Battle of antietam research paper

Why were two copies sent to Hill?


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When Jackson received a copy of Order from Lee, he assumed a duty to get a copy to Hill. Consequently, he wrote one out and had it delivered.


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But Lee had earlier directed Chilton to send a copy directly to Hill. Similarly, in postwar correspondence with McClellan, Hill learned the lost order was found inside an envelope — presumably the delivery one, implying that it had never been opened and therefore never delivered.

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Chilton, not surprisingly, averred that the orders had indeed been delivered. Since it was customary for delivery envelopes to also function as stock for signed receipts, some historians argue that the discovery of the order inside an envelope is convincing evidence that the copy from Chilton never reached Hill. But that scenario has problems. Yet the order was probably originally put in a sealed envelope so it could not easily be secretly examined and replaced by unauthorized readers. Moreover, if the envelope had indeed been sealed, it is unlikely Chilton would have wrapped the order around three cigars.

Battle of Antietam

Both men had other incidents of bad judgment and an unwillingness to accept the consequences of their actions. Explore multimedia from the series and navigate through past posts, as well as photos and articles from the Times archive. He offered various mysterious explanations, including that a perfectly healthy subordinate, Patrick Cleburne , was too ill to lead the attack. Similarly, Chilton prepared and delivered questionable orders during the Peninsula and Chancellorsville campaigns. In a way, Lee shares in the blame as well. Straggling among the rank-and-file was only one consequence.

Battle of Antietam

Yet Lee was sensitively aware of the rewards that speedy movements might yield, since many Richmond officials felt the failure to quickly occupy Washington after the victory a year earlier at the First Battle of Bull Run was crucial mistake. With no need to leave the orders and believing them of lesser importance, he may simply have obtained a perfunctory receipt and kept the envelope and enclosure to hold his own cigars.

It is the sort of thing anyone might do, and if he were one of the thousands of men killed in the ensuing battle, his story would never be heard. As I researched the subject it became apparent to me that to cover the campaign and its events in the depth I desired required two volumes, which is how To Antietam Creek : The Maryland Campaign of came about. Volume two will cover the Battle of Antietam, the aftermath of the battle and the end of the campaign up to Union commander General George B.

American Civil War 1861-1865

I chose to end To Antietam Creek on the night before Antietam partly because it was a good point to end the narrative, but also because that night was in some sense the end of an America that had been and the beginning of an America that would be, because the battle the next day unleashed forces that eventually led to the end of slavery and permanent change in the social landscape of the country. Digging deep on a historical subject reveals things that are often not apparent on the surface. It can also uncover complexities that were simplified or modified either to shield a reputation or shape a certain narrative.

For example, I discovered the latter with Confederate numbers in the campaign. Confederate veterans and post-war writers sought to portray the Army of Northern Virginia as David facing a Goliath in the Army of the Potomac.


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  5. This fed the Lost Cause narrative that the North had only won the war through overwhelming numbers. That these 40, were tough is without question, but why was nearly half the army absent when they were most needed? The next day, McClellan declined to pursue the retreating Lee, allowing Confederate forces to slip back into Virginia and prolong the war. Abraham Lincoln research papers overview the famous President and his stance on slavery, Christianity and even Shakespeare's tragedies. Battle of Olustee research papers discuss one of the battles of the Civil War that was fought in Florida.

    To Antietam Creek: The Maryland Campaign of , Sept. | JHU Press

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