McClellan set the bar so high he couldn't reach it.No, he was probably one of the best commanders the US produced. He was however the victim of, as Grant described it, "earliness". The government and public simply didn't understand the nature of war, and expected a grand Waterloo style victory culminating in a march into Richmond. This was of course never achieved by anyone.
Essentially, the bar was set so high that no-one could reach it. He didn't reach that bar, and then nobody that followed him, Pope, Burnside, Meade or Grant, reached it either. If you read some of the diaries of Lincoln's cabinet members then even in 1864 they are expecting a Waterloo style victory, and are appalled with what Grant delivered.
Yet no commander of the AoP killed more Confederate troops and lost less Union troops doing so.
C'mon, Lefty. Grant's armies throughout the war caused over 100,000 Confederate casualties - capturing three whole armies. In his seven major campaigns (McClellan led two) you think maybe more Confederates were killed than in the Peninsula and Maryland campaigns?Yet no commander of the AoP killed more Confederate troops
Bad? No. Underwhelming? Yes. He was an officer who would have been far better suited to a desk job in Washington, but instead was put in the field where he found out the hard way that in war, the enemy gets a vote.Is it true that McClelland was a bad commander?
That's not what I'm talking about. I am talking about the focus that an excellent battlefield commander has on the destruction of the opposing force. If Grant had been in command at Antietam, Lee's army would have been obliterated.
The Battle of Antietam is fought on September 17, 1862. On September 19, 1862 the Battle of Iuka is fought. In both cases, the Rebel armies escape. Grant doesn't look much better at Iuka than McClellan looks at Antietam.We can't ever know that. I forgot the author's name who I believe @67th Tigers had a link to his lectures but McCellen led many green troops and getting them organized was difficult.
The author pointed out that has a so called bad general McCellen captured many Confederate soldiers and battle flags.
With McClellan still holding a knife to Lee's throat, and it only being a question of time before the rebellion was destroyed... Then Halleck saved Lee.
Nah- He retreated away from his primary objective and eventually found himself back where he started from.With McClellan still holding a knife to Lee's throat, and it only being a question of time before the rebellion was destroyed... Then Halleck saved Lee.
Either Peninsula or Maryland/Northern Va. Take your pick because both are correct.
Because Halleck ordered him too.Nah- He retreated away from his primary objective and eventually found himself back where he started from.
The Campaign failed but McCellen was waging an offensive while fighting a strong enemy equal in numbers. Lincoln withheld men that McCellen requested unnecessarily to defend Washington DC. Had McCellen outnumbered the AnV had did Grant two years latter it is highly probable McCellen could have seized Richmond.
To be precise McClellan shifted his base south to avoid the destruction of his army, since the base he had been ordered to stay on by Stanton had become untenable. He then asked for reinforcements sufficient to resume the advance.Mac "changed his base" (AKA retreat) and then did nothing.
What exactly did Halleck do to try to get McClellan to move the campaign forwards? He certainly didn't send McClellan any reinforcements at all, and he didn't send any bridging materials either; this means either Halleck was insufficiently supportive OR McClellan had enough men to simply advance on Richmond sans any extra support and take it easily.Halleck did call him back after trying to get him to do something in the way of moving the campaign forward to no avail.
Well, he didn't make any positive progress towards beating the enemy for a few weeks, but I'm sure he's not unique in terms of Union commanders on that front...His recall was a result of his own failure.
McCellen on a proportional basis achieved a higher number of Confederate casualties for the loss of fewer men then did any commander of the AoP. Grant inflicted more casualties but suffered much more casualties then did McCellen and Grant had more manpower then McCellen.C'mon, Lefty. Grant's armies throughout the war caused over 100,000 Confederate casualties - capturing three whole armies. In his seven major campaigns (McClellan led two) you think maybe more Confederates were killed than in the Peninsula and Maryland campaigns?
To be fair the AoP under Grant outnumbered the AnV. McCellen desperately asked for reinforcements but Lincoln denied the request and kept needed troops twiddling their thumbs at Washington DC.OK I will accept that as true but does Mac ever take an offensive posture? Even when he has the advantage.....in numbers or postion or elsewise... Grant knew he was paying a very expensive "Butchers Bill" but he wanted this thing to end and Lincoln was 100% on board with that. If Mac continued to control the AOP or all armys, when would it have ended?
Possibly the same statement said differently.... What I see different about Grant as opposed to his predecessors was he had complete control over how the troops were deployed. I'm not sure if Halleck really did; if he did he did not exercise it. Certainly no commander of the Army of the Potomac could call for the reinforcements Grant did over the course of the campaign.During McClellan's campaign in 1862 and Grant's campaign in 1864 there was about 200,000 men's worth of manpower (PFD) in the eastern theatre.
The differences between the two are that Grant's campaign had access to 170,000 of those men at one time or another (vice 120,000 for McClellan), and that Grant's enemy had a smaller force passing through his army.
Neither of them took Richmond by the end of July. But of the two I think it is fair to say that there's a stronger argument that "McClellan could have succeeded with 150,000 total" (i.e. give him 30,000 reinforcements) than that "Grant could have succeeded with 150,000 total" (i.e. take 20,000 of his men away)
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