George McClellan is one of the most oft-criticized figures from the Civil War, but has he been treated fairly? Our series on “Little Mac” will look at the important contributions McClellan made to the Union war effort but also point out his failures. In part 1, we examine his childhood, time at West Point and academic prowess, service in Mexico, observatory trip to the Crimean War, and career as a railroad executive. With the outbreak of war in 1861, McClellan is compelled to return to the U.S. Army. Most of his friends are Southerners, but George McClellan believes that preservation of the Union is worth fighting for.
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