To Antietam Creek: The Maryland Campaign

Here’s Scott Hartwig delivering an outstanding presentation on the opening stages of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 based on his book, To Antietam Creek.  He takes us up to the opening of the Battle of Antietam.  This is a presentation he gave in September, 2014 at the US Army Heritage and Education Center.

The video’s description reads, “On the heels of victory against Union armies at the Seven Days Battle and 2nd Manassas, General Robert E. Lee led his seemingly invincible army into Maryland. Lincoln turned to General George B. McClellan to lead a reorganized Army of the Potomac into the field to defeat Lee, a decision so controversial that it nearly dissolved the president’s cabinet. In a daring operation, Lee’s forces captured Harpers Ferry and its 12,000 man garrison – the largest capitulation of U.S. forces until World War II. The Army of the Potomac surprised Lee and defeated his forces in the Battle of South Mountain, forcing Lee to make a bold stand behind Antietam Creek, setting the stage for bloody Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862. Mr. Hartwig presents a lecture focusing on Lincoln’s decision to restore McClellan to field command of the reorganized Army of the Potomac, and Lee’s controversial decision to offer battle behind Antietam Creek.”

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One comment

  1. An excellent presentation, Al. IIRC, there was a lengthy discussion of the prelude to Antietam here or on another blog a year or so ago in which some strongly argued the standard line — “McClellan had this juggernaut and simply failed to use it.” As Hartwig points out, the myth of “juggernaut” is just that — a myth. There’s obviously a lot more to it than that. And we often forget that almost 40% of the AoNV either deserted, were sick or were sent to Winchester because they had no shoes prior to the battles at South Mountain and Antietam. A really good lecture. Thanks for posting.

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