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"Abraham Lincoln and George B. McClellan" Topic

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©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2017 10:12 p.m. PST

"General George B. McClellan made a good first impression. He was also a striking contrast to the nation's commander's in chief, Abraham Lincoln. "General McClellan is indeed a striking figure, in spite of his shortness," recalled Lincoln aide William O. Stoddard. "He is the impersonation of health and strength, and he is in the prime of early manhood. His uniform is faultless and his stars are brilliant, especially the middle one on each strap. His face is full of intelligence, of will-power, of self-assertion, and he, too, is in some respects a born leader of men. He has been admirably educated for such duties as are now upon hm, and he has studied the science and art of war among European camps and forts and armies and battle-fields. He has vast stores of technical knowledge never to be acquired by any man among the backwoods, or on the prairies, or in law courts, or in political conventions. He can hardly conceal the clearness of his conviction that he ought not be trammeled by any authority in human form that is by him supposed to be destitute of the essential training which he himself so fully possesses."1

The paths of McClellan and Mr. Lincoln had crossed in the late 1850s in Illinois. McClellan had resigned from Army in 1857 and became general superintendent of Illinois Central Railroad, for which Mr. Lincoln was an attorney. McClellan became a strong supporter of Stephen Douglas in 1858 Senate race, but biographer Ethan Rafus maintained that "there is, in fact, no evidence that any personal animosity developed between Lincoln and McClellan during the 1850s. Indeed, McClellan would later remember his association with Lincoln in Illinois with some measure of fondness. In his memoirs, McClellan affectionately recalled sharing sleeping accommodations with Lincoln ‘in out-of-the-way county seats where some important case was being tried…in front of a stove listening to the unceasing flow of anecdotes from his lips. He was never at a loss, and I could never quite make up my mind how many of them he really heard before and how many he invented on the spur of the moment.'"2 Illinois Judge Lawrence Weldon recalled a different story – the first time that Mr. Lincoln and Captain McClellan were supposed to have met:

"It was in 1859, while attorney for the Illinois Central Railroad, that in connection with C.H. Moore, Mr. Lincoln attended to the litigation of the company. He appeared in one case which the company did not want to try at that term, and Mr. Lincoln remarked to the court: ‘We are not ready for trial.'"
"Judge [David]Davis asked: ‘Why is not the company ready to go trial?'"
"Mr. Lincoln replied: ‘We are embarrassed by the absence, or rather want of information from Captain McClellan.'"
"‘Who is Captain McClellan, and why is he not here?' asked Judge Davis."
"Mr. Lincoln said: ‘All I know of him is that he is the engineer of the railroad, and why he is not here deponent said not.'"
"In consequence of Captain McClellan's absence the case was continued. Lincoln and McClellan had never met up to that time, and the most they knew of each other was that one was the attorney and the other was the engineer of the Illinois Central Railroad."…"
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vtsaogames Inactive Member08 Apr 2017 1:35 p.m. PST

A lengthy and good article. thanks.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Apr 2017 11:03 p.m. PST

Glad you enjoyed it my friend!. (smile)


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