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McClellan's impetuous letters

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by pfcjking, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. pfcjking

    pfcjking Sergeant Major

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    Most of us here are aware of the character, or lack there of, of Little Mac. But when did all his personal letters revealing his childish tantrums become public knowledge? I know his telegrams were official records, but his letters to his wife were private, and dear God they were terrible... Who was supposed to have burned them, but decided to give us an invite to the little man's ego?
     

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  3. ErnieMac

    ErnieMac Captain Forum Host Trivia Game Winner

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  4. pfcjking

    pfcjking Sergeant Major

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    Did she do it for the money? There is not many things in those letters I'd want people to know if I was him.

    Perhaps the two of them were completely unaware of his attitude...

    I've often wondered how she read those letters and took his attitude. Maybe she thought he was his normal self... Either way, that little guy really was full of himself.
     
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  5. dlavin

    dlavin First Sergeant

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    i think we have all felt that way at some point about a boss we had/or have.

    in modern times, its like sending an email about your boss indicating your dissatisfaction. Nonetheless, he held a lot of disdain for Washington. Some of his language is borderline insubordination.
     
  6. 1stMN

    1stMN Sergeant

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    Not sure I would have released them if I had been her but consider how much entertainment we've gotten from them on CWT alone! :smile:

    I suppose his letters complaining about the commander in chief would be akin to tactless people complaining about their job or boss on social media in today's world. Although, I'd submit that some of the things he said about Lincoln were beyond just complaining.
     
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  7. ErnieMac

    ErnieMac Captain Forum Host Trivia Game Winner

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    I see no evidence Mary Ellen Marcy McClellan needed the money. George had been a successful businessman and she was receiving a pension from the State of New Jersey ($100 / month in 1914 - 1915). She was the wife and daughter of generals, her son was a US Congressman and her daughter was married to a French diplomat. Perhaps she had a sense of history about her, or maybe it was a passive form of revenge for not being permitted to marry A. P. Hill. We don't see any of Ellen's letters to George. No telling what she really thought.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
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  8. Michael W.

    Michael W. Sergeant

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    I don't know why she released them for publication, instead of destroying them, but one thing is for sure, they have caused a very negative view of him. He would have been better off in history's eyes had they never been made public. For the record, I am NOT a McClellan fan.....just wanted to let everyone know right off the bat...:smile:
     
  9. pfcjking

    pfcjking Sergeant Major

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    When unionblue likes something I've posted, I feel like I've done something right.
     
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  10. FrenchZouave

    FrenchZouave Corporal

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    His telegrams to Washington during the Peninsular Campaign are priceless. It showed his capacity to not be in command of a army that was much larger than "Bobby Lee". All the reports from the Pinkerton fools added to it. Have not read his personal letters yet.
     
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  11. Dave G

    Dave G Corporal

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    The guy had a way with words.
    The President is no more than a well-meaning baboon. I went to the White House directly after tea, where I found "The Original Gorilla", about as intelligent as ever. What a specimen to be at the head of our affairs now.
    Read more at: http://www.azquotes.com/quote/701304
     
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  12. jackt62

    jackt62 Sergeant Major

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    If a 20th century commander expressed the thoughts about the president, that McClellan did about Lincoln, that commander would have been relieved immediately.
     
  13. pfcjking

    pfcjking Sergeant Major

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    Stanley McChrystal
     
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  14. jackt62

    jackt62 Sergeant Major

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    I knew there was somebody recently. Thanks.
     
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  15. pfcjking

    pfcjking Sergeant Major

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    So I just peroused the "Biographical Sketch" for the first 18 pages. Its fanciful at best. Here are a few key points.

    1) Mac was defeated at he Seven Days because he was outnumbered and Mcdowell was too cowardly to link up wiyh him on the North side of Richmond.
    2) He was on the eve of a great new offensive when Halleck recalled the AOT to Washington.
    3) He was removed from command both times because it was feared that he was going to take over the country in a coup.
    4) When Lincoln asked him to save the country after 2nd Manassas, he was crying and apologizing, and had only relieved him under political pressure.
    5) Lincoln knew and understood the reasons behind his lack pursuit after Sharpsburg.
    6) He was relieved the 2nd time because the Republicans were afraid of his political prowess building, and since he was certainly about to crush Lee in a major battle in the fall of 62.
     
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  16. jackt62

    jackt62 Sergeant Major

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    I'd hate to have McClellan as an employee.
     
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  17. pfcjking

    pfcjking Sergeant Major

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    Lincoln,Stanton, Halleck, and Scott.... They fully agree.
     
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  18. LoriAnn

    LoriAnn Captain

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    I've noticed he's quite the favorite punching bag.
     
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  19. Drew

    Drew Captain

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    Douglas MacArthur.
     
  20. Jamieva

    Jamieva 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

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    I just read McClellan's "memoir" over the holidays. The 18 page preamble itself is quite a work. I think his wife published it because he died in the middle of writing it. The editors even note in the book where he was in writing it when he died
     
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  21. pfcjking

    pfcjking Sergeant Major

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    That little man really did have too much confidence. He lived in a strange fantasy world where his own bosses were conspiring against him, and he was fearlessly defying the vastly overpowering rebel army despite every increasingly long odds. Of course, little, if any of that was true... Do we have a shrink in the house? Lets diagnose this snarky little man with something.
     

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