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George McClellan (1826-1885)

George B. McClellanPhiladelphia-born George Brinton McClellan graduated West Point in 1846 and fought in the Mexican War before leaving the military in 1857 to serve as a railroad executive. Returning to service at the outset of the Civil War, he made a name for himself by clearing western Virginia of a number of small Rebel forces and was chosen by Lincoln to head the Union army following its defeat at First Bull Run. Though he proved a brilliant organizer, as a battlefield commander his performance was characterized by over-cautiousness and a failure to maintain the initiative. Replaced by A. E. Burnside following the Battle of Antietam, he would make an unsuccessful run for president against Lincoln in the election of 1864.

George McClellan