[25], McClellan's first military operations were to occupy the area of western Virginia that wanted to remain in the Union and subsequently became the state of West Virginia. with Buell's reinforcements. The Union defeat at the minor Battle of Ball's Bluff near Leesburg in October added to the frustration and indirectly damaged McClellan. In June 1851, he was ordered to Fort Delaware, a masonry work under construction on an island in the Delaware River, forty miles (65 km) downriver from Philadelphia. Where did McClellan want to float his Army? McClellan had around 50,000 in position on September 17, with many more on the way. As Swinton notes "It is possible, however—and there is a considerable volume of evidence bearing upon this point—that General McClellan, during all the earlier portion of the month before Yorktown, had it in his mind, even without McDowell's corps, to undertake the decisive turning movement by the north side of the York. Afterthe seizure of Fort Sumter in April 1861,both the North and the South prepared for war. That fall, for example, Confederate forces ranged from 35,000 to 60,000, whereas the Army of the Potomac in September numbered 122,000 men; in early December 170,000; by year end, 192,000. I have to fight my way against him. Basing artillery on a strategic bluff high above a bend in the river, and sinking boats to create an impassable series of obstacles in the river itself, the Confederates effectively blocked this potential approach to Richmond. [31] But this was also a time of tension in the high command, as he continued to quarrel frequently with the government and the general-in-chief, Lt. Gen. Scott, on matters of strategy. [97] His original draft was completed in 1881, but the only copy was destroyed by fire. Why don't libraries smell like bookstores? What are some samples of opening remarks for a Christmas party? George Brinton McClellan was born in Philadelphia, on December 3, 1826, the son of a prominent surgeon, Dr. George McClellan, the founder of Jefferson Medical College. He arrived near the mouth of the Rio Grande in October 1846, well prepared for action with a double-barreled shotgun, two pistols, a saber, a dress sword, and a Bowie knife. Debates were held as to whether the army should be evacuated or attempt to resume an offensive toward Richmond. McClellan wired to Washington, "Our victory was complete. As Lee recounted, McClellan was attempting to make "this a battle of posts" which would lock the Confederate army in an attritional battle with superior Union firepower. After the defeat of Pope at Second Bull Run, President Lincoln reluctantly returned to the man who had mended a broken army before. McClellan within hours of receiving the order dispatched his cavalry to assess its accuracy. In a telegram to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, reporting on these events, McClellan blamed the Lincoln administration for his reversals. So it was that George McClellan imagined three Rebel soldiers for every one he faced on the Antietam battlefield. [42] On November 13, he snubbed the president, who had come to visit McClellan's house, by making him wait for 30 minutes, only to be told that the general had gone to bed and could not receive him. [80] Prior to his return in September 1868, the Democratic Party had expressed some interest in nominating him for president again, but Ulysses S. Grant became the Republican candidate in May 1868, and this interest died. What personal tragedy occurred for Lincoln on Feb. 20, 2862? Beginning in 1872, he also served as the president of the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad. The surprise appearance of Maj. Gen. Stonewall Jackson's troops in the battle (when they had last been reported to be many miles away in the Shenandoah Valley) convinced McClellan that he was even more outnumbered than he had thought. An English observer remarked that it was the "stride of a giant". At the start of the Civil War, McClellan's knowledge of what was called "big war science" and his railroad experience suggested he might excel at military logistics. They did win strategically in two campaigns (the Seven Days Battles--which had as many Union wins as Confederate but it saved Richmond) and the Valley Campaign (which was a critical food source for the Confederacy and Jackson even with a loss or two thrown in managed to drive 3 armies out of the Shenandoah). George McClellan fighting style. The Confederate forces under General Joseph E. Johnston withdrew from their positions before Washington, assuming new positions south of the Rappahannock, which completely nullified the Urbanna strategy. 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