DOC Crossroads of Freedom Antietam The Battle that Changed the Course of the Civil War download

  • Paperback
  • 224
  • Crossroads of Freedom Antietam The Battle that Changed the Course of the Civil War
  • James M. McPherson
  • English
  • 11 December 2017
  • 9780195173307

James M. McPherson ✓ 6 characters

characters Crossroads of Freedom Antietam The Battle that Changed the Course of the Civil War õ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Es that became forever famous The Cornfield the Dunkard Church the West Woods and Bloody Lane Lee's battered army escaped to fight another day but Antietam was a critical victory for the Union It restored morale in the North and kept Lincoln's party in control of Congress It crushed Confederate hopes of British intervention And it freed Lincoln to deliver the Emancipation Proclamation which instantly changed the character of the warMcPherson brilliantly weaves these strands of diplomatic political and military history into a compact swift moving narrative that shows why America's bloodiest day is indeed a turning point in our history. Crossing the Potomac River into Maryland Robert E Lee might well have thought of Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon passing a point of no return As Caesar knew that taking his army into Italy proper would mark a new phase in Rome s civil war so Lee knew that leading his Confederate Army of Northern Virginia onto Union soil he could no longer claim to be simply defending his country from invasion he was now an invader himself The Maryland Campaign that had its bloody climax at the Battle of Antietam was truly one of the pivotal moments not just of Civil War history but of American history generally and James McPherson tells the story well and conveys its significance skillfully in Antietam Crossroads of FreedomLong before publishing Antietam Crossroads of Freedom in 2002 McPherson of Princeton University had long since established himself as the pre eminent Civil War historian of this generation His 1988 book Battle Cry of Freedom The Civil War Era a Pulitzer Prize winner and bestseller was uickly embraced as the single volume history of the Civil War McPherson whose earlier books included several works on African Americans contributions to the Union cause also won praise for the manner in which he has consistently called attention to slavery as the true cause of the Civil War his work provides a welcome anodyne to Lost Cause and neo Confederate approaches to the war and its legacyIn an introductory essay titled Death in September McPherson provides a grim reminder of just how bloody a day Antietam was The 6300 to 6500 Union and Confederate soldiers killed and mortally wounded near the Maryland village of Sharpsburg on September 17 1862 were than twice the number of fatalities suffered in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11 2001 p 3 After citing the testimony of a number of veterans who attest that they lived through many battles but never experienced anything uite like Antietam McPherson proceeds to a uick and succinct consideration of the Maryland Campaign and the Battle of AntietamDoing so however reuires a bit of backstory Any discussion of this phase of Civil War history will inevitably involve attention to the mercurial character of Union General George B McClellan He was a great organizer after the disastrous Union defeat at the July 1861 Battle of Bull Run or Battle of Manassas he had re formed the defeated Union forces as the Army of the Potomac and had restored their morale in the process but he seemed singularly irresolute in his actual exercise of battlefield command He could forge the sword but he seemed unable to wield it McClellan was also afflicted with an unfortunate tendency to step outside his military responsibilities and dabble in politics he despised President Abraham Lincoln and expressed freely his opinion that Union victory in the Civil War should leave the institution of slavery untouched Moreover McClellan sought to promote officers he saw as friends and to act against officers that he thought might favor Lincoln andor abolition Under these circumstances it is no wonder that while the Army of the Potomac suffered one reverse after another in the Seven Days battles around Richmond the poison of party politics and army politics had seeped deeper into the Army of the Potomac p 53 President Lincoln meanwhile had drafted a preliminary proclamation emancipating all enslaved people in areas then in rebellion against the United States of America but he knew that he could not issue the proclamation unless and until McClellan s army gained some sort of victory over Lee s armyMeanwhile none of the difficulties of a personality like McClellan s marred the relationship between Robert E Lee and his president Jefferson Davis After fighting and defeating the Union army of General John Pope in a second battle at ManassasBull Run Lee outlined to Davis his reasons for a proposed Confederate invasion of MarylandThe possible benefits of such an invasion from Lee s point of view were many relieving ravaged Virginia of the pressures of war while securing fresh supplies from bounteous Maryland gaining new recruits from Maryland and possibly encouraging that border state to secede and join the Confederacy depressing Union morale by taking the war into the North with possible effects on upcoming congressional elections gaining through a victory on Northern soil European recognition of the Confederacy and perhaps European intervention on the Confederacy s behalf Davis assented to Lee s proposal and the die was cast McPherson captures well the drama of that moment of invasion orchestrated by Lee Great eventsawaited the outcome of Lee s decision to cross the Potomac victory or defeat foreign intervention Lincoln s emancipation proclamation Northern elections the very willingness of the Northern people to keep fighting for the UnionDestiny awaited those tired ragged shoeless hungry but confident Rebel soldiers on the far side of the Potomac as they forded the river singing Maryland My Maryland the destiny of the Confederacy of slavery of the United States itself as one nation indivisible p 95 This brief book just 156 pages not counting notes bibliographic essay and acknowledgements describes and summarizes the Battle of Antietam well McClellan s inefficient deployment of superior forces Lee s high risk gambles in the face of heavy odds but does not go into extreme detail regarding the tactical elements of the battle Readers who are in search of exhaustive accounts of tactical decisions and of the conseuences of those decisions at the corps division brigade and regimental level might do better to seek out works like James Murfin s The Gleam of Bayonets 1965 or Stephen Sears s Landscape Turned Red 1983 or John Michael Priest s Antietam The Soldiers Battle 1989 McPherson s core interest rather is in how Antietam was in his reading The Battle That Changed the Course of the Civil War the book s cover subtitle In his conclusion McPherson states clearly why he feels that the bloody and incomplete Union victory at Antietam in terms of its political and diplomatic conseuences was the most crucial single engagement of the Civil War The victory at Antietam could have been decisiveBut Union armies had stymied the supreme Confederate efforts Foreign powers backed away from intervention and recognition and never again came so close to considering them Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation Northern voters chastised but did not overthrow the Republican party which forged ahead with its program to preserve the Union and give it a new birth of freedom Here indeed was a pivotal moment p 155For McPherson these factors make Antietam crucial decisive than other vital turning points of the Civil War such as Gettysburg Vicksburg and Atlanta Coming as I do from Maryland I have always considered Antietam the most important battle of the American Civil War and it is good to have exalted company like McPherson s in that regard Crossroads of Freedom Antietam is well illustrated with evocative photographs and engravings and the campaign and battle maps are particularly clear and helpful For the reader who wants a uick informative introduction to the Maryland Campaign and the Battle of Antietam one that never loses sight of the vital human rights issues that underlay the entire Civil War Crossroads of Freedom is than suitable

