What did McClellan write to his wife?

Lincoln Versus Horace Greeley Read more from
Chapter Army of Northern Virginia: February to September 1862

Their relationship was exceptionally close, and McClellan revealed many things in his letters that should probably have never been committed to paper. McClellan’s views of Lincoln varied, for example. At times, McClellan believed that he practically had Lincoln in his pocket; at others, he railed at “the baboon” or “gorilla.” McClellan also had very strong feelings about Secretary of War Stanton, whom he practically accused of treason. When reading McClellan’s letters, at times one wonders if he is an imbecile, but then one realizes he is, rather, a messianic type of religious zealot.

Time and again, McClellan referred to the divine hand of Providence, saying it had chosen him to save the Union. Time after time, McClellan thanked God for allowing him to be the deliverer of the nation. Significantly, McClellan almost never spoke of African Americans, and when he did it was always in disparaging terms. Though he had some fine qualities, McClellan was a quiet racist, one who wanted to ensure that the Civil War ended soon so that the question of black emancipation would not become the leading element.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Civil War Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App