Now Available from the ECW Series: Race to the Potomac

The latest release in the Emerging Civil War Series is sure to be a crowd-pleaser for Gettysburg fans: Race to the Potomac: Lee and Meade after Gettysburg, July 4-14, 1863 by Bradley M. Gottfried and Linda I. Gottfried, available now from Savas Beatie.

Even before the guns fell silent at Gettysburg, Robert E. Lee was preparing for the arduous task of getting his defeated army back safely into Virginia. It was an enormous, complex, and exceedingly dangerous undertaking.

General Lee’s first major decision was the assembly of two wagon trains, one to transport the wounded and the other to deliver the tons of supplies acquired by the army as it roamed across Pennsylvania and Maryland on the way to Gettysburg. Once the wagons trains were set, he mapped out routes for his infantry and artillery on different roads to speed the journey and protect his command.

Unsure of his opponent’s next move, George Meade, the victor of Gettysburg, dispatched Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick’s VI Corps on a reconnaissance-in-force. The thrust found the Confederate infantry in full retreat; Meade finally had the confirmation he needed that Lee was heading back to Virginia. Meade decided to launch a pursuit along different routes hoping to catch his beaten enemy without unduly exposing his own troops to a devastating counterattack or ambush.

Union cavalry moved out after the vulnerable Confederate wagon trains, and the encounters that followed, including several engagements with Jeb Stuart’s horsemen, resulted in the loss of hundreds of vehicles and the capture of large numbers of wounded and tons of valuable supplies. The majority of Lee’s wagons reached Williamsport, Maryland, only to find the pontoon bridge gone—cut loose by Union troops in the area. Lee’s army reached Hagerstown, Maryland, largely unscathed and began building a strong defensive line while a pontoon bridge was built across the Potomac at Falling Waters.

4 Responses to Now Available from the ECW Series: Race to the Potomac

  1. Lincoln had a plan to beat Lee’s movement back to Richmond after Antietam and McClellan did not follow it. That is pretty much the main reason why Lincoln got rid of McClellan. I could be wrong. Probably will be in next book if I get another published. Also will include Lincoln at Antietam.

  2. Was General Meade actually “racing” … not sure President Lincoln would have called it that.

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed, and learned a great deal from, Brad’s books (with very helpful maps) on Antietam and Gettysburg. What made them special for me, I read them shortly after spending time at both battlefields. I suspect this volume will be informative, just in a slightly different way for me.

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