Grant vs Mcclellan Comare and Contrast

1443 Words Jul 2nd, 2015 6 Pages
1. Describe the different approaches to waging war of Grant and McClellan, utilizing Grant's campaign in the West and McClellan's maneuvers in Virginia.

During the American Civil War, leadership within the Union’s army was constantly an issue. Within the Union, various generals were found at times to be at odds with the political leaders in Washington. This was especially evident in the relationship between General George McClellan and President Lincoln. This tension was the result of McClellan’s approach to waging war. By examining the differing approaches to waging war of U.S. Grant and George B. McClellan one can gain a better appreciation for the decision making that was necessary by leaders like Lincoln, in selecting military
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He suffered what some might refer to in today’s vernacular as something akin to “analysis paralysis.” (McPherson, 1988, pp. 361-365)
McClellan’s caution in waging war is evidenced clearly in the Army of the Potomac’s Peninsula Campaign. McClellan was charged with leading the assault on Richmond, delivering what could have been a fatal blow against the Confederacy. During the Army of the Potomac’s movements towards Richmond, McClellan repeatedly delayed, believing he had inferior numbers to his initial adversary, Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston. Johnston knew the caution McClellan was prone to, and slowly drew McClellan closer to Confederate forces defending Richmond. At the Battle of Seven Pines, Johnston reinforced the idea in McClellan’s mind that caution was necessary. (McPherson, 1988, p. 461) The surprise attach by Johnston’s forces, though ultimately defeated by the Army of the Potomac, delayed McClellan’s advance as he called for more reinforcements from Washington. Johnston was wounded in the battle, and replaced by General Robert E. Lee. Lee, whose prowess as a tactician bordered on legendary, led a series of surprise attacks against McClellan’s Army of the Potomac in the Seven Days’ Battle. McClellan’s forces were pushed back, and he was relieved of duty as commander of the Army of the Potomac, until later in 1862. (McPherson, 1988, pp. 462-470)
In contrast with McClellan stood U.S.
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