George B. McClellan (1826–1885) was a Union general in the Civil War. McClellan was educated at West Point and served in the Mexican-American War. He resigned his commission in 1857 to take a position as chief engineer of the Illinois Central Railroad. He was briefly the president of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad before returning to the Army as commander of the Department of the Ohio. After a Union defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run, McClellan was made commander of the armies near Washington, DC. He then succeeded Winfield Scott as general in chief of Union forces.

McClellan proved to be a disappointing commander, however, refusing to go on the offensive against Confederate forces. Rather than making an attempt at taking Richmond, McClellan consistently retreated from Confederate forces. In the Seven Days’ Battles of 1862 he was driven back by Robert E. Lee. At Antietam, McClellan managed to halt the Confederate invasion but failed to follow up by aggressively attacking Lee’s army. In November 1862, a frustrated Lincoln finally removed McClellan from command. McClellan still held the support of the Army, however, and in 1864 he made a run for the presidency as the Democratic nominee. He failed to take the election, however, in part because of his past support for ending the war by compromising with the South.

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