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(CNN)   The single bloodiest day in US military history was 150 years ago today; granted at the time 35% of the combatants were "technically" not part of the US, but you get the gist   (news.blogs.cnn.com) divider line 361
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17044 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Sep 2012 at 11:34 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-17 10:47:14 AM
That sucks
 
2012-09-17 10:54:52 AM
I remember hearing a story in Ken Burns' Civil War about how so much of the fighting was done within a certain square mile area between the two capitals that battle fields were often reused. One account told a tale of how a heavy rain exposed the bones of soldiers that died on that field in a previous battle that took place a year or so earlier. The soldiers were fighting on a field of mud and bones.

Now that's farked up.
 
2012-09-17 10:58:40 AM
Battle of Antie Em?
 
2012-09-17 11:05:34 AM
I toured the battlefield a few years ago, I would not eat corn from that cornfield.
 
2012-09-17 11:19:36 AM

Cythraul: I remember hearing a story in Ken Burns' Civil War about how so much of the fighting was done within a certain square mile area between the two capitals that battle fields were often reused. One account told a tale of how a heavy rain exposed the bones of soldiers that died on that field in a previous battle that took place a year or so earlier. The soldiers were fighting on a field of mud and bones.

Now that's farked up.


If you think that's really messed up, never try to learn about the Western Front in WWI.

Antietam is probably the biggest farkup in American military history. McClellan knew EXACTLY where Lee's troops were heading and where they were, because a copy of his dispatches was picked up - lost by a courier wrapped around three cigars. Even knowing exactly where Lee's troops where and how many of them there were, McClellan could only force a draw after pinning a force half of his size against a river.
 
2012-09-17 11:22:11 AM

GAT_00: Cythraul: I remember hearing a story in Ken Burns' Civil War about how so much of the fighting was done within a certain square mile area between the two capitals that battle fields were often reused. One account told a tale of how a heavy rain exposed the bones of soldiers that died on that field in a previous battle that took place a year or so earlier. The soldiers were fighting on a field of mud and bones.

Now that's farked up.

If you think that's really messed up, never try to learn about the Western Front in WWI.

Antietam is probably the biggest farkup in American military history. McClellan knew EXACTLY where Lee's troops were heading and where they were, because a copy of his dispatches was picked up - lost by a courier wrapped around three cigars. Even knowing exactly where Lee's troops where and how many of them there were, McClellan could only force a draw after pinning a force half of his size against a river.


If I'm remembering the right guy, McClellan was a fool and a coward. I have no idea why Lincoln allowed him to keep his position as long as he did.
 
2012-09-17 11:22:27 AM
Pshaw.

Amateurs.
 
2012-09-17 11:24:12 AM

Cythraul: If I'm remembering the right guy, McClellan was a fool and a coward. I have no idea why Lincoln allowed him to keep his position as long as he did.


He was. Incredibly slow to move, and was convinced against all logic that Lee often had 200,000 troops fielded against him.
 
2012-09-17 11:36:17 AM

beantowndog: I toured the battlefield a few years ago, I would not eat corn from that cornfield.


The place fills me with awe. Whole companies of men knew that they were heading into the mouths of the cannons, but they ran ahead anyway, and died.

The scale freaks me out too.131,000 guys in an area you can see from one end to the other. They must have been shoulder to shoulder.
 
2012-09-17 11:38:18 AM

GAT_00: Cythraul: If I'm remembering the right guy, McClellan was a fool and a coward. I have no idea why Lincoln allowed him to keep his position as long as he did.

He was. Incredibly slow to move, and was convinced against all logic that Lee often had 200,000 troops fielded against him.


And then he refused to pursue Lee back into Virginia, and was eventually relieved of command by Lincoln. Why it took him so long, I'll never know. They could've shortened the war by nearly two years if they had pursued and destroyed Lee following Antietam.
 
2012-09-17 11:40:22 AM

Cythraul: If I'm remembering the right guy, McClellan was a fool and a coward. I have no idea why Lincoln allowed him to keep his position as long as he did.


George,

If you're not going to use the army, I should like to borrow it for a while.

A. Lincoln
 
2012-09-17 11:40:28 AM
CNN has this filed under "this just in?"
 
2012-09-17 11:41:04 AM
and they're still sore about it.
 
2012-09-17 11:41:13 AM
Civil wars tend to be brutal. I suppose the combatants are more emotionally invested in the fight. Win or lose, the behavior is really nothing to be proud of.
 
2012-09-17 11:41:58 AM

Cythraul: If I'm remembering the right guy, McClellan was a fool and a coward. I have no idea why Lincoln allowed him to keep his position as long as he did.


