Friday, December 11, 2015

Opposing the Second Corps at Antietam

I never got around to reading Marion Armstrong's Unfurl Those Colors: McClellan, Sumner, and the Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign (2008). No review copy arrived and my pocketbook priorities lay elsewhere at the time so it slipped away. But the reviews for it seemed to be quite positive and fans will be happy to learn that the companion study from the Confederate perspective will be released next spring by University of Alabama Press.

In Opposing the Second Corps at Antietam: The Fight for the Confederate Left and Center on America's Bloodiest Day
"Armstrong now recounts in riveting detail Lee’s command decisions and their execution in the field, drawing on a superlative collection of first-person accounts by Confederate veterans to narrate the cataclysmic struggle between Lee and McClellan.

Armstrong sets the stage with a lively recap of the political and military events leading up to the early fall of 1862 and foreshadowing the conflagration to come on September 17. Each chapter then traces a critical section of the battle, the fight for the West Woods and the bloody engagement of the Sunken Road. Armstrong augments this collection with an exceptional set of maps, which will be valued by scholars, readers, and visitors to the battlefield. These unique maps delineate troop movements in intervals as brief as fifteen minutes, bringing to life the fluid, mutable lines that characterize the glory and horror of Antietam."


  1. Drew: I have the Unfurl volume and it's quite well done overall. One can disagree with some of his conclusions but Armstrong paints a less unfavorable picture of Sumner's handling of his corps than is the accepted version.

    1. Thanks.

      I wonder how far along Hartwig is on his Antietam Volume 2. I missed the first one of that pair, too.

    2. I haven't seen an update anywhere. Vol. 1 is massive, so I would expect that it will be awhile.

  2. I've had his first volume since it came out. Very well done.

    I recommend it. One of my favorite Antietam books.

    Chris Evans


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