By Benjamin Franklin Cooling
In the course of the summer season of 1862, a accomplice resurgence threatened to show the tide of the Civil warfare. 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 trap the accomplice capital at Richmond and describing the accomplice hero’s long-dreamt-of offensive to reclaim significant and northerly Virginia earlier than crossing the Potomac. Counter-Thrust additionally offers a window into the Union’s inner clash at development a profitable army management staff in this defining interval. Cooling indicates us Lincoln’s management in disarray, with relatives among the president and box commander McClellan strained to the verge of collapse. He additionally exhibits how the fortunes of battle shifted all at once within the Union’s desire, climaxing at Antietam with the bloodiest unmarried day in American history—and in Lincoln’s determination to announce a initial Emancipation Proclamation. the following in all its gritty aspect and enormous intensity is a serious second within the unfolding of the Civil conflict and of yankee heritage. (20080528)
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Additional info for Counter-Thrust: From the Peninsula to the Antietam (Great Campaigns of the Civil War)
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. To them, he represented soft-war appeasement. The general should conﬁne his attention to winning military victory, they advanced, a viewpoint shared by Lincoln. ” In fact, Lincoln could not ﬁre McClellan directly for fear of inciting the army to attempt a coup against the government.
McClellan had offered an eleventh-hour plan at the time of the Harrison’s Landing meeting with Halleck that, ironically, was the device that Ulysses S. Grant used to circumvent Lee’s stubborn defense of central Virginia two years later. ” However audacious and unlike McClellan, the scheme had merit. It would prove the very operation that eventually led to Union victory three years later. The elements of success seemed present even in 1862. 44 Certainly Little Mac could produce brilliant plans. As general in chief he had envisioned how a capture of Richmond would collapse southern military resistance and permit a grand sweep down the eastern seaboard of the Confederacy, securely anchored by Union sea power and Union coastal operations on his Atlantic ﬂank, with linkages to the western forces of Don Carlos Buell and Henry Halleck beyond the Appalachian mountains, eventually reestablishing Federal institutions in the Deep South.
Truth was that for the Lincoln government, war policy had begun moving in opposite directions. 23 Therein McClellan pointed out that the cause of free institutions and self-government should never be abandoned and that preservation of the Constitution and the Union stood paramount. ” The Constitution “gives you power sufﬁcient even for the present terrible exigency,” he advised. McClellan’s words placed limits on the exercise of such executive power, however. For one thing, the general called for continued restraint in conduct of what he now saw as not merely rebellion but war.