31 January 2010

ch.16: McClellan on the "Attack"

Some Questions to Ponder

Why was President Lincoln so adamant about forcing McClellan to attack the Confederacy in the winter/spring of 1862? What had been going on? 

2. What was McClellan’s plan and why did Lincoln approve it even though he harbored some doubts about its feasibility?

3. Why do you suppose Lincoln retained incompetant generals like McClellan and Fremont when so many politicians were trying to get rid of those men?

4. Why did McClellan always think he was outnumbered? Was he? Where did he get his figures?

5. Who was Kate Chase and why does Doris Kearns Goodwin write about her so often?

6. What happened between the Monitor and the Merrimac?

7. How did McClellan do in the Peninsula campaign of 1862? Did he win or lose those "Seven Days" battles?

8. Why was it said at the time that McClellan was simply “out-generaled?” Was he? Explain.  

1 comment:

  1. In this chapter we have another good example of one of Lincoln's generals independently addressing the "larger purpose in the war" (i.e. the question of slavery). As the author notes: "General David Hunter ... acting without prior approval from the White House ... issued an official order dclaring 'forever free' all slaves in the three states under his jurisdiction ... Hunter's proclamation went beyond even General Fremont's attempt of the previous August." Unlike in the earlier case of General Butler, however, Lincoln DID revolk Hunter's order. Nevertheless, no doubt Lincoln was beginning to understand that the challening question regarding slavery was being answered by events beyond his control "in the field," far away from the legal discussions and arguments in Washington.

    Tim Utter