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Commanding the Army of the Potomac

Author: Stephen R Taaffe
Publisher: Lawrence : University Press of Kansas, ©2006.
Series: Modern war studies.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
During the Civil War, thirty-six officers in the Army of the Potomac were assigned corps commands of up to 30,000 men. Collectively charged with leading the Union's most significant field army, these leaders proved their courage in countless battlefields from Gettysburg to Antietam to Cold Harbor. Unfortunately, courage alone was not enough. Their often dismal performances played a major role in producing this  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Taaffe, Stephen R.
Commanding the Army of the Potomac.
Lawrence : University Press of Kansas, c2006
(OCoLC)648261197
Material Type: Biography, Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Stephen R Taaffe
ISBN: 0700614516 9780700614516
OCLC Number: 61748201
Description: ix, 284 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
Contents: "McClellan is not the man" : July, 1861 to November, 1862 --
Burnside's unhappy and insecure tenure : November, 1862 to January, 1863 --
Fighting Joe's big opportunity : January to June, 1863 --
Meade marks time : June, 1863 to March, 1864 --
Grant as general in chief : March, 1864 to April, 1865.
Series Title: Modern war studies.
Responsibility: Stephen R. Taaffe.
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Abstract:

During the Civil War, thirty-six officers in the Army of the Potomac were assigned corps commands of up to 30,000 men. This book looks at this command cadre, examining who was appointed to these  Read more...

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"This is one of the best Civil War books I have read in a very long time. An insightful, elegantly written, thoroughly enjoyable narrative that is informative, entertaining, and thought-provoking."

 
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schema:reviewBody"During the Civil War, thirty-six officers in the Army of the Potomac were assigned corps commands of up to 30,000 men. Collectively charged with leading the Union's most significant field army, these leaders proved their courage in countless battlefields from Gettysburg to Antietam to Cold Harbor. Unfortunately, courage alone was not enough. Their often dismal performances played a major role in producing this army's tragic record, one that included more defeats than victories despite its numerical and matériel superiority. Stephen Taaffe takes a close look at this command cadre, examining who was appointed to these positions, why they were appointed, and why so many of them ultimately failed to fulfill their responsibilities. He demonstrates that ambitious officers such as Gouverneur Warren, John Reynolds, and Winfield Scott Hancock employed all the weapons at their disposal, from personal connections to exaggerated accounts of prowess in combat, to claw their way into these important posts. Once there, however, as Taaffe reveals, many of these officers failed to navigate the tricky and ever-changing political currents that swirled around the Army of the Potomac. As a result, only three of them managed to retain their commands for more than a year, and their machinations caused considerable turmoil in the army's high command structure. Taaffe also shows that their ability or inability to get along with generals such as George McClelland, Ambrose Burnside, Joseph Hooker, George Meade, and Ulysses Grant played a big role in their professional destinies. In analyzing the Army of the Potomac's corps commanders as a group, Taaffe provides a new way of detailing this army's chronic difficulties--one that, until now, has been largely neglected in the literature of the Civil War."
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