No one played as many major roles during the Civil War as General George B. McClellan, nor did any other figure write such candid letters about himself, his motivations, and his intentions. For Civil War buffs, this collection is a gold mine, revealing nuggets of fresh information on the military operations and political machinations, from the battle of Antietam through McClellan's 1864 race for the presidency. Perhaps most telling of all are the uninhibited letters he wrote to his wife, apparently meant as reminders to himself toward the writing of his memoirs. Surprisingly, well over half of these 813 letters and dispatches are being published for the first time. A Civil War expert and prize-winning author in his own right, Stephen Sears gives us a fine companion to his recent biography of McClellan, letting this man of many complexities speak for himself. A not-to-be-missed narrative of one of American history's most exciting dramas told by one of its chief actors.