McClellan, George Brinton, 1826-1885

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1826-12-03
Death 1885-10-29
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

George Brinton McClellan was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1826. He entered the United States Military Academy in 1842 and graduated in 1846, second in his class of cadets. He was commissioned a brevet second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In the fall of 1852, he received an assignment to the Department of Texas, with orders to perform a survey of Texas rivers and harbors. In 1853 he participated in the Pacific Railroad surveys to select an appropriate route for the upcoming transcontinental railroad. McClellan surveyed the northern corridor along the 47th and 49th parallels from St. Paul to the Puget Sound. During this assignment, he demonstrated a tendency for insubordination toward senior political figures. Isaac Stevens, governor of the Washington Territory, became dissatisfied with McClellan's performance in scouting passes across the Cascade Range. (McClellan selected Yakima Pass without a thorough reconnaissance and refused the governor's order to lead a party through it in winter conditions, relying on faulty intelligence about the depth of snow pack in that area. He also neglected to find three greatly superior passes in the near vicinity, which would be the ones eventually used for railroads and interstate highways.) The governor ordered McClellan to turn over his expedition logbooks, but McClellan steadfastly refused, most likely because of embarrassing personal comments that he had made throughout. In 1857, George McClellan resigned his commission and became a chief engineer and vice president of the Illinois Central Railroad and later, President of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad in 1860. When the Civil War broke out, he was commissioned a major general of volunteers and given command of the Ohio militia in 1861. He quickly rose up the ranks and his Civil War service has been discussed at length in other books. After the War, he participated in politics and business. In his later years, he wrote and traveled. He passed away at the age of 58 on Oct. 29, 1885.

From the description of George McClellan's exploration in Kittitas County, 2 Sept. 1853-20 Sept. 1853 : transcribed from The Journal of George McClellan / by Professor Earl Glauert and his students at Central Washington State College. (Washington State Library, Office of Secretary of State). WorldCat record id: 187986862

General in the Civil War.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : St. Moritz, Switzerland, to Achille Vogue, Esq., 1868 Aug. 15. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270607068

From the description of Autograph letter signed : New York, to D. Van Nostrand, Esq., 1863 May 6. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270606747

American soldier, author, and businessman. He was a controversial commander of the Union Army in the Civil War (1861-1865).

From the description of Letter, 1862. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 145435280

Union Army commander.

From the description of Civil War letter, 1862 July 12. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70976285

From the description of Civil War letter of George B. McClellan, 1862 July 12. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 166427683

American army officer.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : New York, N.Y., to Leonard A. Sherman, 1881 Dec. 5. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270606744

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Orange, N.J., to Mr. Odell, 1864 May 4. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270606805

From the description of The regular army of the United States : [n.p.] : autograph manuscript unsigned of the first two pages of the article, [n.d.]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270609542

From the description of Letter signed : "Hd Qtrs. Army of Potomac", to "My dear General", 1862 Mar. 28. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270609297

George Brinton McClellan (1826-1885), Union General.

From the description of Collection of correspondence of George B. McClellan, 1860-1885. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 122540526

Union Army commander; served briefly as general-in-chief of all armies.

From the description of Letter : Orange, N.J., to Henry Brock, Buffalo, N.Y., 1864 Aug. 31. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 40257353

McClellan unsuccessfully ran against Abraham Lincoln for the 1864 presidency after leaving the Union army.

From the description of Broadside, 1864. (Filson Historical Society, The). WorldCat record id: 49252305

Civil War general, 1864 presidential candidate, and governor of New Jersey 1878-1881.

From the description of Letter : Orange, N.J., to Henry G. Hill, New York, 1864 Apr. 28. (Bryn Mawr College). WorldCat record id: 28895187

U.S. Army officer and governor of New Jersey.

From the description of George Brinton McClellan papers, 1783-1898 (bulk 1850-1885). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79449394

Civil War general placed in command of Ohio Volunteer Infantry in 1861.

From the description of Telegrams, 1861. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 52576658

Army officer and governor of New Jersey.

From the description of Papers, 1860-1878. (New Jersey Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 70954775

A West Point graduate with army, engineering, and railroad company experience, McClellan commanded the Army of the Potomac August 1861-November 1862, and was also general-in-chief of the Union armies. He was the Democratic presidential candidate in 1864 and served as governor of New Jersey (1878-1881).

