Counter-thrust: from the Peninsula to the Antietam
During the summer of 1862, a Confederate resurgence threatened to turn the tide of the Civil War. When the Union’s earlier multitheater thrust into the South proved to be a strategic overreach, the Confederacy saw its chance to reverse the loss of the Upper South through counteroffensives from the Chesapeake to the Mississippi. Benjamin Franklin Cooling tells this story in Counter-Thrust, recounting in harrowing detail Robert E. Lee’s flouting of his antagonist George B. McClellan’s drive to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond and describing the Confederate hero’s long-dreamt-of offensive to reclaim central and northern Virginia before crossing the Potomac. Counter-Thrust also provides a window into the Union’s internal conflict at building a successful military leadership team during this defining period. Cooling shows us Lincoln’s administration in disarray, with relations between the president and field commander McClellan strained to the breaking point. He also shows how the fortunes of war shifted abruptly in the Union’s favor, climaxing at Antietam with the bloodiest single day in American history—and in Lincoln’s decision to announce a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. Here in all its gritty detail and considerable depth is a critical moment in the unfolding of the Civil War and of American history.
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Strategic SituationVirginiaMidJuly 1862
From Tidewater to Cedar Mountain
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advance Army of Northern Army of Virginia army's arrival artillery attack August Baltimore battle battle of Antietam battlefield Bridge Brig brigade Burnside cavalry Cedar Mountain Centreville chap Civil War Papers commander Confederate Confederate Tide Rising corps Cozzens Culpeper Davis defense diary dispatch division enemy Federal field fight flank force Franklin Frederick Hagerstown Halleck Harpers Ferry Harsh Hennessy Hooker IX Corps Jackson James John Pope Keedysville Lee's Lincoln Little Mac Longstreet Manassas Map Study Maryland Campaign McClellan McDowell McLaws miles military morning Mountain to Antietam move numbers orders Papers of McClellan Pennsylvania Pope's Porter Potomac president Rafuse railroad Rappahannock Rebels reinforcements Return to Bull Richmond Ridge River road Sears Second Bull Run Second Manassas Second Manassas Map September Sharpsburg Sigel soldiers South Mountain Stackpole Stuart tion told troops Union University Press victory Warrenton turnpike Washington William wounded Yankee York Young Napoleon