Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

The Antietam Campaign

Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

The Antietam Campaign

Article excerpt

The Antietam Campaign. Edited by Gary W. Gallagher. Military Campaigns of the Civil War. (Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, c. 1999. Pp. xvi, 335. $32.50, ISBN 0-8078-2481-X.)

The Antietam Campaign makes a strong contribution to the University of North Carolina Press's Military Campaigns of the Civil War series. This collection of essays edited by Professor Gary Gallagher offers entertaining passages, interesting details, and thought-provoking ideas. The entries in the book also have complementary strengths: some are valuable for the wealth of their information, others are valuable for the depth of their analyses. All of them are enjoyable to read.

This volume should attract a large and varied audience. Civil War enthusiasts who crave operational history will relish, among other essays, Robert K. Krick's thoroughly researched piece on the Confederate defense of the famous "Bloody Lane." Many military buffs will be drawn to this collection by essays like Robert E. L. Krick's wonderfully detailed "Defending Lee's Flank," but can then turn to Gary Gallagher's discerning analysis in "The Net Result of the Campaign Was in Our Favor: Confederate Reaction to the Maryland Campaign." Lesley J. Gordon's "All Who Went into That Battle Were Heroes" is instructive on how memories of combat are shaped; it is a thoughtful piece that should attract scholars other than military historians.

Many readers will sample other entries and soon realize that there is far more than gunplay at work in sophisticated essays like Brooks D. Simpson's "General McClellan's Bodyguard" and Peter S. Carmichael's "We Don't Know What on Earth to Do with Him. …

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