McClellan was politically popular, and competent on the defensive.

He was actually an improvement from the morons that came before him.
 
Xai
2012-09-17 11:42:35 AM
so what you are saying is the southern states are actually all dirt immigrants and should be deported back to Europe? this will be news to the kkk
 
2012-09-17 11:42:42 AM

GAT_00: Cythraul: If I'm remembering the right guy, McClellan was a fool and a coward. I have no idea why Lincoln allowed him to keep his position as long as he did.

He was. Incredibly slow to move, and was convinced against all logic that Lee often had 200,000 troops fielded against him.


McClellan was a prick who was very popular with the troops because he never put them at risk by doing things like trying to win the war by attacking the enemy.

He was misinformed by what passed for Army intelligence in those days, the Pinkertons, about enemy dispositions and numbers. Personally I think the Pinkertons were Southern sympathizers.
 
2012-09-17 11:42:54 AM

Ecobuckeye: CNN has this filed under "this just in?"


And only because someone tweeted it.
 
2012-09-17 11:44:21 AM

Mmmrky


Ecobuckeye: CNN has this filed under "this just in?"

And only because someone tweeted it.


And because someone printed the tweet and faxed it to them.
 
2012-09-17 11:44:39 AM
Wasn't McClellan the guy who laid siege to a nearly empty town, then when he finally grew the stones to attack, the diversionary force had already left?

I don't think Ken Burns had one nice thing to say about the guy.
 
2012-09-17 11:45:01 AM

cameroncrazy1984: GAT_00: Cythraul: If I'm remembering the right guy, McClellan was a fool and a coward. I have no idea why Lincoln allowed him to keep his position as long as he did.

He was. Incredibly slow to move, and was convinced against all logic that Lee often had 200,000 troops fielded against him.

And then he refused to pursue Lee back into Virginia, and was eventually relieved of command by Lincoln. Why it took him so long, I'll never know. They could've shortened the war by nearly two years if they had pursued and destroyed Lee following Antietam.


I remember seeing a close combat training session where the instructor said you need to get on top of your man and stay on him. don't let him get up, don't let him catch his breath. McClellan never understood this.

Although I must say Sherman understood the idea of avoiding strong points and ruining your opponents ability to wage war by destroying his supplies and support. Not that Sherman didn't fight battles in his march to the sea and northward.
 
2012-09-17 11:47:44 AM
All the women in the US synchronized their cycles? Ugh.
 
2012-09-17 11:47:57 AM
The generals before McClellan the first time he was commander of the army of the Potomac were worse, though a big part of that was organizational failure. He reorganized the force and instituted a number of practices that made camp life bearable for soldiers as well as fixing a large part of the logistical problems that the force had previously. This made him fairly beloved for the soldiers themselves. He was also instrumental in the design of the fortifications and emplacements around Washington. He wasn't so much an unsuccessful general as he was a horrid battlefield leader and tactician. In today's military he would be very valued and promoted since he was good at politics and good at logistics as well as strategy.
 
2012-09-17 11:48:54 AM
Glad we beat 'dem Redcoats!

USA! USA! USA!
 
2012-09-17 11:49:20 AM
Though why he was made commander a second time is beyond me.
 
2012-09-17 11:49:38 AM
McClellan was a prime example of someone afraid to take a risk. He had convinced himself that Lee's army at the worst matched the size of his own; it was the only way he could believe how Lee kept winning those battles. With that belief firmly in his mind, no way was he going to risk losing the only military force between Lee and the federal capitol. Plus, he made sure a lot of his subordinate commanders had the same mindset that he did; with a few exceptions, they were nearly all risk averse.

So, even though he knew only 2/3 of Lee's army was in front of him, McClellan fed his troops in cautiously and piecemeal, allowing Lee to shift his dwindling reserves back and forth across the battlefield to blunt and turn back advance after advance, at terrible cost to both sides. By the afternoon though, Lee's tactics failed; he did not have any men left to stop the final Union advances. At this point, A.P. Hill and the remaining 1/3 of his army arrived from Harper's Ferry just in time to repulse that assault.

Had McClellan resumed the attack the next day (he still had two corps of troops that saw no fighting; Lee had none), Lee's army would have been totally shattered. That was totally against McClellan's thought process, though, so Lee was allowed to safely cross the Potomac and fight on for several bloody years.

/been to Antietam
//very peaceful now
///not so much 150 years ago
 
2012-09-17 11:52:50 AM

Cythraul: If I'm remembering the right guy, McClellan was a fool and a coward. I have no idea why Lincoln allowed him to keep his position as long as he did.


