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Condolences from George B. McClellan

One of the more surprising condolence letters the Lincoln family received was from George McClellan, the Commander of Army of the Potomac and General in Chief of the Union Army. Lincoln and McClellan had a strained working relationship, often disagreeing on war strategies. Lincoln believed McClellan was excessively timid and disagreed with his defensive campaign. McClellan's "slows" would cause Lincoln to relieve him of command on November 5, 1862. Despite their differences, General McClellan reached out to the grieving president just a few days after the death of Willie Lincoln:

"My dear Sir

I have not felt authorized to intrude upon you personally in the midst of the deep distress I know you feel in the sad calamity that has befallen you & your family, yet I cannot refrain from expressing to you the sincere & deep sympathy I feel for you.

You have been a kind true friend to me in the midst of the great cares & difficulties by which we have been surrounded during the past few months: your confidence has upheld me when I should otherwise have felt weak. I wish now only to assure you & your family that I have felt the deepest sympathy in your affliction. I am pushing to prompt completion the measures of which we have spoken, & I beg that you will not allow military affairs to give you one moment's trouble, but that you will rest assured that nothing shall be left undone to follow up the successes that have been such an auspicious commencement to our new campaign

I am very sincerly & respectfully
your friend & obdt svt
Geo B McClellan"