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Who was the better George? McClellan or Thomas?

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by contestedground, Apr 10, 2018.

?

Who was the better George?

  1. George B. McClellan

  2. George H. Thomas

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  1. contestedground

    contestedground First Sergeant

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    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.
     

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  3. Bee

    Bee Captain Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Gettysburg 2017

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    Thread Subtitle: Battle of the Fanboys.
     
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  4. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Colonel

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    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
     
  5. Eleanor Rose

    Eleanor Rose 1st Lieutenant

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  6. Viper21

    Viper21 First Sergeant

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    I picked George Thomas. However, I'll admit... I only did so, because I have an ancestor named George Thomas who fought in the war :D
     
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  7. 67th Tigers

    67th Tigers 2nd Lieutenant

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    Nah, then it would be Grant vs Thomas.
     
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  8. contestedground

    contestedground First Sergeant

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    Spoken like a true McClellan apologist.
     
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  9. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Retired Moderator

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    Thomas
     
  10. JOHN42768

    JOHN42768 Captain Trivia Game Winner

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    Thomas without breaking a sweat
     
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  11. jackt62

    jackt62 Sergeant Major

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    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.
     
  12. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Colonel

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    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
     
  13. contestedground

    contestedground First Sergeant

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    But you just did.
     
  14. Bee

    Bee Captain Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Gettysburg 2017

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    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)
     
  15. amweiner

    amweiner 2nd Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    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.
     
  16. Northern Light

    Northern Light Major

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    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.
     
  17. amweiner

    amweiner 2nd Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    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.
     
  18. Andy Cardinal

    Andy Cardinal Sergeant

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    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.
     
  19. Northern Light

    Northern Light Major

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    He was a man of much honour and grace, as opposed to that little snob from Philadelphia.
     
  20. wausaubob

    wausaubob Captain

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    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.
     
  21. Northern Light

    Northern Light Major

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    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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