NEWARK, N.J., Oct. 29. - Gen. George B. McClellan died suddenly at his residence, at St. Cloud, Orange Mountain, shortly after midnight last night, of neuralgia of the heart.
He returned home about six weeks ago from his trip West with his family, and had been under the care of a physician for about two weeks. Nothing serious was expected until yesterday, when he became worse. He died surrounded by his family. Invitations had been issued for a reception this evening.
Gen. McClellan's summer home, erected after the war, was on the summit of Orange Mountain, next to that of his father-in-law, Gen. Marcy. The whole community was shocked by the news of his death. The flags are flying at half-mast and the Grand Army Post has called a meeting to express their sorrow and offer a body-guard for the remains.
Gen. McClellan was an elder in the Presbyterian Church. He had been failing for months past and had not visited his office in two weeks, though it was not expected that his illness would result fatally.
He leaves a son and daughter, the former just completing his education.
As soon as the news spread throughout the city great sorrow was expressed at the General's death.
Gov. Abbett sent the following telegram to Mrs. McClellan:
"My Dear Madam: I have just learned with profound sorrow of the death of your distinguished husband. I speak not only for myself, but for all the people of New Jersey, who will join in the universal mourning for the loss of a pure and upright citizen and a great soldier. I wish most earnestly to take such proper official action as will do honor to his memory. I have directed Adjutant-General Wm. S. Stryker to ascertain your wishes, so that the action of the executive may be in full sympathy with your own feelings."
HIS CAREER AS SOLDIER AND CITIZEN.
Universal Regret at His Death.
[Special Dispatch to the Baltimore Sun.]
NEW YORK, Oct. 29. - The sudden death of Gen. George B. McClellan caused the deepest sorrow in this city among all classes of citizens, but especially among the survivors of that splendid army which the dead commander organized, and which it was the good fortune of Gen. Grant two years later to lead to victory.
Flags are flying at half-mast from all the public buildings, and there will be a universal manifestation of respect to the memory of the dead.
Gen. McClellan, though nominally a citizen of New Jersey, lived during several months of the year at West Washington Park, and this city was accustomed to claim him among its citizens.
For two years indeed he was chief engineer of the dock department here and devised a system of docks which, though costly, would have been a splendid acquisition to the city if the plan had been consummated.
The General was a familiar figure in our streets and was in universal demand at all public ceremonies, banquets and meetings.
The bitterness that was engendered by the events of his military career were removed by time, and the General lived to see his patriotism vindicated, and his great services to his country generally acknowledged.
One by one the heroes of the great war are dropping from the ranks of the living. Gen. Grant has scarcely been laid at rest and his monument has not yet been reared, and his distinguished predecessor, the hero of Antietam, dies. That he will rank in military history as one of the very first generals there can scarcely be a doubt.
His public career really ended with his defeat for the presidency in 1864, but he served with credit one term as Governor of New Jersey from 1878 to 1881.
In Orange, N.J., where he resided most of the year, he was highly esteemed by his neighbors.
Last May he celebrated in this city his silver wedding.
Gen. McClellan was president of the Grand Belt Copper Company, No. 47 Broadway, which he visited for the last time about two weeks ago.
Complaining of dyspepsia, he discontinued smoking, which he thought caused the trouble, and concluded to take a rest. He intended to have returned to the office yesterday, but concluded not to do so, and on Tuesday sent a telegram stating that he would not be in town for three or four days yet.
It is evident that he had no idea that his end was so near. Those who have seen him at Orange within a day or two speak of him as looking badly but cheerful, and by no means seriously ill.
Rev. Dr. Paxton, of this city, a warm personal friend of Gen. McClellan, made a most interesting statement today in review of the dead soldier's life. He says that since the war McClellan led a happy and prosperous life. He had an ample income, his salary from the copper company being $15,000 [about $277,000 in 2002 dollars] a year, yet he said to Dr. Paxton not long ago that an evil genius seemed to have balked his best efforts. It appeared throughout his army career and in one incident of his later life.
McClellan worked for five years collecting almost priceless material for a history of his military career. This material he left in a storage warehouse on departing for a foreign trip, and it was destroyed by fire. He never had the heart to begin again the work of reconstructing his memoirs.
His home life was a perfect picture of domestic happiness.
He always felt that his military career had been misjudged, but that did not sour him. As commander-in-chief, McClellan had no thought for future political preferment. He did not fight with one hand on his sword and the other outstretched to the people for votes.
Gen. McClellan was the victim of circumstances. He shared the fate of most pioneers. Others reap the fruits of McClellan's successes and mistakes. His organization of the Army of the Potomac made possible its victories under Grant. He always had a high opinion of the sincerity and ability of President Lincoln, and the latter's opposition to his plans was due to the intense partisan influence of Stanton.
