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The Life of General McClellan George Briton McClellan was born on December 3 1826 in Philadelphia He was the son of Dr George McClellan and Elizabeth Brinton McClellan George B McClellan was slightly under middle height but very squarely and powerfully built He had exceptional strength and endurance McClellan had red hair and a mustache Growing up George B McClellan attended the finest preparatory schools in Philadelphia In 1840 he entered the University of Pennsylvania Two years later he left the University of Pennsylvania and entered West Point When he graduated from West Point the Mexican War had begun He went immediately to the front-line of the war For his heroics McClellan received the rank of Captain In 1860 he married Ellen Marcy the daughter of his old commander in the Red River They had two children a son and a daughter The next year 1861 McClellan joined the Union army After the defeat of the Union at Bull Run McClellan became the Commander of the Union forces He transformed the Army of the Potomac the new name of the Union forces into a well-drilled military machine McClellan success in improving the army and his leadership skills earned him the nickname of Young Napoleon Young Napoleon had one major flaw He was unable to use the full potential of his army This came from his unwillingness to take risks In addition McClellan failed to maintain a good working relationship with the Lincoln administration McClellan made much progress with the Army of the Potomac but three failed opportunities cost his command In the summer of 1862 McClellan failed to capture the Confederate capital Richmond He brought his forces within six miles of the city News reached him that Lee had launched a series of assaults near Washington DC Lee led a small group of man and Washington had a powerful force protecting it Lee was not as close to Washington as McClellan was to Richmond Instead
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