Opinions on Generalship of George B. McClellan? I regularly see McClellan listed as one of the worst commanders of the war. Looking at his career I don't really share this opinion. Overall I agree with Lee who said that McClellan was a "capable" but "cautious" commander. I don't however agree with Lee that he was the best Union general of the war, overall I would rate him a 6-7/10. Looking at his military career.... McClellan was a skilled organizer who on taking command built up both the Army of the Potomac and the defenses of Washington. He also seems to have been relatively popular with the average soldier and kept morale steady. His first offensive, the Peninsula campaign was overall unsuccessful. He was pushed back from Richmond and his army suffered a bad defeat at Gaines Mill. I would do not however deem the campaign totally without worth. The Union achieved a favorable casualty rate and at Malvern Hill did significant damage to the Confederate army. The positions he managed to take south of Richmond had Lee looking over his shoulder for the rest of the war. The early part of the Antietam campaign was probably McClellan's worst moment. Despite having Lee's orders he failed to move quickly and crush Lee's army when it was divided. The battle of Antietam itself was a bloody affair that ended with no clear winner. McClellan, probably due to Porter's apprehension, failed to send in his reserves and win what could have been a decisive victory and Lee was able to withdraw. The battle was still a strategic Union victory that repelled Lee's invasion and paved the way for the Emancipation Proclamation. Shortly after Antietam, McClellan was relived of command for failing to pursue Lee. Had he remained in command I don't think we would have seen the Army of the Potomac suffering disasters like Fredericksburg or Chancellorsville. We would have probably seen a long build up period and a return to the Peninsula which may or may not have been successful. I think McClellan would have provided steadier leadership then Burnside, Hooker or Meade, though I do think Hooker is overall the best general of the four. McClellan's motto could be called " better safe then sorry" and I think it is unlikely that McClellan would have been crushed by Lee because he simply doesn't take big risks. Not sure how the rest of the war would have played out but I think an argument can be made that it would have been perhaps less bloody. Opinions?