Mcclellan's War: The Failure Of Moderation In The Struggle For The Union

Paperback | November 23, 2011

byEthan S. Rafuse

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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.

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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 underst...

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, 1863-186...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:544 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 1.38 inPublished:November 23, 2011Publisher:Indiana University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0253006112

ISBN - 13:9780253006110

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Maps
Acknowledgments
Introduction
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
Epilogue
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

"Rafuse is balanced and careful in his judgments, and the book is firmly rooted in deep and thorough research.... Any historian seriously interested in the period will come away from the book with useful material and a better understanding of George B. McClellan." -Journal of Southern History