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Only about two years. Then he quit to run against Lincoln in the 1864 election.

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Q: How long was George B McClellan an Army General?
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How many diffrent commanders did the Union army have in the first two years of the civil war?

The "Union Army" was the US Army - all of it. Its overall commander stayed in Washington DC until Grant was put in that position, and Grant stayed in the field with his field armies. The Union Army had several field armies out conducting operations throughout the war. The US Army at the start of the war was under General in Chief Winfield Scott, who was 75 years old and had been in the Army since 1808 - 53 years. There was no system of retirement pay then, and officers served until they died. "Old Fuss and Feathers" had been a hero of the War of 1812, but was now enormously fat - over 400 pounds. He was very tall too, 6' 8", and when on those rare occasions when he decided to try to ride his poor, long suffering horse, he had to be hoisted up on it with a block and tackle. He tended to fall asleep in the middle of conversations. Scott finally retired in 1862 and his place was taken by "The Young Napoleon", George B. McClellan. At the time McClellan was also commanding a field army, the Army of the Potomac. He assured Lincoln he could do both jobs. Lincoln could never seem to get McClellan to do anything, especially not fight battles, and eventually replaced him as General in Chief with "Old Brains", Henry W. Halleck, but for the time left McClellan in command of his field army. Halleck was a disappointment too, and was replaced by Grant in 1864. But I suspect what you are really asking is how many commanders did the most famous Union field army, the Army of the Potomac, go through in the first two years of the war. The answer is seven. Irvin McDowell, McClellan, John Pope, McClellan again, Ambrose Burnside, Joe Hooker, and George Meade. Meade actually remained in command of the Army of the Potomac for the rest of the war, but beginning in 1864, when Grant became General in Chief, he made his HQ with Meade's Army and moved with it, so people tend to forget Meade was there and that Grant did not directly command the that field army.

Why did lee withdraw from petersburg?

Lee chose to withdraw from Petersburg in order to meet up with General Joseph Johnson. However, General George Meade of the Union Army intercepted the column and Richmond soon fell. This led to the surrender at Appomattox not long after.

Who spent a long cold winter at Valley Forge?

George Washington's Continental Army stayed during the cold long winters at Valley forge.

When George Washington's army set up camp for the winter at Valley Forge did Washington get a warm bed?

No the winter at valley forge was long and difficult. He didnt have enough food or clothing and a lot of his army deserted the camp.

Why was the battle of Antientam considered to be one of the turning points in the war?

Antietam (or Sharpsburg) is considered a turning point of the American Civil War for several reasons. The battle brought to an end the first Confederate campaign north of the Potomac River, whether one considers the movement that brought the Confederate army there an invasion, or a big raid. Another result was the battle and what followed gave Lincoln the excuse to at long last rid himself of General George McClellan. McClellan, despite outnumbering Lee three to one, failed to destroy Lee's army, when Lee was fighting with his back to the River, which was in flood stage, making escape for any part of Lee's army forced to flee from a defeat all but impossible. As Lincoln, untrained in military matters but a very quick learner, said: "He had them in the palm of his hand, and had only to close his hand about them". McClellan failed to get large portions of his army into the battle; two of his seven army corps never fired a shot all day. McClellan basically fought three separate battles, on the north end, the middle, and then the south end of the field, failing to make these efforts simultaneously, allowing Lee to move forces around to meet each individual threat. Thus Lee was able to hang on, though it was a very, very near thing several times. Lee knew his opponent, and the day after the battle remained on the field, daring McClellan to try again, and then, the River having gone down some, was allowed to depart over the River (and a River crossing in the presence of the enemy is extremely dangerous, if that enemy attacks while the army is in the midst of crossing). McClellan then crowed about having "driven" Lee out of Maryland, failing to grasp that he had left intact the Rebel army, to fight again on many more fields. McClellan truly had the chance to end the war that day, and seems not to have understood that whatsoever, so it would take two and one half more years to bring the slaughter to an end. But McClellan was an important Democrat, and Lincoln had to handle him carefully. Weeks after the battle Lincoln visited McClellan and his army, still on the field at Antietam, with no idea where Lee was south of the River, in an effort to nudge McClellan into motion, and get him going after the enemy. But McClellan could not be moved. Lincoln still had to wait until after the midterm elections in early November, 1862, but within a couple of days after those elections, McClellan was relieved of his command, and was never given another command during the rest of the war. Of the half dozen commanders of the Army of the Potomac Lincoln tried before finding Meade and Grant, McClellan lasted the longest, but finally getting rid of him started the long and painful search process, involving many failures, which finally allowed Lincoln to obtain a more competent commander for his main field army. But the most important result of the battle, and perhaps the biggest reason the battle was a pivotal turning point, was the effect overseas. Britain and France had been on the verge of intervening in the war, which would have meant the Confederacy would have achieved its aim, of establishing itself as an independent nation, and so would have basically won the war. Lee had given as one of the reasons for making this move into the north that he hoped "to conquer a peace" there, by winning a big battle on northern soil, thus encouraging Britain and France to intervene on his side. Failing to win, though he did not lose either, this did not happen, and ended the closest flirtation Britain and France had with the idea of intervention. After the battle Lincoln issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation (he had been waiting, for months, for a Union victory to do so), and after that, any foreign intervention would have seemed to be an intervention in favor of slavery. Neither Britain nor France were willing to be seen in that light.

