General George McClellan, c. 1862

General George B. McClellan, chief of the Union Armies, had a dream vision that saved Washington DC and the Union itself in the second summer of the Civil War. (20)

At 2 a.m. of the third night after arriving in Washington to take command of the U.S. Army, General McClellan fell asleep while studying his map table. He had been asleep for about ten minutes when he imagined that the locked door of his room suddenly was thrown open. Someone entered and said in a powerful voice"

"General McClellan, do you sleep at your post? Rouse you, or ere it can be prevented the foe will be in Washington."

The general felt as though he were suspended in a void of infinite space. The voice continued to speak "from a hollow distance all about." He thought that he awoke from his sleep, but while the map table remained, the surrounding room had vanished, and he gazed upon a living map of the entire USA from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River. The mysterious being beside him appeared only as a ghostly, man-shaped vapor.

McClellan was amazed to see troop movements and the entire distribution of Confederate forces, and he was elated with the prospect of the victory he could realize with this new knowledge. But then he saw Confederates moving into select positions which he had chosen to occupy, and he realized that the enemy knew his plans. The voice spoke:

"General McClellan, you have been betrayed, and had God not willed otherwise, ere the sun of tomorrow had set, the Confederate flag would have waved above the Capitol and your own grave. But note what you see. Your time is short."

While the voice continued to describe the Confederate positions, McClellan wrote on his own map, making notes from the living map around him. The rest of his vision concerns what is now our near future:

"I had been conscious of a shining light on my left that steadily increased until the moment I ceased my task, when it became, in an instant, more intense than the noonday sun. Quickly I raised my eyes, and never, were I to live forever, should I forget what I saw. The dim, shadowy figure was no longer a dim, shadowy one, but a glorified, refulgent figure of Washington, Father of his Country, and now, for the second time, its savior.

"My friend, it would be utterly impossible for me to attempt to describe the majesty of that returned spirit. I can only say that Washington, as I beheld him in my dream (or trance as you may choose to call it), was the most God-like being I could have ever conceived of. Like a weak, dazzled bird, I sat gazing at the heavenly vision from the sweet and silent repose of Mt. Vernon. Our Washington had risen, to once more encircle and raise up with his saving arms our fallen and bleeding country. As I continued looking, an expression of sublime benignity came gently upon his face and for the last time I heard that slow, solemn voice saying something like this:

'General McClellan, while yet in the flesh I beheld the birth of the American Republic. It was indeed a hard and bloody one, but God’s blessing was upon the nation, and therefore, through this great struggle for existence, He sustained her with His mighty hand and brought her out triumphantly. A century has not passed since then, and yet the child republic has taken her position, a peer with nations whose pages of history extend for ages into the past. She has (since those days, by the favor of God) greatly prospered and now, by the very reason of this prosperity, she has been brought to her second struggle, this so far the most perilous ordeal she has to suffer in passing, as she is, from childhood to opening maturity.

"She is called upon to accomplish that vast result --- self-conquest --- to learn that important lesson --- self-control, self-rule, that in the future will place her in the van of power and civilization. It is here that all the nations hitherto have failed, and she, too, the republic of the earth, had God willed otherwise, would by tomorrow’s sunset, have been a heap of stones, cast up over the final grave of human liberty. But her cries have come up out of the borders like sweet incense unto heaven. She shall be saved. Then shall peace once more be upon her, and prosperity shall fill her with joy.

"But her mission will not then be accomplished, for ere another century shall have gone by THE OPPRESSORS OF THE WHOLE EARTH, hating and envying her and her exaltation, SHALL JOIN THEMSELVES TOGETHER AND RAISE UP THEIR HANDS AGAINST HER.

"But if she be found worthy of her high calling, they shall be truly discomfited and then will be ended her third and last struggle for existence. Henceforth shall the Republic go on, increasing in goodness and power, until her borders shall end only in the remotest corners of the earth, and the whole earth shall, beneath her shadowy wings, become a Universal Republic.

"Let her in her prosperity, however, remember the Lord her God. Let her trust in Him and she shall never be confounded."

"I inclined my head to receive his blessing, ‘the baptism of the spirit of Washington.’ The following instant peals of thunder rolled in upon me, and I awoke. The visitor had departed and I again was sitting in my apartment with everything exactly as it was before I fell asleep, with a few exceptions. The maps of which I had dreamed I had been marking were literally covered with a net of pencil signs and figures. I rose to my feet and rubbed my eyes, and took a turn or two around the room to recover myself. I had before me as complete a map and repository of information as though I had spent several years in gathering and recording its details.

"Our beloved, glorious Washington shall again rest quietly, sweetly in his tomb, until perhaps the end of the Prophetic Century approaches once more, laying aside the crements of Mt. Vernon, to become Messenger of Succor and Peace from the Great Ruler, who has all nations of the Earth in his keeping.

"But the future is too vast for our comprehension; we are the children of the present. When peace shall again have folded her bright wings and settled upon our land, the strange, unearthly map marked while the Spirit eyes of Washington looked down, shall be preserved among the American archives, as a precious reminder to the American nation of what in her second great struggle for existence, they owe to God and the Glorified Spirit of Washington. Verily, the works of God are above the understanding of man!"

Convinced of the divine nature of his dream and by the new details on his map, General McClellan immediately rode along the Union front and made strategic changes necessary to meet the Confederates’ plan of attack on Antietam (September 17, 1862). Thus he succeeded in preventing the capture ofthe Capitol, and saved the Union. However, he failed to pursue General Lee’s troops, and he was removed from command on account of that error. 1

1. Taken from Prophecy –A History of the Future (Internet Edition), by Robert A. Nelson at