Manuscript/Mixed Material Letter, Mary Todd Lincoln to Abraham Lincoln advising her husband to remove the hesitant Gen. George B. McClellan from command, 2 November [1862].

About this Item

Title
Letter, Mary Todd Lincoln to Abraham Lincoln advising her husband to remove the hesitant Gen. George B. McClellan from command, 2 November [1862].
Created / Published
2 November [1862]
Subject Headings
-  Presidents
-  Army officers
-  Civil War, 1861-1865
-  Grant, Ulysses S. (Ulysses Simpson) (1822-1885)
-  Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865)
-  First ladies
-  Lincoln, Mary Todd (1818-1882)
-  McClellan, George Brinton (1826-1885)
-  Manuscripts
Genre
Manuscripts
Notes
-  Reproduction number: A107 (color slide; pages 1 and 2); A108 (color slide; page 3)
-  It is difficult to determine exactly when First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882) lost confidence in George Brinton McClellan (1826-1885). The Union general's reluctance to capitalize on the advantage he had gained over Confederate forces in the Battle of Antietam just two months earlier had guaranteed his removal as commander of the Army of the Potomac. Exercising his usual caution, President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) was only awaiting the results of the upcoming congressional elections before sending the general into virtual exile. His wife's letter of 2 November 1862 suggesting that McClellan be removed from command merely reflected popular sentiment in New York, a key state in the elections. For several months after McClellan's meteoric rise to power, the First Lady had showered the "Young Napoleon" with social invitations and with flowers from the White House conservatory. Her influence with the general is perhaps best illustrated by her successful intervention in the scheduled execution of a soldier found sleeping while on picket duty. In a letter to his wife, McClellan stated that he was more than pleased to grant a request of the "Lady President." It is also worth noting that if Mary Todd Lincoln disliked McClellan for his lack of aggression, she despised Gen. Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) for exactly the opposite reason. Thus her apparent change of heart toward McClellan may have been as much political as military wisdom. Both men had such a large following, McClellan with Peace Democrats and Grant with Republicans of every stripe, that they threatened her husband's grip on the presidency.
Source Collection
Abraham Lincoln Papers
Repository
Manuscript Division
Language
English
Online Format
image
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Chicago citation style:

Letter, Mary Todd Lincoln to Abraham Lincoln advising her husband to remove the hesitant Gen. George B. McClellan from command, 2 November. [2 November, 1862] Manuscript/Mixed Material. https://www.loc.gov/item/mcc.032/.

APA citation style:

(1862) Letter, Mary Todd Lincoln to Abraham Lincoln advising her husband to remove the hesitant Gen. George B. McClellan from command, 2 November. [2 November] [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/mcc.032/.

MLA citation style:

Letter, Mary Todd Lincoln to Abraham Lincoln advising her husband to remove the hesitant Gen. George B. McClellan from command, 2 November. [2 November, 1862] Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/mcc.032/>.