Ocean, Valley, and River
“I can do it all,” McClellan assured Lincoln when the president named him general-in-chief of the Union armies. Never a shrinking violet, the “Young Napoleon” then wrote to his wife, “Who would have thought, when we were married, that I should so soon be called upon to save my country?”
But as weeks dragged into months without a decisive campaign from McClellan, Lincoln’s hopes for his general turned to doubt. On March 11, 1862, Lincoln formally relieved McClellan as general-in-chief of the armies, returning him to command of the Army of the Potomac only. But when the president urged him to lead this now drilled and polished force from Washington to Richmond, McClellan proposed a plan at once more ambitious ...