characters Crossroads of Freedom Antietam The Battle that Changed the Course of the Civil WarCrossroads of Freedom Antietam The Battle that Changed the Course of the Civil War

characters Crossroads of Freedom Antietam The Battle that Changed the Course of the Civil War õ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Openly talking of recognizing the Confederacy and brokering a peace between North and South Northern armies and voters were demoralized And Lincoln had shelved his proposed edict of emancipation months before waiting for a victory that had not come that some thought would never comeBoth Confederate and Union troops knew the war was at a crossroads that they were marching toward a decisive battle It came along the ridges and in the woods and cornfields between Antietam Creek and the Potomac River Valor misjudgment and astonishing coincidence all played a role in the outcome McPherson vividly describes a day of savage fighting in local. Does a brilliant job of looking at the meaning of the battle of AntietamI have nearly 90 books that cover the Civil War on my bookshelf Most books that cover the Civil War compartmentalize the battles into little chapters with titles like Chancellorsville Antietam and Shiloh The battles are thoroughly covered but the feel for the larger flow of the war is sacrificedIn Crossroads of Freedom Antietam 1862 McPherson dramatically sweeps the reader along and I was left with a renewed sense of amazement and respect for the fact that Lee s Army of Northern Virginia was able to fight let alone go on the offensive against two seperate armies and fight multiple large battles from June through September of 1862McPherson does an extraordinary job of tying in many of the political and military threads of this war to demonstrate that Antietam was the day that determined the outcome of the war and not the popular belief that it was July 4 1863 with the dual losses for the Confederacy at Vicksburg and GettysburgRead at

Summary ↠ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ✓ James M. McPherson

characters Crossroads of Freedom Antietam The Battle that Changed the Course of the Civil War õ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB The Battle of Antietam fought on September 17 1862 was the bloodiest single day in American history with than 6000 soldiers killed four times the number lost on D Day and twice the number killed in the September 11th terrorist attacks In Crossroads of Freedom America's most eminent Civil War historian James M McPherson paints a masterful account of this pivotal battle the events that led up to it and its aftermathAs McPherson shows by September 1862 the survival of the United States was in doubt The Union had suffered a string of defeats and Robert E Lee's army was in Maryland poised to threaten Washington The British government was. Enjoyed this a lot Had read his main Civil War book but uite a long time ago Two main thoughts one controversial and one not 1 McClellan was a thorn in Lincoln s side with his constant excuses It to attack or even to move No wonder his men loved him he kept them away from the war 2 In the eyes of contemporaries Lincoln was naive foolish and not up to guiding his country at war Now we dote on his every word My guess that history will treat Obama similarly recognizing in retrospect how good a president he was