Who was the better George? McClellan or Thomas?

Who was the better George?

  • George B. McClellan

  • George H. Thomas


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#3
We have a lot of threads about the relative merits of George B. McClellan and George H. Thomas featuring arguments that neither man was given his just due. Here's your chance to reverse that trend and weigh their relative merits.
Paging @67th Tigers @Saphroneth @David Moore .
If we go by a simple win loss vs loss record then Thomas by all odds.
Of course history is not that simple.
The counter argument is that McClellan never received the manpower he needed.
Leftyhunter
 

jackt62

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#10
I voted for Thomas, although may opinion of McClellan has become more favorable as I delve deeper into his battles and campaigns. Certainly one vast difference between the two men was that Thomas displayed more modesty and less braggadocio, while McClellan was a notable prima donna. Interestingly however, McClellan's boastfulness got him into trouble with Lincoln and Stanton, whereas Thomas's quieter, demeanor did not always sit well with his superior Grant.
 
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#11
We have a lot of threads about the relative merits of George B. McClellan and George H. Thomas featuring arguments that neither man was given his just due. Here's your chance to reverse that trend and weigh their relative merits.
To be fair and balanced McClellan vs Thomas is comparing Apple's to oranges.
They had different missions and fought in two separate areas. McClellan had a much more challeging task in trying to sieze Richmond in 1862 plus McClellan is fighting s better equipped foe with better logistics.
Thomas had a huge advantage over Hood at Nashville in terms of manpower position and logistics. Nothing wrong with that but we can't compare Thomas in 1864 to McClellan in 1862. To many differences.
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contestedground

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#12
To be fair and balanced McClellan vs Thomas is comparing Apple's to oranges.
They had different missions and fought in two separate areas. McClellan had a much more challeging task in trying to sieze Richmond in 1862 plus McClellan is fighting s better equipped foe with better logistics.
Thomas had a huge advantage over Hood at Nashville in terms of manpower position and logistics. Nothing wrong with that but we can't compare Thomas in 1864 to McClellan in 1862. To many differences.
Leftyhunter
But you just did.
 

Bee

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#13
I never gave much thought to all the vitriol about McClellan, until I began the study of Second Manasass. I cannot help but believe that McClellan would purposely drag his feet until Pope was annihilated, and then time his arrival in time for victory to reclaim command. I am not far enough along to varify or debunk this theory. Based on this and other correspondence, I would say that Thomas wins in the category of character, at the very least.
  • IMG_0642.JPG
  • John Hennessy,Second Manasass, (p 241)
 
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#14
To be fair and balanced McClellan vs Thomas is comparing Apple's to oranges.
They had different missions and fought in two separate areas. McClellan had a much more challeging task in trying to sieze Richmond in 1862 plus McClellan is fighting s better equipped foe with better logistics.
Thomas had a huge advantage over Hood at Nashville in terms of manpower position and logistics. Nothing wrong with that but we can't compare Thomas in 1864 to McClellan in 1862. To many differences.
Leftyhunter
I don't know that a comparison is necessarily unfair: both had a job to do, and one did his job successfully with a minimum of complaint while the other seemed to find every opportunity to complain whether the outcome was favorable or not. I pick Thomas hands down as well, but as others have said, I am not anti-Mac. He had a tough job at a very tough time in a very tough theater with a very bright spotlight.
 
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#15
I don't know that a comparison is necessarily unfair: both had a job to do, and one did his job successfully with a minimum of complaint while the other seemed to find every opportunity to complain whether the outcome was favorable or not. I pick Thomas hands down as well, but as others have said, I am not anti-Mac. He had a tough job at a very tough time in a very tough theater with a very bright spotlight.
He made his row tougher to hoe with his attitude, however. Thomas just did his job, without all the whining and complaining. A much more solid performance, despite other's background machinations.
 
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#16
He made his row tougher to hoe with his attitude, however. Thomas just did his job, without all the whining and complaining. A much more solid performance, despite other's background machinations.
Couldn't agree more! Bruce Catton has a nice analysis of Mac in which he asks how a general conducts himself so he can get his job done. Lee, obviously, had the ability to factor political considerations into his military strategy, allowing him to get his way at times. Mac, for all his other strengths, did not, choosing to see the civilian government as an obstacle and enemy.
 

Andy Cardinal

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#17
I don't know that a comparison is necessarily unfair: both had a job to do, and one did his job successfully with a minimum of complaint while the other seemed to find every opportunity to complain whether the outcome was favorable or not. I pick Thomas hands down as well, but as others have said, I am not anti-Mac. He had a tough job at a very tough time in a very tough theater with a very bright spotlight.
From what I can tell, Thomas had a lot more to complain about. To keep his mouth shut and keep doing his job says a lot about him.
 
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#20
One wife saved her husband's correspondence, which condemned the man in the eyes of history. -1 for McClellan.
One wife destroyed her husband's correspondence, and that man's superior pointedly compared the man to George Washington. +2 for Thomas.
Gary Gallagher says that the fact that she kept his letters reflects how much Ellen Marcy McClellan disliked her husband. In jest of course!:D
 
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