Beloved by the soldiers of the Army of the Potomac, insubordinate to his commander in chief, a master at preparing for war but cautious about engaging, General George Brinton McClellan is one of the most controversial figures of the American Civil War. Criticized throughout the remainder of his life, he never publicly defended his actions as commander of the Union army. Here, however, his posthumously-published memoir provides his answers to the critics. Using a combination of military documents, his own field records, and letters to his beloved wife Nelly, McClellan does not attempt a full autobiography but instead focuses on his short time as general in chief of the army. McClellan's legacy as commander is still in contention by some historians. The value of this book is its view into the mind of George McClellan during the bitter early days of the Civil War. No study of this important figure is complete without this volume. The editor of this work, William Cowper Prime, was an American journalist, art historian, numismatist, and travel writer, and close friend of McClellan's. He was instrumental in getting Princeton University to establish a department of art history, to which he donated his extensive collection of ceramic art.