Our Country's Fiery Ordeal

A blog about the American Civil War, written and maintained by historian Daniel J. Vermilya, author of The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain (History Press, 2014) and James Garfield and the Civil War (History Press, 2015)

Dedicated to my great-great-great grandfather, Private Ellwood Rodebaugh, Company D, 106th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, killed at the Battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862.

"And may an Overuling Providence continue to cause good to come out of evil, justice to be done to all men where injustice has long prevailed, and finally, peace, quiet, and harmony to come out of this terrible confrontation and our country's fiery ordeal." -- Albert Champlin, 105th Ohio, Diary entry of June 19, 1864 (Western Reserve Historical Society)

Friday, September 7, 2012

September 7, 1862: "A victory now and we will soon be together"

150 years ago today, Major General George Brinton McClellan moved his headquarters into Rockville, Maryland, officially beginning his move northward into Maryland to pursue Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. McClellan wrote the following letter to his wife that day:

We are all well and the entire army is now united, cheerful and confident. You need not fear the result for I believe that God will give us the victory. I leave here this afternoon to take command of the troops in the field. The feeling of the Government towards me, I am sure, is kind and trusting. I hope with God's blessing, to justify the great confidence they now repose in me, and will bury the past in oblivion. A victory now and we will soon be together. I send a short letter today. God bless and reward your trust in Him and all will be well.

This short post will have to do for today. For those in the area, tomorrow I will be presenting my research on the strength, experience, and condition of the Army of the Potomac at Antietam for the Save Historic Antietam Foundation Seminar at Antietam National Battlefield. If you are in the area, stop on by. The seminar will be at the Mumma Barn, and I will be speaking at 10:45 am.

It is a great time to be at Antietam. Today, the Visitor Center was packed from open to close, we officially opened our new museum gallery, and the phones were ringing off the hook. The 150th is definitely right around the corner!

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