McClellan's War

McClellan's War

The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union
Rafuse, Ethan S.
Distribution: World
Publication date: 11/23/2011
Format: Paperback 17 b&w illus., 11 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-00611-0
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Bold, brash, and full of ambition, George Brinton McClellan seemed destined for greatness when he assumed command of all the Union armies before he was 35. It was not to be. Ultimately deemed a failure on the battlefield by Abraham Lincoln, he was finally dismissed from command following the bloody battle of Antietam. To better understand this fascinating, however flawed, character, Ethan S. Rafuse considers the broad and complicated political climate of the earlier 19th century. Rather than blaming McClellan for the Union’s military losses, Rafuse attempts to understand his political thinking as it affected his wartime strategy. As a result, Rafuse sheds light not only on McClellan’s conduct on the battlefields of 1861-62 but also on United States politics and culture in the years leading up to the Civil War.

Author Bio

Ethan S. Rafuse is Professor of Military History at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the author, editor, or co-editor of eight books on Civil War history, including Antietam, South Mountain, and Harpers Ferry: A Battlefield Guide and Robert E. Lee and the Fall of the Confederacy, 1863-1865.

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Table of Contents

List of Maps
1. "Traditions and Associations... Were All on the Side of the Old Whig Party"
2. "I Can Do As Well As Anyone in Both My Studies and My Military Duties"
3. Political Realignment
4. "A Strong Democrat of the Stephen A. Douglas School"
5. To Kill Secession
6. "A New and Strange Position"
7. Supreme Command
8. "You Have No Idea of the Pressure Brought to Bear Here"
9. "What Do You Think of the Science of Generalship?"
10. The Peninsula Campaign
11. "I Do Not Like the... Turn That Affairs Are Taking"
12. "He Has Acted Badly"
13. "To Meet the Necessities of the Moment"
14. "The Most Terrible Battle"
15. "It Is My Duty to Submit to the Presdt's Proclamation & Quietly Continue Doing My Duty"
16. The Last Campaign

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