When George was six-teen years old he started studying law at the University of Pennsylvania for two years. When he was young George decided to abandon law so he can go into the military. His father used those connections to earn George an appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. McClellan finished second out of fifty-nine students in 1846. His parents are Dr. George McClellan and Elizabeth Steinmetz Brinton. His father, George McClellan, worked as a distinguished ophthalmologist, a specialist in medical and surgical eye problems, who had founded Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia in 1824. Also, he has good connections with the Whig party.
January 1858 George was promoted to vice president of chief engineering of the Illinois Central railroad and on that same year he let his West Point friend, Ambrose E. Burnside, use his Chicago home because Ambrose had been left destitute by a business failure. George arranged a job for him with the railroads.
George McClellan fought just one battle from start to finish and that was the battle of Antietam. His most serious mistake was overestimating how much confederate soldiers there were. Later during the battle he was assisted my his inept intelligence chef, Allan Pinkerton. Soon after the battle people discovered another one of his failures; the management of his generals. Robert E. Lee challenged George to a fight once George took a defensive position west of Antietam creek. After the battle was fought and over George had lost control of the battle and he fell captive to his delusions about the enemy he faced.
Even though McClellan was against the outright abolitionist slavery, he was equally committed to preservation of the Union. at the eruption of the the civil war in 1861, he accepted command of the volunteer army of the state of Ohio. He trained the Ohio volunteers and it won him a favor in Washington, he got promoted the rank of the general in the regular army. McClellan won a series of small wars in the west Virginia and he gained the nickname, "The young Napoleon."