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|McClellan did a fantastic job at rebuilding the army after Bull Run, or Manassas as it is called down south. He instituted badly needed reforms and began weeding out the political officers. What he did for the Army of the Potomac is amazing. Problem is...he didn't know when to go in for the kill. Antietam/Sharpsburg is a perfect example. A full third of the Union army hadn't seen any action that day. When Lee's center started caving instead of sending in the reserves and ending the war he wilted and held them back just in case. The next day the armies just stared at each other. McClellan let a golden opportunity to win the war slip through his hands. His timidity and not coordinating his assaults caused a lot more casualities than there should have been.
Grant despite all his critics was the better general. He believed in hitting as hard as he could repeatedly. Playing nice was not going to end the war. He went in hard and refused to ease up. He was definitely the best strategic general of the war on either side. Grant was asked about McClellan after the war and basically he said McClellan was one of the great mysteries of the war. So much potential.