Saturday, June 30, 2012

Seven Days, July 1862

Geoffrey Norman on "Seven Bloody Days," McClellan and the 1862 effort to capture the Confederate capitol, a frustrating and ultimately pointless expenditure of blood:
The story of the Seven Days and the Peninsula Campaign that preceded it is, in large part, a tale of one man’s hubris.

General George McClellan liked to think of himself as a kind of American Napoleon, and in at least one regard there was a similarity. Both men were short.

Napoleon, though, was a master of war. He loved war and thrived on its challenges, and he was a gambler. It could have been said of him, as it was of a general who became McClellan’s adversary in the Seven Days, “his name might be Audacity.”

McClellan was quite the other thing. He was a master of military organization and an exceedingly adroit player in the political contests that result in promotion. But he did not much like war, and he made a point of avoiding both battle and the battlefield. The carnage was repellent to him. .... [more of a good account]

Seven Bloody Days | The Weekly Standard

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