Monday, November 29, 2021

Booknotes: Their Maryland

New Arrival:
Their Maryland: The Army of Northern Virginia From the Potomac Crossing to Sharpsburg in September 1862 by Alexander B. Rossino (Savas Beatie, 2021).

With Scott Hartwig's second volume coming soon (maybe/probably next year), I'm not looking to read another narrative history of the Maryland Campaign and Antietam battle. However, I am interested in what's in Alexander Rossino's Their Maryland: The Army of Northern Virginia From the Potomac Crossing to Sharpsburg in September 1862. Similar in format to Steven Stotelmyer's book from the same publisher, which challenged traditional accounts of General McClellan's role in the operation in five critical essays, Rossino examines seven issues involving "distortions" that "continue to shape modern understanding of the campaign." From the table of contents:
1. Rebel Revolutionary: Did Robert E. Lee Hope to Foment Rebellion in Maryland in September 1862?
2. High Hope for Liberating Maryland: The Army of Northern Virginia Crosses the Potomac River, September 4–7, 1862.
3. Four Days on the Monocacy: Confederate Encampments Near Frederick City and the Implications for the Lost Orders Debate.
4. Dreams Dashed on the Rocks of Reality: The Army of Northern Virginia’s Mixed Reception in Maryland.
5. Rebels Photographed in Frederick, Maryland: The Case for September 1862.
6. The Army of Northern Virginia Makes a Stand: A Critical Assessment of Robert E. Lee’s Defensive Strategy at Sharpsburg on September 15–16, 1862.
7. A Very Personal Fight: The Role of Robert E. Lee on the Field at Sharpsburg, September 17, 1862.

The above chapters are supported by nine maps. Additional issues and questions are addressed in the appendix section.

The essay collection "sheds new light on old subjects and reinvigorates the debate on several fronts," and "reveals that many long-held assumptions about the Confederate experience in Maryland do not hold up under close scrutiny."

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