ECW Podcast: Antietam Institute

Historian Brad Gottfried talks about the efforts of theĀ Antietam Institute to shed a scholarly light on one of the war’s most pivotal battles.

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2 Responses to ECW Podcast: Antietam Institute

  1. Maryland “the North” in 1862? I disagree, with all due respect to Brad. Maybe in 1864, but in 1862 Maryland was a contested border state south of the Mason-Dixon Line. The state was under Federal martial law, the writ of habeus corpus was suspended, politicians had been arrested, presses were forcibly shut down, etc. Were these things done in any truly Northern state? Lee also made it absolutely clear to his troops that they could not take what they wanted from the civilian population, because, as he himself wrote, “the army is in a State whose citizens it is our purpose to conciliate and bring with us.” Did Lee believe similarly about Pennsylvania? He did not. Then there are the objectives of the campaign to consider. Lee’s objectives in September 1862 were two-fold: 1) to bring Maryland into the Confederacy and 2) to defeat the Federals. This is clear from multiple comments he wrote. Lee also was not bound for PA as of Sept. 7 – the day after he crossed the Potomac into Maryland. Rather, he tried to draw McClellan into Washington County to fight a decisive battle there after the capture of Harpers Ferry. In short, while the Maryland and Pennsylvania campaigns have similarities, I believe it is ex post facto, and definitely Unionist-oriented thinking, to describe the former as an invasion of “the North.” Lee’s army invaded a Northern state only once during the war – in June 1863. For more details about Lee’s true objectives in September 1862 see here -

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