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The Greater Republic a History of the United States

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Greater Republic a History of the United States.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Charles Morris (Author)

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Excerpt: ... morning of the 19th advanced against the enemy, only to find there was none in front of him. LEE'S RETREAT. The retreat of Lee was deliberate. Having accurately gauged the commander in front of him, he spent all of the 18th in completing his preparations, and made no move until the next morning. Then, protected by batteries on the opposite bank, he crossed the Potomac, and on the 20th drove back a Union reconnaissance. The government, impatient with McClellan's tardiness, urged and almost ordered him to follow up Lee, but the commander preferred to guard against being followed up himself by the Army of Northern Virginia. Thus again a golden opportunity slipped away unimproved. Naturally each side claimed a victory at Antietam or Sharpsburg, as it is called in the South, but such a claim in either case is hardly justifiable. It may be said, on the one hand, that Lee's invasion of the North was brought to a disastrous end by his check at Antietam, but the claim of Lee was that his failure to secure the expected recruits from Maryland, and his distance from the base of supplies, necessitated such a withdrawal on his part, for it is established that he was opposed to the northward advance from the first. On the other hand, he had received a serious check, but his army remained intact and was as well prepared as ever to contest the campaign against Richmond, a campaign which had to be pushed to a successful conclusion before the war could end. The one grand opportunity of General McClellan's life was presented to him at the close of the battle of Antietam, and, failing to seize it, it never came again, and his military career ended with failure. Antietam was, in comparison to numbers engaged, the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. The Union loss was 2,108 killed: 9,549 wounded: 753 missing: total, 12,410. The Confederate loss was 1,886 killed: 9,348 wounded: 1,367 captured and missing: total, 12,601. The government was insistent that McClellan should...
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Book details

  • PDF | 264 pages
  • Charles Morris (Author)
  • (16 Oct. 2012)
  • English
  • 5
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