President Lincoln Visits General McClellan

April 1, 1862

Accompanied by Navy Lieutenant John Dahlgren and his own brother-in-law, Ninian W. Edwards, President Lincoln travels to the headquarters of General George B. McClellan in Alexandria, Virginia.  Lincoln’s relationship with Dahlgren was far better than his relationship with Edwards, who had been skeptical of Lincoln’s relationship with Mary Todd, his wife’s sister, back in Springfield.   Although Edwards received a patronage appointment back in Illinois from Lincoln, Edwards performed badly and at considerable political embarrassment to the president.   Edwards’ wife was also visiting the White House – to comfort her sister during mourning for her son Eddie, who had died in February.  Mary Todd Lincoln’s own relationship with her sister Elizabeth would deteriorate during Lincoln’s presidency – as Mary came to despise Elizabeth’s daughter Julia.

Lincoln’s relationship with General McClellan was also tense.  McClellan wanted more troops.  Lincoln wanted quicker action.   Tensions on both issues would worsen during April – as Lincoln worried that not enough troops were being left behind to defend the nation’s capital.


Published in: on April 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

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