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Saturday, 27 January 2018 15:02

Episode 27 - Life Lessons from the Civil War (Part II-George McClellan)

Episode Description:

An old English saying that comes from Proverbs 16:18 in the Bible says, “Pride goeth before a fall.” And that was certainly true in the case of Union General George McClellan. McClellan was brilliant and successful in some ways, which probably led to his huge arrogance. However, that conceit--coupled with his overcaution--caused him to get fired by Lincoln, not just once, but twice! Listen to this episode to find out why the men in his army loved him, Lincoln was furious with him, TWICE he could have won the war for the North three years early, and he ALMOST became president and would have let the South remain independent!

Word of the Day: cautious (adj.) marked by extreme carefulness

Question of the Day: What is the “fine line” between healthy caution and paralyzing fear?

Listen to Episode 27 below.  

Listen Here


Check your listening ability:

1. How can caution be good and bad?


2. Mr. Dreyer talks about a battle in which soldiers arrived for the first time by a certain type of transportation. In what kind of transportation were these soldiers moved to fight?

A. train

B. plane

C. car

D. submarines


3. How does Ecclesiastes 11:4 relate to George McClellan and Mr. Dreyer?


Answer Key:

1. It is good because you are able to take your time and make the right decisions. However, you can be overcautious and allow this nervousness to waste time. 

2. A. train

3. George McClellan was too cautious. "There's a point where you have to actually do something." You can't always wait for the exact perfect circumstances; you'll miss opportunities. This verse inspired Mr. Dreyer to ask Mrs. Dreyer for her hand in marriage. 


Do you want to improve your listening ability? Contact Scott today to see what class you can take to improve that skill!

Have a question or feedback? Maybe a topic you’d like to hear in a future episode? Please email Scott at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We’d love to hear from you! If you enjoy our podcasts, please subscribe, write a review, and share them on social media and by word of mouth! Those are GREAT ways to help more people find our podcasts. Please also visit us at; check out the blog posts at the bottom of the page for more information about life in the USA and the crazy English language.

Scott Dreyer

A licensed teacher in the US state of Virginia since 1987, Scott Dreyer has been helping Chinese speakers improve their English since 1989. Dreyer lived in Taiwan from 1989-1999 where he learned Mandarin, met his wife, started his family, and realized he loved working with Chinese students. He became an award-winning author and started teaching ESL online in 2008. Dreyer and his wife and their four adult children make their home in the beautiful Roanoke Valley in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.