Now Lincoln found a man who was handsome and intelligent and popular with his troops. He was an excellent organizer. There was just one problem with General George B. McClellan : He didn't like to fight. He kept hesitating, and making excuses. Lincoln's secretary of war Edwin Stanton was soon fed up with him. He said, "If we had a million men, McClellan would swear the enemy had two millions, and then he would sit down in the mud and yell for three."
During the spring of 1862, McClellan planned to capture Richmond, Virginia. Richmond was not only capital of the Confederacy, it was one of the few industrial cities in the South. If Richmond fell, the Confederacy might collapse and the war would be over. It was a fine plan, but it went terribly wrong, mostly because McClellan was so cautious when it came to action. After seven days of fierce fighting (it was called the Battle of Seven Days) there was no clear winner, and McClellan ordered his army to retreat. He ran away. All those months of planning, marching, and fighting, and nothing gained . Elisha Rhodes, from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, was amongst the returning forces. He said, "Today we took a steamer and went up the Potomac past Washington and landed at Georgetown. It is hard to have reached the point we started from last March, and Richmond is still the Rebel capital."