America's Civil War

MORE ON MAC ‘OUTFOXING’ LEE

Dennis E. Frye (“No Small Deed”; September 2018) attempts to persuade readers that Robert E. Lee was outgeneraled by George McClellan at Antietam. If this were true, the severely handicapped Army of Northern Virginia would have been demolished. McClellan badly managed this bloody battle and was lucky to break even. It was an astute President Lincoln who turned a tactical military draw into a strategic political and moral victory by issuing his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation—which McClellan opposed—thus reshaping the struggle. Lee took an audacious gamble that, despite all odds, might have worked because he could “read” McClellan. So could Lincoln. He clearly saw Antietam for what it was—a botched affair that could have crippled his presidency and the Union cause. At the first opportune moment, Lincoln fired McClellan. Frye’s attempt to puff up McClellan—thereby slighting Lee—is, well, McClellanesque. I don’t see how

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HISTORYNET.com/AMERICAS-CIVIL-WAR The near-fatal wounding of JamesLongstreet at the Wilderness in May1864 was a serious setback for RobertE. Lee ‘s Army of Northern Virginia. http://bit.ly/LongstreetUnderFire America’s bloodiest day foreverstamped a