George B. McClellan and Civil War History: In the Shadow of Grant and Sherman

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9780873386036: George B. McClellan and Civil War History: In the Shadow of Grant and Sherman
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Perhaps no other Union commander's legacy in the Civil War has been the subject of as much controversy as George B. McClellan's. Since the midpoint of this century, however, he has emerged as the complex general who, though gifted with administrative and organizational skills, was unable and unwilling to fight with the splendid army he had created.
Thomas J. Rowland argues that this interpretation rests squarely within the context of general historical verdicts of the way in which the North eventually triumphed. Civil War scholars have found the quality of Union leadership in the early years of the war wanting, and that it was not until U.S. Grant and W.T. Sherman emerged that success was ensured. On the other hand, Grant and Sherman knew failure but were judged less harshly than was McClellan.
In George B. McClellan and Civil War History, Rowland presents a framework in which early Civil War command can be viewed without direct comparison to that of the final two years.

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About the Author:

Thomas J. Rowland is an instructor of history at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh.

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As the subtitle suggests (In the Shadow of Grant and Sherman), the wartime records of Grant and Sherman, and the handling of those records by McClellan critics, provide counterpoints for restoring perspective. Such simplicity makes this historiography easy for all. It is good reading that can be enjoyed by both the general public and Civil War specialists. -- Trenton Times, January 10, 1998

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