Military history

The Long Road to Antietam: How the Civil War Became a Revolution

The Long Road to Antietam: How the Civil War Became a Revolution

In the summer of 1862, after a year of protracted fighting, Abraham Lincoln decided on a radical change of strategy, one that abandoned hope for a compromise peace and committed the nation to all-out war. The centerpiece of that new strategy was the Emancipation Proclamation: an unprecedented use of federal power that would revolutionize Southern society. In The Long Road to Antietam, Richard Slotkin, a renowned cultural historian, re-examines the challenges that Lincoln encountered during that anguished summer 150 years ago. In an original and incisive study of character, Slotkin re-creates the showdown between Lincoln and General George McClellan, the Young Napoleon whose opposition to Lincoln included obsessive fantasies of dictatorship and a military coup. He brings to three-dimensional life their ruinous conflict, demonstrating how their political struggle provided Confederate General Robert E. Lee with his best opportunity to win the war, in the grand offensive that ended in September of 1862 at the bloody Battle of Antietam.

INTRODUCTION

A NOTE ON MILITARY TERMINOLOGY

Part I - TURNING POINT: MILITARY STALEMATE AND STRATEGIC INITIATIVES - July 1862

Chapter 1. Lincoln’s Strategy: Emancipation and the McClellan Problem

Chapter 2. McClellan’s Strategy: Irresistible Force

Chapter 3. President Davis’s Strategic Offensive

Part II - THE CONFEDERATE OFFENSIVE - August 1862

Chapter 4. Self-Inflicted Wounds: The Union High Command

Chapter 5. Both Ends Against the Middle: The Campaign of Second Bull Run

Chapter 6. McClellan’s Victory

Part III - THE INVASION OF MARYLAND - September 2–15, 1862

Chapter 7. Lee Decides on Invasion

Chapter 8. McClellan Takes the Offensive

Chapter 9. The Battles of South Mountain

Chapter 10. The Forces Gather

Part IV - THE BATTLE OF ANTIETAM - September 16–18, 1862

Chapter 11. Preparation for Battle

Chapter 12. The Battle of Antietam: Hooker’s Fight, 6:00–9:00 AM

Chapter 13. The Battle of Antietam: Sumner’s Fight, 9:00–Noon

Chapter 14. The Battle of Antietam: The Edge of Disaster, Noon to Evening

Chapter 15. The Day When Nothing Happened

Part V - THE REVOLUTIONARY CRISIS - September 22–November 7, 1862

Chapter 16. Lincoln’s Revolution

Chapter 17. The General and the President

Chapter 18. Dubious Battle: Everything Changed, Nothing Settled

CHRONOLOGY: FROM THE PENINSULA CAMPAIGN TO ANTIETAM

ANTIETAM ORDER OF BATTLE

NOTES

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY