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The Federal left at Antietam - who takes the blame?

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  • The Federal left at Antietam - who takes the blame?

    From the September 2007 issue of Civil War Times:

    Do you fault George McClellan, Ambrose Burnside, both or neither for the failures on the Federal left at Antietam, beginning with the delays at the Lower Bridge?

  • #2
    I blame Burnside for not checking to see if his troops could wade across the stream. I blame Little Mac for not making sure Burnside got his posterior in gear.

    Pruitt
    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

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    • #3
      Well, Burnside should have tried to cross the river with at least one guy to see if it was possible. McClellan is to blame in my opinion, for if he had actually tried to even half-heartedly force a victory, then the delay at the Lower Bridge would have been made up for.
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      • #4
        McClellan should take the fall on this one. His piecemeal attack plan was terrible. Burnside's subordinates should have been smart enough to try and wade the stream.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ckelly View Post
          From the September 2007 issue of Civil War Times:

          Do you fault George McClellan, Ambrose Burnside, both or neither for the failures on the Federal left at Antietam, beginning with the delays at the Lower Bridge?
          In response to this question, I fault McClellan. My conclusion is that either McClellan intentionally mistated the times of his order or that he failed to responsibly maintain direct communications with his subordinates in following out his orders. I can't imagine George Patton in WW2 to give an order and not ensure it was being carried out.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ckelly View Post
            From the September 2007 issue of Civil War Times:

            Do you fault George McClellan, Ambrose Burnside, both or neither for the failures on the Federal left at Antietam, beginning with the delays at the Lower Bridge?
            I'd blame McClellan as he seemed to have this problem on more than occasion. I remember reading that during the Pennisular Campaign that he hesitated in trying to figure out the most fordable place that the AOP could cross a river. Suddenly, a Cavalry Captain, Custer I believe his name was, appeared on the far bank, shouted and waved his hat to the General's entourage saying that it was safe and shallow enough to cross from where he was standing.
            "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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            • #7
              where was the federal cavalry?

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              • #8
                Marvel's Burnside Bridge Debunker

                For a good, solid analysis of Burnside's role in the "delay of the left," take a look at William Marvel's article in the last issue of America's Civil War. I know of few authors that actually take the time to wade through the re-occurring myths and fictons of Civil War history to establish the hard truth of an issue as does Marvel. The so-called delay of the Federal left at Antietam is a case in point. McClellan spent a lot of time after the event in trying to re-write history at Burnside's expense. Marvel's article should be required reading for anyone interested in what really transpired there on the banks of the Antietam!

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