By James M. McPherson
The conflict of Antietam, fought on September 17, 1862, used to be the bloodiest unmarried day in American historical past, with greater than 6,000 infantrymen killed--four occasions the quantity misplaced on D-Day, and two times the quantity killed within the September eleventh terrorist assaults. In Crossroads of Freedom, America's most outstanding Civil struggle historian, James M. McPherson, paints a masterful account of this pivotal conflict, the occasions that led as much as it, and its aftermath. As McPherson exhibits, through September 1862 the survival of the us used to be doubtful. The Union had suffered a string of defeats, and Robert E. Lee's military used to be in Maryland, poised to threaten Washington. The British govt used to be brazenly speaking of spotting the Confederacy and brokering a peace among North and South. Northern armies and electorate have been demoralized. And Lincoln had shelved his proposed edict of emancipation months sooner than, looking forward to a victory that had no longer come--that a few suggestion might by no means come. either accomplice and Union troops knew the struggle was once at a crossroads, that they have been marching towards a decisive conflict. It got here alongside the ridges and within the woods and cornfields among Antietam Creek and the Potomac River. Valor, misjudgment, and excellent twist of fate all performed a task within the consequence. McPherson vividly describes an afternoon of savage struggling with in locales that turned without end famous--The Cornfield, the Dunkard Church, the West Woods, and Bloody Lane. Lee's battered military escaped to struggle one other day, yet Antietam used to be a serious victory for the Union. It restored morale within the North and saved Lincoln's get together in charge of Congress. It beaten accomplice hopes of British intervention. And it freed Lincoln to bring the Emancipation Proclamation, which immediately replaced the nature of the conflict. McPherson brilliantly weaves those strands of diplomatic, political, and armed forces historical past right into a compact, swift-moving narrative that exhibits why America's bloodiest day is, certainly, a turning element in our heritage.