On this day in 1861, in the aftermath of the disaster at First Bull Run (or First Manassas if you insist), command of the Army of the Potomac was assumed by Gen. George B. “Little Mac” McClellan.

I will say nothing against McClellan in terms of his skills as an organizer and morale-builder.  His painstaking care for the troops serving under him was both well-known and justly praised.  All the more pity, then, that the man was a total boob when it came to actual battlefield skills, being pokey, hesitant and devoid of the killer instinct necessary to achieve victory.   Whether it was fear for his personal safety or of potential political fallout in Washington or some other reason entirely, McClellan managed to thoroughly botch two opportunities – the Peninsular Campaign and the Battle of Antietam – to seriously shorten the war.   Then he went and put himself at the head of the ticket running against Lincoln in 1864, fronting a party full of copperheads who sought to negotiate a peace with the South.  Contemptible.

Just thinking about it gives ol’ Robbo the urge to reach for his collection of Stephen W. Sears books and refresh his memory of the details of this blot.