Washington, August Eighteen, Fifty discussed on Tales of American History
Now let's take a journey back through time with kent masterson brown as we discuss the first twenty one months of the existence of the army of the potomac leading up to the battle of gettysburg. Welcome kent thank you. It's great to be here. It is good to great well. So let's talk about the union army before the battle of gettysburg. Let's talk about what it looked like. And what it did it's the army of the potomac is what we're talking about and The army of the potomac was the union army. That was assembled a beginning in august eighteen. Sixty one and A union army had just suffered a defeat at the hands of confederate troops. At what is called the first battle of bull run on july twenty one. Eighteen sixty one and that battle is not only a defeat but it was a humiliating defeat When you think about it As the two armies were about to engage the The union army then was called the army of northeastern virginia and it was commanded. By major general urban mcdowell and as they moved toward bull run They were. They confronted a confederate force that was commanded by general joseph e johnston and An army an army called the army of the potomac that was commanded by general p g t beauregard and To make it simple the battle did not go well for the union army from the start ultimately they were not only defeated in the field but there they were routed and the route turned into a panic and all along the hills on either side of this engagement worse spectators from washington with picnic. Baskets going out to watch this thing and of course in the middle of this humiliating defeat. Not only did the army go into panic and retreat back toward washington but all the spectators did to of here you are. i mean. Nearly three thousand union casualties are on the field The army has been routed and humiliated and his running back toward washington. And this is abraham lincoln's baptism of fire. This is the first thing that happens to one of his armies in the american civil war. Well after that humiliating defeat. To abraham lincoln let general mcdowell go reassigned him and named major general george brinton mcclellan as commander of what was left of that army and mcclellan brought. What was left of that army and other regiments coming into washington into an army that he called the army of the potomac. Okay and On november first eighteen sixty one mcclellan was named not only not only. Was he commander that army but he was actually named commander in chief of all united states. Army's after the retirement of general winfield scott so here you have the army of the potomac To give you an idea of the size of the army of the potomac get. Roughly at this stage of his life was probably about sixty thousand troops divided up into various army corps. it had supporting it and pulling it upwards to fifty to sixty thousand horses and mules.