Before Antietam: The Battle for South Mountain

John Michael Priest

  • Before Antietam: The Battle for South Mountain

Robert E. Lee, after decisively repelling John Pope's August 1862 invasion of Virginia at the Second Battle of Manassas, took the offensive. Moving north into Maryland, Lee divided his forces to capture Harper's Ferry while continuing his advance further into Union territory. George B. McClellan, the new Union commander, learned that Lee had divided his forces, and advanced to attack the Confederates. The armies, from squad to corps level, fought hard in both cavalry and infantry actions for control of the three gaps across South Mountain, about sixty miles from the Federal capital. The victory McClellan's officers and men gave him forced Lee to fall back and regroup near the town of Sharpsburg, Maryland, thus setting the stage for the Civil War's bloodiest day which soon followed at Antietam Creek.

Three days before that September day, the opposing armies fought a series of engagements that came to be known as the Battle of South Mountain. Until Before Antietam those battles existed in our history as only a footnote to the events at Antietam. Because of the work of John Michael Priest those terrible encounters now have their rightful place in American military history.

Author John Michael Priest
Pages 458
Images 9
Maps 70
Bibliography Yes
Index Yes
  • $24.95

Tags: 9781572494077, John Michael Priest