General George B. McClellan


Outstanding General, War Hero, Christian Gentleman


General McClellan was one of the Union's finest, most effective generals.  He might have ended the war in 1862 if he had been given the support he had been promised and had been allowed to conduct his operations without interference.

McClellan with Abraham Lincoln at Antietam, Maryland, October 1862

"Let me tell you that if your government had supported General McClellan in the field as it should have done, your war would have been ended two years sooner than it was." -- General Helmuth von Moltke, Chief of Staff of the Prussian Army and one of the leading military experts of the 19th Century


"Notwithstanding all that has been said and written upon this subject, I have no hesitation in expressing the opinion, that had not the President and his advisors stood in such ungrounded fear for the safety of Washington, and had not withheld McDowell's forces at a time when their absence was a most serious blow to the plans of General McClellan, the close of the year would have seen the Rebellion crushed, and the war ended." -- Allan Pinkerton, chief of the Union Intelligence Service, 1861-1862


McClellan and His Wife Mary Ellen

"The result to which any impartial and intelligent mind must arrive, upon a consideration of the facts that have been made public, is, that the total derangement of the plans of General McClellan for operating upon the Peninsula was occasioned by the unwarranted interference of the authorities at Washington, whose orders it was his duty to obey. . . .

"No one can read the history of the campaigns of General McClellan, without being satisfied that the charges against him for slowness, hesitation, and want of energy in his operations are all untrue."

-- George Lunt, appointed as United States Attorney by President Zachary Taylor in 1849 and became the editor of the Boston Daily Courier in 1857


"General McClellan, after quietly submitting to the cowardly attacks of his enemies, has by his last campaign in Maryland, placed it beyond the power of his lying enemies to injure him, but what is remarkable, his enemies are all to be found among those who from lack of patriotism, or from cowardice, and in some cases from both causes combined, have remained at home instead of coming forward and fighting for their country." -- General George Armstrong Custer


"The feeling of the country in regard to the operations before Yorktown and the battle of Williamsburg found expression at the time in the following resolutions, which were unanimously adopted by the House of Representatives, on a motion made by Mr. Lovejoy of Illinois, a well-known and extreme leader of the Republican party, though not a member of the committee on the conduct of the war:

   "'Resolved, That it is with feelings of profound satisfaction to Almighty God, that the House of Representatives from time time hear of the triumphs of the Union armies in the great struggle for the supremacy of the Constitution and the integrity of the Union.

   "'Resolved, That we receive with profound satisfaction intelligence of the recent victories achieved by the Armies of the Potomac, associated from their localities with those of the Revolution; and that the sincere thanks of the House are hereby tendered to Major-General McClellan for the display of those high military quaUties which secure important results with but little sacrifice of human life.'"

-- William Henry Hurbert, a journalist and editor with the New York World during the war and later author of the famous "Diary of a Public Man" in the North American Review in 1879


"A man who could take a demoralized army, as McClellan took the combined forces that had been defeated under Pope in front of Washington at the second Bull Run, restore its discipline by the magic of his name and his swift reconstruction of its shattered organizations, and then lead it to victory within fourteen days, after an almost unexampled celerity of movement against the enemy who had crushed it two weeks before--such a man is not to be spoken of or thought of as wanting in the force and vigor of a great general." -- George T. Curtis, U.S. Commissioner, historian, and the co-counsel for Dred Scott in the famous Dred Scott v. Sanford case before the United States Supreme Court



McClellan with His Staff and Dignitaries