in rain, in darkness or in daylight, in victory or defeat-was electrical, and too wonderful attempting to give a reason for it. William H. Powell Cpt William H. Powell 4th US Infantry recalling the effect of McClellans reappointment to command of the Army in Sep ’62 Written in 1886 From Antietam 1862 The Civil War’s Bloodiest Day by Normas S. Stevens. Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 1994. 9
“Everyone is willing to do as he bids; the President confides in him, and ‘Georges’ him; the press fawn upon him, the people trust him.” William H. Russell Russell in his diary recording McClellan’s arrival in Washington From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 119
“Squarely built, thick throated, broad chested, with slightly-bowed legs”eyes deep and anxious looking.” William H. Russell Russell describing McClellan From How the North Won by Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones. Urbana:   University of Illinois Press 1983. 80
[McClellan] had the pendantry of war rather than the inspiration of war. His talent was eminently that of the cabinet; and his proper place was in Washington, where he should have remained as general-in-chief”.” William Swinton From “I Fought the Battle Splendidly.” by Wilson A. Greene. Antietam – Essays on the 1862 Maryland Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher Kent OH: Kent State University Press, 1989. 82
“McClellan’s reappointment gives great satisfaction to the soldiers. Whether right or wrong they believe in him” William T. Lusk Lusk, one of Burnside’s officers in a letter to his father Sep 4 1862 From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. 265
“a naturally superior man, had the finest opportunities in Mexico and Europe. Even his juniors admit his qualifications.” William T. Sherman, Sherman to John Sherman May 20 1861 From How the North Won by Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones. Urbana:   University of Illinois Press 1983. 51
“Had Major-General McClellan presented the same views in person, they would have been freely entertained and discussed.   All my military views and opinions had been so presented to him, without eliciting much remark, in our few meetings, which I have in vain sought to multiply.” Winfield Scott Scott in a letter to Secy of War Cameron complaining about McClellan’s lack of cooperation Aug 9 1861 From The Secret War for the Union by Edwin C. Fishel. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1996. 78
“I shall try to hold out till the arrival of Major Genl. Halleck.” Winfield Scott Scott to Secy of War Cameron Oct 4 1861 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 33
“the cabinet, including the President, has been charmed by your activity, alor, and consequent success.” Winfield Scott Scott in a letter to McClellan at his appointment to command the Army of the Potomac From How the North Won by Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones. Urbana:   University of Illinois Press 1983. 51
“The General-in-Chief, and what is more, the Cabinet, including the President, are charmed with your activity, valor, and consequent success of Rich Mountain the 11th and of Beverly this morning. We do not doubt that youwill in due time sweep the rebels from Virginia, but we do not mean to precipitate you as you are fast enough.” Winfield Scott Scott congratulating McClellan on his victory at Rich Mountain Jul 13, 1861 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 18
“the remedy of arrest and trial before a court-martial would probably soon cure the evil. But it has been feared that a conflict of authority near the head of the Army would be highly encouraging to the enemies and depressing to the friends of the Union. [Consequently] being unable to ride in the saddle or to walk…I shall definitely retire from the Army.” Winfield Scott Scott in a letter to Secy of War Cameron Oct 4 1861 From Unfurl Those Colors! McClellan, Sumner, & The Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign by Marion Armstrong. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2008. 12
“When I proposed that you should come here to aide me”you had my friendship and confidence. You still have my confidence.” Winfield Scott Scott to McClellan after McClellan fails to provide information to Scott and is embarassed at a Cabinet meeting Sep 27 1861 From McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union by Ethan S. Rafuse. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press, 2005. 135
“You were called here by my advice. The times require vigilance and activity. I am not active and never shall be again. When I proposed that you should come here to aid, not supersede me, you had my friendship and confidence. You still have my confidence.” Winfield Scott Scott to McClellan after a meeting with the President Sep 27 1861 From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. 30
“There is nothing too good that I can say of General McClellan. He was a man and a thorough soldier.” Winfield Scott Hancock February 28, 1909 From http://www.georgebmcclellan.org/
“We have met another disaster in front of Richmond”.I was not and am not disappointed”.I am fully vindicated”.McClelland [sic] is an awful humbug and deserves to be shot.” Zachariah Chandler Senator Chandler to his wife on the disaster in front of Richmond Jul 6 1862 From Abraham Lincoln: A Life by Michael Burlingame. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008. 2924
“The general has many friends in the army who will be sorry to part with him, and even those of us who have no great faith in his abilities, are attracted to him through long association, and will feel the change, as another link broken in the chain of friendship,which in the army, is highly developed.” A lieutenant on the rumors of the relief of McClellan From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 63
“The general query is, why was he taken from us at such a time, if at all? The prevailing opinion among the officers and men is that the Administration is awfully inefficient, besides having no inclination to do that which would hasten the termination of the war.” a Wisconsin private on the removal of McClellan From “General McClellan’s Bodyguard.” by Brooks Simpson. The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary Gallagher Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999. 65
dashing through the streets like a small earthquake-in-new uniform”with a glittering staff.” From Second Only to Grant Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs by David W. Miller. Shippensburg PA: White Mane Books. 2000. 132

9 Responses

  1. […] Leave a Comment  I have posted my first selection of quotes.  They are quotes by and about George B. McClellan.  There are 79 quotes here from various sources.  Any feedback on organization, display etc is […]

  2. I’m not convinced by Freeman’s statement that “it was known” that McClellan had replaced Pope. Not at all.

    • Harry, this is an example of where I didnt follow my own rule about the quote being made by a person or a contemporary. I believe that Harsh in Taken at the Flood says that Lee in fact did not know for a time that McClellan was bak in command. Thanks for your feedback

  3. Also, in IE 8 the right side of the quotes are being truncated.

    • Thanks, there is a lot of work that I have to do to get the data from an excel spreadsheet with about 10 columns into a format that works here..

      • Try copying the text first to Notepad (or equivalent) to get it into plain text. whgen you coipy text from another program like Word or Excel, a lot of junk comes with it. So if you don’t want to start from scratch and retype everything into WordPress’s editor, copy to Notepad first, then to WordPress.

      • I am using a MacBook. Is there an equivalent to notepad that you are aware of?

      • No, I don’t know anything at all about Macs. I have to imagine they have some sort of plain text program.

  4. Second sentence whould read “When you copy”.

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