Wouldn't say that; the reports he was getting from Pinkerton substantially inflated Lee's strength. Lee called him the best general he faced, although my preference is for Grant. Not a coward, but certainly overly careful. Compare his work with Halleck, out west, who would advance at the rate of a mile a day. Now Halleck was timid. McClellan didn't seem to understand what was necessary in a commander of the Union forces. He had to take the battle to the enemy and whip him. He also didn't seem to understand the advantage in sheer numbers the Union had; Lincoln did, but until Grant came along he didn't have a general that shared his understanding that the Confederacy didn't have the resources to defend itself everywhere. Grant's plans coordinated all the Union armies into a coherent push that finally brought the war to a close.

Lincoln kept McClellan for a variety of reasons; McClellan's work organizing the Army of the Potomac was critical in creating the foundation of that army that carried it through to final success. There were political reasons as well; McClellan was the darling of the War Democrats that Lincoln needed to avoid the war being seen as a strictly Republican undertaking. This was a CIVIL war, and politics was very important; politics was as dangerous to a general as enemy fire; Grant's success was in no small part due to his ability to navigate these waters as well as fight the enemy.
 
2012-09-17 11:54:46 AM
No, the 35% were indeed citizens of the U.S. That was kinda the problem.
 
2012-09-17 11:55:23 AM

red5ish: McClellan was a prick who was very popular with the troops because he never put them at risk by doing things like trying to win the war by attacking the enemy.


While I don't like McClellan, this is obviously wrong; you're forgetting the Peninsula campaign, and Antietam itself. Also, McClellan got the job through his work in West Virginia, where he was very aggressive. He did have an overinflated sense of his own self-worth, that's certain.
 
2012-09-17 11:55:58 AM

markfara: No, the 35% were indeed citizens of the U.S. That was kinda the problem.


I think the root of the war was a disagreement on that very point.
 
2012-09-17 11:56:19 AM

red5ish: GAT_00: Cythraul: If I'm remembering the right guy, McClellan was a fool and a coward. I have no idea why Lincoln allowed him to keep his position as long as he did.

He was. Incredibly slow to move, and was convinced against all logic that Lee often had 200,000 troops fielded against him.

McClellan was a prick who was very popular with the troops because he never put them at risk by doing things like trying to win the war by attacking the enemy.

He was misinformed by what passed for Army intelligence in those days, the Pinkertons, about enemy dispositions and numbers. Personally I think the Pinkertons were Southern sympathizers.


And after screwing the pooch as a military commander, he ran against Lincoln for president in 1864 as the "peace candidate".
 
2012-09-17 11:59:45 AM

wambu: Win or lose, the behavior is really nothing to be proud of.


Millions of people descended from Confederate slaves disagree.
 
2012-09-17 12:00:15 PM

beantowndog: I toured the battlefield a few years ago, I would not eat corn from that cornfield.


I ate a peach from the Peach Orchard at Gettysburg, and it was delicious!
 
2012-09-17 12:00:17 PM
You know, if you bike the C & O Canal from start to finish, the only real shortcut is right through Sharpsburg.
 
2012-09-17 12:02:13 PM
"The National Endowment for the Humanities on Monday will live-stream an Emancipation Proclamation event, as Civil War historians and scholars assume they're living in 1962 and discuss the national scene Lincoln faced as he issued the Preliminary Proclamation."

We need better historians.
 
2012-09-17 12:02:22 PM
markfara: No, the 35% were indeed citizens of the U.S. That was kinda the problem.

I think we can presume redneckmitter is bitter about how the war ended.
 
2012-09-17 12:04:07 PM

BolshyGreatYarblocks: beantowndog: I toured the battlefield a few years ago, I would not eat corn from that cornfield.

I ate a peach from the Peach Orchard at Gettysburg, and it was delicious!


What was her name?
 
2012-09-17 12:04:40 PM

Cybernetic: And after screwing the pooch as a military commander, he ran against Lincoln for president in 1864 as the "peace candidate".


Actually, he disavowed the Democratic Party Platform which called for negotiations, and put himself at odds with the party that was proposing him for President. He was not in favor of any resolution to the war that ended with two nations. He opposed Lincoln's anti-slavery policy, however.
 
2012-09-17 12:05:06 PM

Cythraul: I remember hearing a story in Ken Burns' Civil War about how so much of the fighting was done within a certain square mile area between the two capitals that battle fields were often reused. One account told a tale of how a heavy rain exposed the bones of soldiers that died on that field in a previous battle that took place a year or so earlier. The soldiers were fighting on a field of mud and bones.

Now that's farked up.


