America's Civil War

DID LITTLE MAC REALLY ‘OUTFOX’ LEE?

In “No Small Deed” (Sept. 2018), Dennis Frye claims that George McClellan outwitted Robert E. Lee and frustrated all of his strategic goals. I will grant that Lee’s aims were thwarted by the Battle of Antietam, but it was in spite of Little Mac’s generalship, not due to any brilliance on his part. With an almost 2-to-1 advantage in numbers and the intelligence coup of finding the copy of Lee’s Special Orders No. 191, McClellan should have been able to wreck not just Lee’s strategic goals but his army as well.

McClellan’s well-known overabundance of caution kept him from pressing the Union attack despite the fact he

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