Accession Number : ADA328181

Title :   The Operational Leadership of Major George B. McClellan During the Peninsula Campaign.

Descriptive Note : Final rept.,

Corporate Author : NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI

Personal Author(s) : Thompson, Dennis C.

PDF Url : ADA328181

Report Date : 07 NOV 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 23

Abstract : Major General George B. McClellan's operational leadership during the Peninsula Campaign of 1862 is critically examined focusing on his relationship with President Lincoln and three key leadership traits: character, will, and boldness. McClellan intended to strike at Richmond, the Confederate capital and a major economic and transportation center, from the Union strongpoint at Fort Monroe by exploiting naval superiority to bypass enemy forces in northern Virginia. Though this campaign offered the Union a significant opportunity to deliver a decisive blow against the Confederacy, McClellan failed to do so despite enjoying many advantages. After defining the scope of the operational leadership aspects to be considered in this analysis, a general overview of the Peninsula Campaign's genesis and subsequent execution will be presented. Then the paper addresses McClellan's operational leadership. A critical examination of the Peninsula Campaign reveals McClellan's poor relationship with civilian leaders,character flaws, indecisiveness, and lack of audacity. The failure of this campaign can be directly attributed to McClellan's inadequacy as an operational commander. His actions offer valuable lessons for current and future operational commanders who also enjoy significant advantages over potential adversaries but must translate military action into attaining strategic aims within the constraints of a democracy.

Descriptors :   *MILITARY OPERATIONS, *OPERATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS, *MILITARY COMMANDERS, MILITARY FORCES(UNITED STATES), MILITARY HISTORY, VIRGINIA, MILITARY STRATEGY, LESSONS LEARNED, DECISION MAKING, LEADERSHIP, BATTLEFIELDS, FAILURE, PENINSULAS.

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE