Antietam and the McClellan Missteps 2 D Essay examples

4615 WordsNov 28, 201419 Pages
AMEDD CAPTAINS CAREER COURSE GENERAL MCCLELLAN AND THE BATTLE OF ANTIETAM SUBMITTED TO MR. KEN FRANK SMALL GROUP 7 MISSION COMMAND PAPER BY CPT CHRIS KOLBOSKY AMEDD CENTER AND SCHOOL, FT. SAM HOUSTON, TX 03 FEBRUARY 2014 INTRODUCTION Building a movement always challenges the status quo. Leaders must act, they must willingly risk the things they love and unfortunately, many leaders are frozen by the lethargy of indecision i. Union General George B. McClellan, who was meticulous in his planning and preparations, was also known for not aggressively challenging his opponents on a fast-moving battlefield environment. He chronically overestimated the strength of the enemy and was reluctant to apply principles of mass,…show more content…
Confederate politicians, including President Jefferson Davis, believed the prospect of foreign recognition would increase if they won a victory on Northern soil; such a victory might gain recognition and financial support from Britain and France, something that was vastly needed xiii. While in pursuit, two soldiers in General McClellan’s 75,500-man Army of the Potomac, stumbled upon an amazing find. On the morning of September 13, in a clover field on the outskirts of Frederick, MD, CPT Barton Mitchell and 1SG John Bloss found a bulky envelope by the road xiv. In it was a sheet of paper wrapped around three cigars and marked “Confidential”. It was headed “Special Orders No 191” and signed by Command of GEN. R.E. Lee xv. Before noon, it was in the hands of General McClellan xvi. From Special Order 191, McClellan learned the objectives, the timetables, and the makeup of the four columns of Lee’s Army xvii. The order indicated that Lee had divided his Army and dispersed portions geographically to Harpers Ferry, WV and Hagerstown, MD, thus making each subject to isolation and defeat if McClellan could move quickly enough xviii. Rather than using the advantage to reposition his forces in overwhelming numbers, he waited 18 hours before taking advantage of his intelligence. As it happened, it was just enough time for General Lee to evade outright disaster xix. While Lee had only 15,000 men at Sharpsburg and the first troops of

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