Editorial on the Death of Gen. McClellan.
The telegraph announces the death of General George B. McClellan, at his home in New Jersey, of an affliction of the heart.
This, close upon the death of Gen. Grant, and all unlooked for, ends the career of a distinguished soldier of the Union, for distinguished he was in spite of the obstacles thrown in his way by bitter partisans of the war, and of the censure passed upon his acts as a military commander.
One strong cause of the opposition of republican politicians to Gen. McClellan arose from the fact that he was a democrat, and if success had attended his operations he would at the close of the war have occupied a conspicuous place in the sentiments of the people for the highest office in their gift - that of the presidency.
A native of Philadelphia, born December 3, 1826, he graduated at West Point in 1846 as second in his class.
He soon after won promotion for gallant services in the engineer corps in the war with Mexico, and on his return, after passing some time on duty at West Point, was ordered to accompany the expeditions sent out to explore the sources of the Red River of the north.
He was subsequently a member of the military commission sent out to the Crimea, and was the author of the official report on the organization of European armies and their operations at the seat of war.
In 1875 he resigned from the army to take the double position of engineer-in-chief and vice president of the Illinois Central Railroad.
In 1860, he was made president of the St. Louis and Cincinnati Railroad, but, on the breaking out of the war a year later, he was called upon to organize the volunteer forces of Ohio, and soon afterwards was commissioned a major general of the army of the United States and directed to disperse the Confederate forces then gathering in Western Virginia.
His success in that mountain campaign brought him prominently before the public. He was called "the young Napoleon," and he was looked forward to as the coming man who was to lead the armies of the United States to victory.
McDowell's disaster at Bull Run gave McClellan his opportunity. He was summoned to Washington to reorganize the army broken and dispirited by defeat. This work was suited to his ability, and he did it well.
He was made commander of the Army of the Potomac, and set out with a well-equipped force to capture Richmond by way of Yorktown and the lower peninsula.
After driving the Confederate forces back from Yorktown to the vicinity of Richmond, he was checked at Malvern Hill, and finally compelled to seek the shelter of his gunboats at Harrison's landing after appealing in vain for the reinforcements that were promised him.
After three successive repulses and retreats he was superseded by General Pope.
The remains of the army were brought back to Washington and heavily reinforced, but, in the second battle of Bull Run, Pope was badly defeated, and McClellan reinstated in command of Washington and its defenses.
Then followed the advance of Lee across the Potomac, and the bloody battle of Antietam, at which McClellan commanded. This resulted in the retreat of Lee, who fell back toward the Rapidan.
The Army of the Potomac remained resting for some months to reorganize and have its ranks filled up with fresh relays of conscripts, but the feeling against McClellan continued to increase.
He was accused of being too slow, too cautious and too timid, and when at length he was about to move once more into Virginia he was relieved of his command by Burnside.
He retired to his home in New Jersey, and took no further part in the war.
Whatever his merits may have been as a soldier, partisan clamor was too strong to enable him to make head against it. But the sympathy of the democracy was strongly with him. They thought he had been badly treated, and they honored him in 1864 with the democratic nomination for the presidency.
Mr. Lincoln was, however, re-elected by a large majority, and General McClellan immediately threw up his commission, and sailed the following spring for Europe.
On his return he was employed in New York on several engineering works, and his public career was subsequently honorably closed by his election to the governorship of New Jersey.
It was in that state he died yesterday, in the fifty-ninth year of his age. It has been claimed for Gen. McClellan that, had he received the support from the federal government which was afterwards accorded to Gen. Grant, not merely in men and munitions, but in freedom to exercise his own judgment without interference from headquarters, he would have brought the war to a close at a much earlier date.
However this may be, he won the respect of his foes by his courage and ability, and the Southern people will always honor him as a brave antagonist.
Gen. McClellan's Funeral.
The request of Mrs. Gen. McClellan that there be no military demonstration at the funeral of her husband, which has been appointed for Monday morning. at ten o'clock, from the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, disappoints the war veterans and military organizations which would have been glad to have taken part in the funeral of the dead General as they were at the obsequies of General Grant.
Her good taste, however, in forbidding any military display is commanded as entirely in keeping with the simple and unostentatious character of her husband.
The veterans who served under Gen. McClellan have been invited to attend the funeral in such numbers as the church will accommodate.
Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, who was one of the pallbearers at the Grant funeral, will perform a like service at Gen. McClellan's funeral.
Associated with him as pallbearers will be Gen. Hancock, Gen. Fitz-John Porter, Gen. Franklin, Gen. MacMahon, H. C. Kelsey, who was a warm political friend of Gen. McClellan, Col. Wright and W. C. Prime.