The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002 Page: 193
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Gary W. Gallagher has become one of our most productive Civil War schol-
ars. His latest project is The Antietam Campaign, for which he has served as edi-
tor and contributed one of ten new essays on the horrendous 1862 battle.
Gallagher's other books include The Confederate War Three Days at Gettysburg:
Essays on Confederate and Union Leadership; and Lee and His Generals in War and
Memory. The Antietam Campaign is his second book on Antietam, the first being
1989's Antietam: Essays on the 1862 Maryland Campaign. The book is part of the
"Military Campaigns of the Civil War" series by the University of North
The collected essays in The Antietam Campaign use references that, in many
cases, have appeared in other sources or have long been available, but they look
at the single bloodiest day in American history in ways that are new and creative.
One of the more intriguing pieces is Brooks D. Simpson's "General
McClellan's Bodyguard," in which he argues that the Army of the Potomac "was
as much a reflection as it was the creation of the army's first commander." Gen.
George B. McClellan is usually the object of historians' derision, and Simpson
does not absolve McClellan of blame for his lack of decisiveness. But he does put
McClellan's cautious personality and his penchant for clashes with President
Lincoln in perspective:
Perhaps McClellan impressed on his army the peculiar qualities of his personality and
character, but it would be wrong to hold him entirely responsible for the attitudes of his
officers and soldiers. Rather, many of his men shared his perspectives toward war and poli-
tics (p. 46).
In "Maryland, Our Maryland," William A. Blair reminds us that after pro-seces-
sion rioting in Baltimore, the federal government imposed martial law, going so
far as to jail without charges a congressman and about thirty members of the
state legislature to prevent them from voting on a pro-secession resolution. And
so, southerners saw Robert E. Lee's invasion of Maryland as a campaign of liber-
ation that would be met with hosannas from grateful citizens. A Richmond
woman wrote: "Oh that they [Marylanders] could burst the bonds that bind
them, and speak and act like freemen! ... The North has its heel upon her, and
how it grinds her" (p 80).
In "All Who Went Into That Battle Were Heroes," a moving, and sometimes
unsympathetic, account of the experiences of the Sixteenth Regiment
Connecticut Volunteers, Lesley J. Gordon vividly describes the experience of a
raw group of men thrown with minimal training into the harshest imaginable
combat. The Connecticut men panicked and ran, but still suffered 25 percent
casualties. Pvt. John B. Cuzner, not sparing himself, wrote to his fiancee that
some of the men maintained their courage, but "As for myself, I am a big cow-
ard" (p. 18o).
Gallagher has assembled a collection that, at its best, helps us to see Antietam
as the civilians and soldiers involved in the battle saw it themselves, without the
benefit or impediment of historical perspective.
University ofNorth Texas
JOHN MARK DEMPSEY
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002, periodical, 2001; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101222/m1/201/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.