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The Peninsula - McClellan's Campaign of 1862

The Peninsula - McClellan's Campaign of 1862 by Alexander S. Webb
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"On every page ... there is abundant evidence that the author is not so much concerned about the reputation of the commanding general, as about historical truth. It is needless to say that, investigated in this spirit, both campaigns [MacClellan's and Pope's] prove to be total failures... In attempting to fix the responsibility of these defeats, we believe that ... they are invaluable from the fact that they lead people to think of these campaigns, not as an eternal controversy for or against..., but as an epoch of the war in which these officers failed of success, from causes partly within and partly beyond their own control... Histories of the war written in the judicial spirit of nearly all the chapters of those so far published in this series have been looked for, and they will quickly take their place as standards." -- The Century, vol. 23, issue 4 (Feb 1882).

Alexander Stewart Webb was born in New York city, 15 February, 1835. He was educated at private schools and at the United States military academy, where he graduated 13th in a class of 34 in 1855, and was assigned to the artillery. He served in Florida, Minnesota, and for three years as assistant professor at West Point, became 1st lieutenant in the 2nd artillery, 28 April, 1861, captain in the 11th infantry, 14 May, and major of the 1st Rhode Island artillery on 14 September He was present at Bull Run and in the defences of Washington until 1862, when he participated in the battles of the peninsula, campaign of the Army of the Potomac and as chief-of-staff of the 5th corps during the Maryland and Rappahannock campaigns till 23 June, 1863. He was then commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers, and placed in command of a brigade of the 2nd corps, serving with great credit at the battle of Gettysburg. At the "angle" he met the famous charge of Pickett's Confederate division, and took the major part in its repulse. He was wounded while leading his men, and received from General George G. Meade a bronze medal for "distinguished personal gallantry on that ever-memorable field." During the Rapidan campaign he commanded a division in the battle of Bristow Station and auxiliary affairs. General Webb then returned to the command of his brigade, and led it with ability during the Wilderness campaign, being severely wounded at the battle of Spottsylvania in Nay, 1864. On his return from sick-leave he was appointed chief-of-staff to General George G. Meade, commanding the Army of the Potomac in the operations before Petersburg. From June, 1865, till February, 1866, General Webb was acting as inspector-general of the military division of the Atlantic, and then he was professor at the military academy till August, 1868. On the reorganization of the army he became lieutenant-colonel of the 44th infantry, 28 July, 1866, and commanded his new regiment in 1868-9 and (with his brevet rank) the 5th military district in April, 1869, and was, at his own request, discharged the service, 3 December, 1870.

Digital Scanning, Inc.; October 2001
237 pages; ISBN 9781582185613
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Title: The Peninsula - McClellan's Campaign of 1862
Author: Alexander S. Webb