Fitz-John Porter, Scapegoat of Second Manassas: The Rise, Fall and Rise of the General Accused of Disobedience

Fitz-John Porter, Scapegoat of Second Manassas: The Rise, Fall and Rise of the General Accused of Disobedience

by Donald R. Jermann




One of the darkest days in United States history since Valley Forge was August 30, 1862. On this date the Confederate army smashed the United States army at Manassas, on the outskirts of Washington. To many, including the president and press, it appeared that Washington was all but lost.
The defeat was all the more galling because it was inflicted by a numerically inferior and inadequately equipped Confederate force. Someone, it was assumed, had to be responsible. Union commander Major General John Pope blamed the loss on charismatic and popular Major General Fitz-John Porter, whom he charged with disobedience of orders and shameful conduct before the enemy. A court-martial found him guilty. But was Porter really guilty or did he save the country from an even greater disaster? This book addresses the question of Porter’s guilt or innocence, examining the trial and its aftereffects from several perspectives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786439300
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 12/15/2008
Pages: 295
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Captain Donald R. Jermann served more than 32 years on active duty in the Navy covering World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. He also served as a senior executive in the Department of Defense and lives in Laurel, Maryland.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

List of Maps viii

Preface 1

Introduction 3

1. The Situation in Late August 1862 9

2. The Second Battle of Manassas 20

3. Courts and Courts-Martial 24

4. Charge 1, Specification 1 30

5. Charge 1, Specifications 2 and 3; Charge 2, Specifications 1, 2, and 3 61

6. Charge 1, Specifications 4 and 5 112

7. Pope, Porter, and McDowell 120

8. The Motivation Question 132

9. Summation and Verdict 138

10. The Rehearing 168

11. Grant Intervenes 194

12. Porter After the Verdict 200

13. What Happened to Them 206

14. A Conspiracy to Convict? 216

15. Hero or Villain? 219

16. Who Lost the Second Battle of Manassas? 227

Appendices (listed) 229

Chapter Notes 277

Bibliography 279

Index 281

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