Sounds like bullshiat.
 
2012-09-17 12:05:35 PM

Cythraul: GAT_00: Cythraul: I remember hearing a story in Ken Burns' Civil War about how so much of the fighting was done within a certain square mile area between the two capitals that battle fields were often reused. One account told a tale of how a heavy rain exposed the bones of soldiers that died on that field in a previous battle that took place a year or so earlier. The soldiers were fighting on a field of mud and bones.

Now that's farked up.

If you think that's really messed up, never try to learn about the Western Front in WWI.

Antietam is probably the biggest farkup in American military history. McClellan knew EXACTLY where Lee's troops were heading and where they were, because a copy of his dispatches was picked up - lost by a courier wrapped around three cigars. Even knowing exactly where Lee's troops where and how many of them there were, McClellan could only force a draw after pinning a force half of his size against a river.

If I'm remembering the right guy, McClellan was a fool and a coward. I have no idea why Lincoln allowed him to keep his position as long as he did.


He was really popular, and the men loved him. Not fighting probably contributed to that. The question is, who at the time before Grant was fit to run things? All the other guys fubared things and were outsmarted by Lee and Jackson, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory over and over.
 
2012-09-17 12:05:44 PM

Bashar and Asma's Infinite Playlist: Wasn't McClellan the guy who laid siege to a nearly empty town, then when he finally grew the stones to attack, the diversionary force had already left?

I don't think Ken Burns had one nice thing to say about the guy.


Mac was good-looking and acted very confidently: these count for a lot in America, no matter how derpy the confident looker is. Grant was a shorty, scruffy and laconic, and not surprisingly couldn't hack it in business America. Mac led a railroad before the war, became a state governor even after failing in the CW, and his son became NYC mayor.
 
2012-09-17 12:07:02 PM

Maxor: he was good at politics


He wasn't good at politics, which is a major reason for his removal. He didn't understand the political pressure Lincoln was under for the army to do something, and ultimately Lincoln had to remove him. He failed to understand the overriding importance of politics in the war.
 
2012-09-17 12:07:41 PM

manimal2878: Cythraul: I remember hearing a story in Ken Burns' Civil War about how so much of the fighting was done within a certain square mile area between the two capitals that battle fields were often reused. One account told a tale of how a heavy rain exposed the bones of soldiers that died on that field in a previous battle that took place a year or so earlier. The soldiers were fighting on a field of mud and bones.

Now that's farked up.

Sounds like bullshiat.


Nope, Chancellorsville and the Wilderness were fought over much the same ground.
 
2012-09-17 12:09:33 PM

caution: "The National Endowment for the Humanities on Monday will live-stream an Emancipation Proclamation event, as Civil War historians and scholars assume they're living in 1962 and discuss the national scene Lincoln faced as he issued the Preliminary Proclamation."

We need better historians.


"In your hands and not in mine, dear Cubans, lies the awful issue of superpower nuclear exchange." - A. Lincoln
 
2012-09-17 12:09:43 PM

MrBallou: beantowndog: I toured the battlefield a few years ago, I would not eat corn from that cornfield.

The place fills me with awe. Whole companies of men knew that they were heading into the mouths of the cannons, but they ran ahead anyway, and died.

The scale freaks me out too.131,000 guys in an area you can see from one end to the other. They must have been shoulder to shoulder.


The December remembrance, with a candle for each one of the fallen, is awe inspiring. The fields are
a carpet of flame.
 
2012-09-17 12:10:06 PM
I predict that this will be a calm, rational thread involving well-reasoned, cited arguments, concluding in a friendly understanding amongst the several distinct points of view regarding various aspects of this divisive subject.
 
2012-09-17 12:10:27 PM

BolshyGreatYarblocks: "In your hands and not in mine, dear Cubans, lies the awful issue of superpower nuclear exchange." - A. Lincoln


Hey, he kept us out of WW I, remember? That's why we reelected him.
 
2012-09-17 12:13:08 PM

Raging Whore Moans: Glad we beat 'dem Redcoats!

USA! USA! USA!


There always has to be one in every thread.
 
2012-09-17 12:13:26 PM

Galloping Galoshes: markfara: No, the 35% were indeed citizens of the U.S. That was kinda the problem.

I think the root of the war was a disagreement on that very point.


True. But, the point of the war was to decide who was right.

Guess who won.
 
2012-09-17 12:13:33 PM

wmoonfox: I predict that this will be a calm, rational thread involving well-reasoned, cited arguments, concluding in a friendly understanding amongst the several distinct points of view regarding various aspects of this divisive subject.


Well, we ARE doing better than the Politics tab.
 
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