General George McClellan


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Up | General McClellan in the Civil War | Democratic Party Platform | McClellan, 1864 Democratic Presidential Candidate | George McClellan Quotes

McClellan, GEORGE BRINTON, military officer ; born in Philadelphia, Dec. 3, 1826; graduated at West Point in 1846; was lieutenant of sappers, miners, and pontoniers in the war against Mexico, and was commended for gallantry at various points from Vera Cruz to the city of Mexico. After the war he was instructor of bayonet exercise at West Point, and his Manual, translated from the French, became the text-book of the service. In 1852 he was engaged with Capt. Randolph B. Marcy (afterwards his father-in-law) and Gen. C. F. Smith in explorations and surveys of Red River, the harbors of Texas, and the western part of a proposed route for a Pacific railway; also mountain ranges and the most direct route to Puget's Sound. He was next sent on a secret mission to Santo Domingo; and in 1855 he was sent with Majors Delafield and Mordecai to Europe to study the organization of European armies

George McClellan

General George McClellan

  and observe the war in the Crimea. Captain McClellan left the army in 1857 and engaged in civil engineering and as superintendent of railroads. He was residing in Ohio when the Civil War broke out, and was commissioned major-general of Ohio volunteers by the governor. He took command of all the troops in the Department of the Ohio; and after a brief and successful campaign in western Virginia, was appointed to the command of the National troops on the Potomac (afterwards the Army of the Potomac) and commissioned a major-general of the regular army. On the retirement of General Scott in November, 1861, he was made general-in-chief. His campaign against Richmond in 1862 with the Army of the Potomac was not successful. He afterwards drove General Lee out of Maryland, but his delay in pursuing the Confederates caused him to be superseded in command by General Burnside. General McClellan was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for President of the United States against Mr. Lincoln in 1864 (see below). He resigned his commission in the army on the day of the election, Nov. 8, and took up his residence in New York. After a visit to Europe, he became (1868) a citizen of New Jersey, and engaged in the business of an engineer. The will of Edward A. Stevens, of Hoboken, made him superintendent of the Stevens floating battery; and he was appointed superintendent of docks and piers in the city of New York, which office he resigned in 1872. In 1877 he was elected governor of New Jersey. He died in Orange, N. J., Oct. 29, 1885.



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