Mary Todd Lincoln Corresponds With Her Husband

Mary Todd Lincoln corresponded with her husband on November 2, 1862, advising him of popular sentiment against the cautious commanding of general of the Army of the Potomac George B. McClellan.

McClellan had defeated the Confederates at the Battle of Antietam on September 17 but disappointed the president and the people of the Union by failing to take advantage of the victory by pursuing Robert E. Lee's weakened army. Earlier that year, McClellan had won a series of victories in the Peninsular Campaign which had brought Union troops within five miles of the then Confederate capitol, Richmond. Again, the general's hesitancy cost him the opportunity to take Richmond. Shortly after receiving this letter from Mrs. Lincoln, on November 5, the president removed McClellan from his command.

All the distinguished in the land…would almost worship you if you would put a fighting general in the place of McClellan. ”

— Mary Todd Lincoln to Abraham Lincoln

Mary Ann Todd Lincoln (December 13, 1818–July 16, 1882) was the wife of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, and was First Lady of the United States from 1861 to 1865.

Born in Lexington, Kentucky, the daughter of Robert Smith Todd, a banker, and Elizabeth Parker-Todd, Mary was raised in comfort and refinement. When Mary was seven,her mother died; her father married Elizabeth "Betsy" Humphreys-Todd in 1826. Mary had a difficult relationship with her stepmother. Beginning in 1832, Mary's childhood home was what is now known as the Mary Todd Lincoln House, a 14-room upper-class residence in Lexington. From her father's marriages to her mother and stepmother, she had 15 siblings.