Related questions

How long did Union General George B McClellan take to train and the Army of the Potomac?

General George B. McClellan was a master at training, organizing and gaining almost full loyalty to his soldiers and their commanders. In his attempt to make the Army of the Potomac an unbeatable army, he took about eight months. He was then satisfied they were ready for combat.

What civil war general did lincolns fire for delaying too long?

George McClellan

Who was commander of the Union army in 1862?

The Federal Army of the Potomac was led by Major General George McClellan in the Autumn of 1862, and would be replaced later that Fall, in November, by Major General Ambrose E. Burnside. The change in military leadership was a surprise to many people in the North who supported General McClellan. President Lincoln waited until the off-year elections of 1862 were finished before he relieved McClellan. Playing politics with top generals such as Burnside and McClellan were not in the Union's best interests.

What was the contents of the scouting report furnished by Captain Custer to General George B McClellan on September 15 1862?

Captain George Custer was on a scouting mission for General George B. McClellan on September 15, 1862. He reported to the general that he had observed the Confederate army in full view and in perfect line, established on a ridge near Sharpsburg. Custer noted that the Rebel battle line was one and a half miles long and that Confederate General Longstreet had forty cannons.

What was ironic concerning the relationship between General Henry Halleck and General George B McClellan?

The irony concerning both of these Union generals was quite unique. When General Halleck was sent to Missouri to clean up the mess left by General Fremont, he also planned on helping the new general in chief George B. McClellan. Not long after, their roles were reversed. It was McClellan reporting to Halleck, as he was the new general in chief.

What was the letter President Lincoln sent to General George B McClellan in October of 1862?

On October 13, 1862, President Lincoln sent General McClellan a long letter explaining the plans Lincoln believed were needed to defeat the South. Lincoln was almost sure that an aggressive Union response from McClellan's army would not be forthcoming. With that said, McClellan had every chance to keep his position if he even tried to execute the plans Lincoln sent to him.

How did the actions of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson at the First Battle of Bull Run lead General George B McClellan to take charge of the Union army?

Jackson led a determined stand against the Union Army

What two corps did General McClellan not send to reinforce General Pope's troops at Manassas?

Two corps of the Army of the Potomac were under General McClellan's control at Alexandria. They were General Sumner's Second Corps and General Franklin's Sixth Corps. This totaled 25,000 troops. McClellan saw General Pope as incompetent and did not want to waste good troops to save Pope's hopeless situation. General in Chief Henry W. Halleck ordered McClellan to send these troops to reinforce Pope. McClellan held back these troops as long as possible. McClellan also urged General Pope to not engage the Rebel troops and to retreat to the north.

What were General George B McClellan's plans to keep Kentucky in the Union?

In one respect, both General McClellan and President Lincoln did have a solid agreement on keeping Kentucky from joining the Confederacy. Kentucky was a slave state and long after McClellan had been relived of military duties, Lincoln allowed what McClellan had suggested before he took control of the Army of the Potomac. Kentucky was in delicate balance. McClellan believed that as long as Kentucky remained in a so-called state of neutrality, Union troops not be sent there, as to do otherwise might lean Kentucky towards the Confederacy. Only if the South invaded Kentucky, should Union forces be sent to drive them out.

How long did General George B McClellan serve as the Union's general in chief?

In general terms, General George B. McClellan served only four months as general in chief. During his tenure there were several major developments. The Peninsula campaign was tried and failed, which led to the Second Battle of Bull Run. This in turn was followed by the South's march into Maryland and into the Battle of Antietam. This was yet another significant military operation. McClellan was relieved of duty some seven weeks after that horrific battle.

How long did it take General In Chief George B McClellan to prepare his army for battle?

US President Lincoln had been badly disappointed by the Union army's performance and defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run. He was not alone. Newspapers and the general public of the Union were equally disappointed. One cause for the defeat was that the Union army took the field as an untrained army. It's commanders did the best they could with their new recruits. Aiding the Union defeat was poor strategy and poor tactics. They failed to recognize the superiority of the Confederacy's interior lines and the importance of using railroads as a means to position troops when and where they were needed.Lincoln, quite correctly, gave the job of retraining the Army of the Potomac to General George B. McClellan. His brilliance and youth became well known, so much so that Lincoln appointed him to the position of General In Chief of the US Army. His direct command was over the Army of the Potomac. This was the primary military force that protected Washington DC. Lincoln was impressed with McClellan and gave him the time required to become a trained and successful fighting force. This took approximately eight months. Drilling, marching, and tactics were part of the training. McClellan's methods were excellent, and he was by all accounts an organizer and planner ranking above all the top men the US had from West Point.

What happened to Union General John Pope's Army of Virginia?

Not long after Union General John Pope lost to the Confederates at the Second Battle of Bull Run, President Lincoln relived pope and sent him to the the western frontier to deal with Native American issues. His Army of Virginia that Lincoln created for him was incorporated into Major General George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac. Lincoln believed this was necessary in order to hamper Robert E. Lee's war operations.