By Benjamin Franklin Cooling
Through the summer season of 1862, a accomplice resurgence threatened to show the tide of the Civil battle. while the Union’s past multitheater thrust into the South proved to be a strategic overreach, the Confederacy observed its probability to opposite the lack of the higher South via counteroffensives from the Chesapeake to the Mississippi. Benjamin Franklin Cooling tells this tale in Counter-Thrust, recounting in harrowing aspect Robert E. Lee’s flouting of his antagonist George B. McClellan’s force to seize the accomplice capital at Richmond and describing the accomplice hero’s long-dreamt-of offensive to reclaim relevant and northern Virginia ahead of crossing the Potomac. Counter-Thrust additionally presents a window into the Union’s inner clash at construction a profitable army management group in this defining interval. Cooling exhibits us Lincoln’s management in disarray, with kin among the president and box commander McClellan strained to the brink. He additionally indicates how the fortunes of conflict shifted without notice within the Union’s desire, climaxing at Antietam with the bloodiest unmarried day in American history—and in Lincoln’s selection to announce a initial Emancipation Proclamation. the following in all its gritty aspect and substantial intensity is a severe second within the unfolding of the Civil struggle and of yank heritage. (20080528)
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Extra info for Counter-Thrust: From the Peninsula to the Antietam (Great Campaigns of the Civil War)
Washington might agree with the principle of concentration against enemy forces, realizing McClellan needed resources for his Army of the Potomac above all else. More disturbing to the Lincoln administration, of course, was the general’s blatantly crossing the thin line of civil-military separation. If the general was trying to parry what he perceived to be a threatening riptide 16 | s umme r i m pa sse of political radicalism sweeping the halls of government, his opponents—hard-war emancipationists among the Republicans—sought McClellan’s removal from command for ineptitude, if not outright treason.
Northern politicians and some in uniform questioned McClellan’s generalship as well as government policies and the performance of the Lincoln administration. The Seven Days’ defeat provided a watershed for accommodation with the South. Failure on the Virginia Peninsula persuaded many people that little hope existed for reconciliation. A ﬁrmer and even harsher war was needed against a determined enemy. 20 Moreover, the issue of slave property had surfaced. Southern black labor undergird the Confederate war effort, as many Federal ofﬁcers and men soon discovered.
Yet probably neither believed the words of the other. Pope’s telling phrases should have alerted McClellan to the Westerner’s role as new mouthpiece for the administration. “Your position on James River places the whole of the enemy’s force around Richmond between yourself and Washington,” Pope wrote his new comrade-in-arms on Independence Day. Were McClellan to move with his whole command directly on Richmond, “I must ﬁght the whole force of the enemy before I could join you, and at so great a distance from you as to be beyond any assistance from your army,” Pope noted.