Taaffe, Stephen R.

Commanding the Army of the Potomac / Stephen R. Taaffe. - Lawrence : University Press of Kansas, c2006. - ix, 284 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm. - Modern war studies . - Modern war studies. .

Includes bibliographical references (p. 261-269) and index.

"McClellan is not the man" : July, 1861 to November, 1862 -- Burnside's unhappy and insecure tenure : November, 1862 to January, 1863 -- Fighting Joe's big opportunity : January to June, 1863 -- Meade marks time : June, 1863 to March, 1864 -- Grant as general in chief : March, 1864 to April, 1865.

"During the Civil War, thirty-six officers in the Army of the Potomac were assigned corps commands of up to 30,000 men. Collectively charged with leading the Union's most significant field army, these leaders proved their courage in countless battlefields from Gettysburg to Antietam to Cold Harbor. Unfortunately, courage alone was not enough. Their often dismal performances played a major role in producing this army's tragic record, one that included more defeats than victories despite its numerical and materiel superiority.". "Stephen Taaffe takes a close look at this command cadre, examining who was appointed to these positions, why they were appointed, and why so many of them ultimately failed to fulfill their responsibilities. He demonstrates that ambitious officers such as Gouverneur Warren, John Reynolds, and Winfield Scott Hancock employed all the weapons at their disposal, from personal connections to exaggerated accounts of prowess in combat, to claw their way into these important posts.". "Once there, however, as Taaffe reveals, many of these officers failed to navigate the tricky and ever-changing political currents that swirled around the Army of the Potomac. As a result, only three of them managed to retain their commands for more than a year, and their machinations caused considerable turmoil in the army's high command structure."--BOOK JACKET.

0700614516 (cloth : alk. paper) 9780700614516 (cloth : alk. paper)


United States. Army of the Potomac --History.

Generals--History--United States--19th century.
Command of troops--History--19th century.

United States--History--Campaigns.--Civil War, 1861-1865
Virginia--History--Campaigns.--Civil War, 1861-1865

E470.2 / .T23 2006