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The Antietam and Fredericksburg

The Antietam and Fredericksburg by Francis Winthrop Palfrey
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On September 17, 1862, the single bloodiest day of the Civil War, the Army of the Potomac under George B. McClellan clashed with Lee's invading Army of Northern Virginia at Antietam Creek. General Francis W. Palfrey (1831-1889), then lieutenant colonel of the 20th Massachusetts and later a founding member of the Military Historical Society of Massachusetts, was severely wounded in the savage struggle that forced the Confederates to retreat across the Potomac. The Union victory, though costly and indecisive, was enough for Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. But less than three months later, the Battle of Fredericksburg (where droves of Union soldiers were slaughtered in Ambrose Burnside's vain, reckless attempt to storm the impregnable Confederate positions on Marye's Heights) ended the year with a resounding, grisly defeat.

The Antietam and Fredericksburg (1882), part of The Army in the Civil War series, is invaluable for Palfrey's unique eyewitness perspective; his unsparing, provocative appraisals of Generals McClellan, Burnside, Hooker, and others; his careful, detailed description of the Antietam terrain (vastly altered over time); and his incisive analyses of the folly and fighting that determined two of the most pivotal, murderous battles of the Civil War.

Digital Scanning, Inc.; October 2001
246 pages; ISBN 9781582185637
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Title: The Antietam and Fredericksburg
Author: Francis Winthrop Palfrey