Major-General George Brinton McClellan and the Civil War
The period of the Civil Tar has always been of absorbing interest to the historian and layman alike, in the picture of those troubled days there appear the forms of many men both North and youth who fought desperately for the success of the cause they felt to be just. On the Northern side no more interesting character came into prominence than Major-General George Brinton McClellan, commanding the Army of the Potomac. It is undoubtedly true that not one of the commanders on either side was so heartily loved by the men in the ranks and at the same time so generally cursed by public opinion as was he. His conduct of the Peninsular Campaign in 1863 and the failure to take Richmond have for long been the subject of controversy. Historians through the years have been generous in their criticism and, whether rightly or wrongly, an unfriendly picture of the man has become somewhat traditional. Many years have passed, however, since those eventful months and time has served to calm the passions of civil strife. Within recent years new materials have become available which make a new study worthwhile. Obviously no interpretation can be made that will be satisfactory to all, but certainly it is possible today to study the period and write much more disproportionately than in earlier years. It is hoped that the story which follows will add somewhat to our knowledge of MCClellan and throw additional light on men and events of Civil War times.