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Book Analysis Of Stephen W. Sears’ Landscape Turned Red

1129 words - 5 pages

Stephen W. Sears’ Landscape Turned Red is an account of political and military plans. Especially General Robert E. Lee’s Maryland Campaign as well as the Battle of Antietam. Sears frames his work around the pending support of Great Britain and France to the Confederate cause due to cotton. Landscape Turned Red covers the battle of Antietam. It offers a vivid account of both armies, the soldiers and officers, and the bloody campaign. It analyzes the impact of Antietam on the Civil War as a whole. Sears' use of diaries, dispatches, and letters recreate the Battle of Antietam. You experience the battle not only from its leaders but also by its soldiers, both Union and Confederate. Sears attempts to examine the tactical moves of both Lee and General George McClellan. He also talks about the foolish decisions that troubled both the Federal and Confederate forces. Sears' use of traits, political pursuits, and tactical preferences, explain the thoughts of many. Some of these include President Lincoln, General Halleck and General McClellan, and their subordinates. Stephen Ward Sears is an American historian specializing in the American Civil War. He is a graduate of Oberlin College and an attendant to a journalism seminar at Radcliffe-Harvard. As an author he has concentrated on the military history of the American Civil War. Such as the battles and leaders of the Army of the Potomac. He was an editor for the Educational Department at American Heritage Publishing Company. American Heritage Publishing two of his ten books.
Sears’ thesis is the Union could have won the war faster. McClellan was an incompetent commander and to take the initiative to attack an defeat the Confederate army. The Army of Northern Virginia, under the command of Robert E. Lee, defeated the Union Army at the Second Battle of Bull Run. Lee was urging to move north into federal territory. The Union Army now commanded by General McClellan, was questioning the next move of General Lee. Would he move on Washington D.C. or would he head his troops back into the safety of Virginia? This was the scenario established at the opening of Landscape Turned Red.
            After Bull Run, Lincoln placed McClellan in charge of the Army of Virginia. Mclellan set out to face Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. The issue was where would Lee take his army and when would he strike. Lee made the bold move of leading his troops across the Potomac River and into the boarder state of Maryland. Many of people of the Union feared that Lee was in route to capture Washington. Several divisions of troops had been transferred into the capital for protection. Lee had no intention of moving on Washington. Instead he moved into Maryland with anticipation of gaining new recruits for his army. Lee was disappointed to find that the people of Maryland were not as eager to assist the Confederacy as had been hoped. What affected the twisted outcome of the Antietam campaign was the Union's...

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