A House Divided: How Ohio Politics Shaped the Civil WarNext Page →
George B. McClellan had made a career out of his military service. He participated in the Mexican-American War and even traveled Europe to study military tactics. In 1855 McClellan designed the "McClellan saddle” that remained in use until the end of the horse cavalry in the early twentieth century. And, after the Bombardment of Fort Sumter, Governor William Dennison appointed McClellan Major General responsible for Ohio's defense.
Early in the war, President Lincoln assigned McClellan to the Army of the Potomac. McClellan proved to be too cautious for Lincoln's taste and McClellan was removed from his command in 1862.
Lincoln's actions toward McClellan caused him to become one of the President's biggest critics. Though McClellan supported the war effort, he did not think Lincoln's strategy was working. In 1864 the Democratic Party selected McClellan as its presidential candidate to run against Lincoln. Under the direction of Clement Vallandigham the party platform supported the immediate end to the war. When McClellan was forced to conform to the party platform, he appeared inconsistent. Ultimately, military successes at Atlanta, Georgia, Mobile, Alabama, and in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, won Lincoln the election.
McClellan, who had not received another military command since Lincoln removed him from his command over the Army of the Potomac, resigned his commission in the United States Army on the day of the election.
To find out more about George B. McClellan visit http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=258