Fitz-John Porter, Scapegoat of Second Manassas: The Rise, Fall and Rise of the General Accused of Disobedience

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McFarland, Nov 26, 2008 - History - 295 pages
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One of the darkest days in United States history since Valley Forge was August 30, 1862. On this date the Confederate army smashed the United States army at Manassas, on the outskirts of Washington. To many, including the president and press, it appeared that Washington was all but lost. The defeat was all the more galling because it was inflicted by a numerically inferior and inadequately equipped Confederate force. Someone, it was assumed, had to be responsible. Union commander Major General John Pope blamed the loss on charismatic and popular Major General Fitz-John Porter, whom he charged with disobedience of orders and shameful conduct before the enemy. A court-martial found him guilty. But was Porter really guilty or did he save the country from an even greater disaster? This book addresses the question of Porter’s guilt or innocence, examining the trial and its aftereffects from several perspectives.
 

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Contents

Preface
1
Introduction
3
1 The Situation in Late August 1862
9
2 The Second Battle of Manassas
20
3 Courts and CourtsMartial
24
4 Charge 1 Specification 1
30
5 Charge 1 Specifications 2 and 3 Charge 2 Specifications 1 2 and 3
61
6 Charge 1 Specifications 4 and 5
112
11 Grant Intervenes
194
12 Porter After the Verdict
200
13 What Happened to Them
206
14 A Conspiracy to Convict?
216
15 Hero or Villain?
219
16 Who Lost the Second Battle of Manassas?
227
Appendices
229
Chapter Notes
277

7 Pope Porter and McDowell
120
8 The Motivation Question
132
9 Summation and Verdict
138
10 The Rehearing
168

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About the author (2008)

Captain Donald R. Jermann served more than 32 years on active duty in the Navy covering World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. He also served as a senior executive in the Department of Defense and lives in Laurel, Maryland.

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