President Lincoln's relationship with General George McClellan
Beach, William, 1934-
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George Brinton McClellan graduated from West Point in 1846 and served with credit on General Scott's staff during the Mexican War. After serving with General Scott, General McClellan was assigned as an instructor in practical engineering at West Point. He later became an engineering officer when he was able to get away from teaching, since working in the field was his preference. However, due to the few opportunities for advancement that were offered in the army - he was a captain in the First Cavalry - he desired to retire in 1857. Many other Northerners who had shown promise at West Point, Halleck, Hooker, Burnside, Sherman, Rosecrans, also had felt sufficiently discouraged to resign their commissions and returned to civil life. 1 In 1857, when he resigned from the army, he became chief engineer of the Illinois Central Railroad due to his high qualifications and experience. By 1860 he became president of the eastern division of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad. Upon the outbreak of the Civil War, despite the large increase in salary which was given him, compared to his meager army pay, he decided to once again enter the service that he was trained for.