An experienced general retires


In this letter sent to Secretary of War Simon Cameron on October 31, 1861, Winfield Scott<&ndash> general-in-chief of the Union Army<&ndash> requested retirement due to age and illness. Scott had entered military service in 1808 and commanded combat units at all levels. His retirement was engineered by Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, who wanted command of the Army. President Lincoln appointed McClellan general-in-chief on November 5, just five days after this letter was written.

National Archives, Records of the Office of the Secretary of War