"President Lincoln with General McClellan at Antietam," Alexander Gardner, October 3, 1862

A Battle of Wills

During the first week of October 1862, Lincoln visited Antietam to urge General McClellan to pursue Lee into Virginia. When McClellan failed to do so, Lincoln removed him from command, replacing him with Major General Ambrose E. Burnside. Adding to Lincoln’s frustration was the fact that McClellan disagreed with Lincoln’s emancipation policy, believing that the president had lost sight of the war’s original purpose to save the Union.