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Unformatted text preview: Jonathan Mulanix A39522927 History 304 George McClellan has been described as "one of the most controversial figures in U.S. military history." What made him so controversial? George McClellan wasborn in Philadelphia;he went to West Point and was an exceptional cadet. He graduated 2nd in his class. That class provided 20 generals during the Civil War. He admits that he likes the South better than the North. McClellan graduated in 1846 fought in the Mexican war. He was a very good Engineer and excelled at designing road and bridges. After the Mexican War he was an instructor at West Point. 1857 he retires from Army and joins a Railroad Company. Once the Civil War starts he is in command of all the soldiers from Ohio. Then he was promoted to #2 man in U.S. Army. The General quickly moves up the latter. In Nov. 1861 he is made #1 General and Chief of all U.S. armies. Many called him a young Napoleon. His men loved him more than any other General. In 1862 the confederates are sill 35 miles south of Washington. All McClellan was doing a Masterful job of organizing green troops "inexperienced soldiers". McClellan was a Democrat. Because he was a Democrat he alienated president Lincoln. "If General McClellan does not want to use the Army, I would like to borrow it." Abe Lincoln. Then McClellan was quoted "If I tell him my plans they will be in the New York Herald tomorrow morning. He can't keep a secret." General McClellan on Lincoln. The two obviously didn't get along. General McClellan was afraid to send his men into battle, he didn't want any of his men to die in battle but by nature of war this is a requirement. This frustrated Lincoln and in Feb of 1862 the president issues an order saying that all armies will move on Washington's Birthday. "A general movement of all US armies on Feb 22." He did this to "jolt" McClellan and get him to finally act. Lincoln knew that the key to military success was to threaten all the rebels' positions at the same time with superior forces. General George McClellan did end up having a plan known as McClellan's Peninsula Plan where the Union would use the Navy and send over 12,000 troops to the Virginia Peninsula and attack Richmond. Lincoln didn't like this plan because it left Washington D.C. open. In the end Lincoln reluctantly agrees to the plan. He moved his army very slowly through the peninsula and was highly criticized in Washington for ability to command his forces. Nov. 1962 Lincoln relieved him of his duties for not aggressively pursing General Lee at the Battle of Antietam. The main reasons that General George McClellan was such a controversial figure was that he was a General of the Union who at said that he liked the South better than the North. He was a democrat and did not get along with president Lincoln. He also was not aggressive enough during battle. *Source is my class notes from lecture. ...
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- Winter '08
- Civil War