A Fierce Glory: Antietam--The Desperate Battle That Saved Lincoln and Doomed Slavery

A Fierce Glory: Antietam--The Desperate Battle That Saved Lincoln and Doomed Slavery

by Justin Martin

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Overview

On September 17, 1862, the "United States" was on the brink, facing a permanent split into two separate nations. America's very future hung on the outcome of a single battle—and the result reverberates to this day. Given the deep divisions that still rive the nation, given what unites the country, too, Antietam is more relevant now than ever.

The epic battle, fought near Sharpsburg, Maryland, was a Civil War turning point. The South had just launched its first invasion of the North; victory for Robert E. Lee would almost certainly have ended the war on Confederate terms. If the Union prevailed, Lincoln stood ready to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. He knew that freeing the slaves would lend renewed energy and lofty purpose to the North's war effort. Lincoln needed a victory to save the divided country, but victory would come at a price. Detailed here is the cannon din and desperation, the horrors and heroes of this monumental battle, one that killed 3,650 soldiers, still the highest single-day toll in American history.

Justin Martin, an acclaimed writer of narrative nonfiction, renders this landmark event in a revealing new way. More than in previous accounts, Lincoln is laced deeply into the story. Antietam represents Lincoln at his finest, as the grief-racked president—struggling with the recent death of his son, Willie—summoned the guile necessary to manage his reluctant general, George McClellan. The Emancipation Proclamation would be the greatest gambit of the nation's most inspired leader. And, in fact, the battle's impact extended far beyond the field; brilliant and lasting innovations in medicine, photography, and communications were given crucial real-world tests. No mere gunfight, Antietam rippled through politics and society, transforming history.

A Fierce Glory is a fresh and vibrant account of an event that had enduring consequences that still resonate today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306825255
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Publication date: 09/11/2018
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 250,272
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Justin Martin is the author of five books, with his two most recent titles covering Civil War-era subjects. Rebel Souls: Walt Whitman and America's First Bohemians, selected as the outstanding biography of 2014 by the Victoria Society, New York, and as a finalist for the Marfield Prize, was also picked as one of the best books of that year by both the Kansas City Star and Choice magazine. Genius of Place: The Life of Frederick Law Olmsted was also met with many plaudits and glowing reviews nationally. Martin lives with his wife and twin sons in Forest Hills Gardens, New York.

Table of Contents

List of Maps ix

Author's Note xi

1 Hell Comes to Sharpsburg 1

2 Stakes 16

3 The Cornfield 38

4 Little Mac v. Bobby Lee 56

5 Georgia Boys and General Chaos 77

6 Instrument of Providence 87

7 Mercy Follows a Massacre 105

8 The Bloody Lane 123

9 Down to Raisins 143

10 Can 12,500 Soldiers Take One Stone Bridge? 148

11 A Lurid Sunset 170

12 Thursday's Reckoning 189

13 Surgical Procedures, Lincoln's Prescription 203

14 The Dead of Antietam 220

15 By Proclamation 234

Further Explorations 251

Notes 257

Acknowledgments 299

Index 301

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