With all the discussions of Civil War monuments, I thought I’d write up a quick little blog about two future Civil War generals. Neither need an introduction.
In 1853, Secretary of War Jefferson Davis authorized a road from Steilacoom to Walla Walla. In order to survey the road, he placed Captain George B. McClellan in charge. As early newspaper owned Thomas Prosch wrote in The Military Roads of Washington Territory, “Of this task McClellan also made an entire failure. He expended in unknown ways much of the money, but as far as the citizens and immigrants were aware not a dollar in actual road construction.”
Apparently Capt. McClellan was none too fond of the region. On November 23, 1853, he wrote his mother. “We have to pass the winter at Olympia on Puget’s Sound, a flourishing city of some 10 to 12 houses—fine prospect that…As there are no houses in Olympia, that can be had, I expect to spend the winter in a tent—labored by the rain & mud—for you must know that we don’t expect to see the sun anymore until next summer—except at rare and short intervals of time—it is raining almost constantly…I don’t think much of it [the Pacific Coast]—it is surely vastly overrated in every respect.”