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George McClellan

George McClellanThe entourage walked a hundred yards to the front so George McClellan could view the situation for himself. They stood atop Roulette’s swale and looked down into the sunken road. Three thousand blue clad bodies cluttered the downslope. Along the bottom of the hill ran the road, filled in places six deep with Confederate dead and wounded. The whole line writhed like a giant, dying snake as the wounded tried to crawl out from under the dead. Out from the middle of one pile of dead Rebels, a single arm extended, waving piteously for help from underneath the bodies of his fallen comrades. McClellan focused on the hand moving slowly from side to side as though beckoning him and his army on across the road. He remembered the story from Melville’s book about the great white whale and the ship’s captain, dead and lashed to the evil creature’s back, summoning his whalers to follow and join him in hell.

The preceding passage is an excerpt from To Make Men Free, and may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


George & Mary Ellen McClellan

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