From the description of Letters, October 12, 1863; December 3, 1868. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 436774257

Maj. Gen. McClellan was the organizer of the Army of the Potamac during the Civil War and served briefly as the commander -in-chief of the Union's armies. He served in the US Army from 1846-1864. He ran for president of the United States in 1864 and served as governor of New Jersey, 1878-1881.

From the description of [Letters to Major General H. W. Halleck, 1862 ] / Geo. B. McClellan. (Smith College). WorldCat record id: 263979372

American Army officer.

From the description of Letter signed : "Head-Quarters Army of the Potomac", to Maj. Gen. Halleck, 1862 Oct. 3. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270609301

Biographical Note

  • 1826, Dec. 3: Born, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • 1840 - 1842 : Attended University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • 1842 - 1846 : Attended United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.
  • 1847: Served in Mexican War
  • 1848 - 1851 : Duty as instructor, United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.
  • 1852 - 1853 : Undertook engineering surveys
  • 1855: Appointed captain Reported on European military systems
  • 1857: Resigned commission to become chief engineer, Illinois Central Railroad
  • 1860: Became president of the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad Married Ellen Mary Marcy
  • 1861: Appointed major general of Ohio Volunteers Appointed major general of the regular army Assumed command of the Army of the Potomac
  • 1862: Relinquished command of Army of the Potomac to General Ambrose Everett Burnside
  • 1864: Published Letter of the Secretary of War, Transmitting Report on the organization of the Army of the Potomac, and of Its Campaign in Virginia and Maryland, Under the Command of Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, From 26 July 1861, to 7 Nov. 1862.Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office Nominated by Democratic Party as candidate for president Resigned commission in the army
  • 1865: Toured abroad
  • 1868 - 1878 : Employed as engineer
  • 1878 - 1881 : Governor of New Jersey
  • 1885, Oct. 29: Died, Orange, N. J.
  • 1887: Posthumous publication of McClellan's Own Story. New York: C. L. Webster

From the guide to the George Brinton McClellan Papers, 1783-1898, (bulk 1850-1885), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)

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Subjects:

  • Real property--Maps
  • Military maps
  • Railroads--Surveying
  • Railroad companies
  • President--Election--1864
  • Generals--Biography--Sources
  • Campaign paraphernalia
  • Military geography--Maps
  • Mexican War, 1846-1848
  • Presidential candidates
  • Military architecture--Designs and plans
  • Generals--History--19th century
  • Seven Days' Battles, Va., 1862
  • Recruiting and enlistment
  • Elections--1864
  • Indians of North America--Government relations
  • Aeronautics
  • Manuscript maps
  • Peninsular Campaign, 1862
  • Civil war
  • Oregon
  • Pacific railroads--Explorations and surveys
  • Antietam, Battle of, Md., 1862
  • Generals--Autographs
  • Railroads--United States
  • Elections--United States--1864
  • Broadsides
  • Generals--Correspondence
  • Elections--1863
  • Railroads
  • Maryland Campaign, 1862

Occupations:

  • Army officers
  • Governors--New Jersey
  • Generals--United States

Places:

  • Washington (State) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Kittitas County (Wash.) (as recorded)
  • New York (State) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Arkansas (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Yorktown (Va.) (as recorded)
  • Ohio (as recorded)
  • Virginia (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Military telegraph--United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Virginia (as recorded)
  • Antietam (Md.) (as recorded)
  • Texas (as recorded)
  • United States, Army (as recorded)
  • Maryland (as recorded)
  • Europe (as recorded)
  • Washington Territory (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Germany--Berlin Region (as recorded)
  • Ohio (as recorded)
  • Arkansas (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Europe (as recorded)
  • New York (N.Y.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Washington Territory (as recorded)
  • Antietam (Md.) (as recorded)
  • Virginia (as recorded)
  • Washington (State) (as recorded)
  • Pennsylvania (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Cascade Range (as recorded)
  • Red River (Tex.-La.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Red River (Tex.-La.) (as recorded)
  • Yorktown (Va.) (as recorded)
  • New Jersey (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Washington (State) (as recorded)
  • New Jersey (as recorded)
  • New Jersey (as recorded)
  • Maryland (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Virginia (as recorded)
  • Texas (as recorded)