George Brinton McClellan was appointed the Commander of the Army of the Potomac in 1861 and then General-in-Chief later that year. In March of 1862, he was removed as the General-in-Chief while he was away from Washington as part of the Peninsula Campaign. Then, on November 5, 1862, he was removed as Commander of the Army of the Potomac. Although McClellan was popular with the troops under his command, who called him “Little Mac,” he had vocal critics in the Republican-controlled Congress and President Lincoln had become increasingly frustrated with McClellan’s delays in pursuing the enemy. This letter from October 13, 1862, less than a month after the Union victory at Antietam (Sharpsburg), clearly illustrates that frustration. (By Susan Segal)
Abraham Lincoln to George McClellan, October 13, 1862, in Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (8 vols., New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953), 5: 461-462, http://quod.lib.umich.edu/l/lincoln/.
Transcription adapted from The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (1953), edited by Roy P. Basler
Adapted by Matthew Pinsker, Dickinson College