Biography of General George Brinton McClellan
Celebrated Americans





GEORGE BRINTON McCLELLAN, a noted American general, was born in Philadelphia, December 3, 1826. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1846 from West Point, and was breveted second lieutenant of engineers. He was with Scott in the Mexican war, taking part in all the engagements from Vera Cruz to the final capture of the Mexican capital, and was breveted first lieutenant and captain for gallantry displayed on various occasions. In 1857 he resigned his commission and accepted the position of chief engineer in the construction of the Illinois Central Railroad, and became president of the St. Louis & Cincinnati Railroad Company. He was commissioned major general by the state of Ohio in 1861, placed in command of the department of the Ohio, and organized the first volunteers called for from that state. In May he was appointed major general in the United States army, and ordered to disperse the confederates overrunning West Virginia. He accomplished this task promptly, and received the thanks of congress. After the first disaster at Bull Run he was placed in command of the department of Washington, and a few weeks later of the Army of the Potomac. Upon retiretnent of General Scott the command of the entire Uhited States army devolved upon McClellan, but he was relieved of it within a few months. In March, 1862, after elaborate preparation, he moved upon Manassas, only to find it deserted by the Confederate army, which had been withdrawn to impregn able defenses prepared nearer Richmond. He then embarked his armies for Fortress Monroe and after a long delay at Yorktown, began the disastrous Peninsular campaign, which resulted in the Army of the Potomac being cooped up on the James River below Richmond. His forces were then called to the support of General Pope, near Washington, and he was left without an army. After Pope's defeat McClellan was placed in command of the troops for the defenseof the capital, and after a thorciugh organization he followed Lee into Maryland and the battles of Antietam and South Mountain ensued. The delay which followed caused general dissatisfaction, and he was relieved of his command,and retired from active' service.

In 1864 McClellan was nominated for the presidency by the Democrats, and overwhelmingly defeated by Lincoln, three states only casting their electoral votes for McClellan, On election day he resigned his commission and a few months later went to Europe where he spent several years He wrote a number of military text-books and reports. His death occurred October 29, 1885.


FROM:
A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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