Genevieve Brown, Neil Kesterson, American discussed on Tales of American History


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 and It was an enormous force but its purpose was to protect the capital and to hopefully defeat the confederate enemy in virginia And so if you're looking at any of the great battles in virginia during the civil war Particularly the war from eighteen sixty one until eighteen. Sixty four You're looking at the army of the potomac most exclusively not quite but almost and in eighteen sixty four. Now you get other armies active in virginia but the army the potomac continues all the way to appa matic's so this army put together in the fall of eighteen sixty one and it goes all the way until apple mathematics in eighteen. Sixty five okay. That's a that's a great overview would like to talk a little bit about your forthcoming book. We're so excited about this Your new book is called mead at gettysburg. A study in command. And it's coming out in early june of twenty twenty one so it's publication. Imprint is imminent now Let's talk about the focus of your book. What happened with the army of the potomac from the beginning of the war until meade took command and at and right before the battle of gettysburg. The book of course is about general. Meade george gordon meade and It is a a book that addresses meads generalship How he commanded the army. He became commander the army and how he commanded it both at the battle of gettysburg and during his pursuit of lee's army after the battle of gettysburg But to look at with. George made becomes commander which is on june twenty eight eighteen. Sixty three This poor army from the time of its creation in the fall of eighteen sixty one until george. Meade becomes commander on june twenty eight. Eighteen sixty three had not won one battle in virginia against his enemy. Sell for the first twenty one months of its existence. It's going from battle to battle and never winning novick. This enormous well supplied well. Equipped army backed by the united states. That's right okay. that's right. It was defeated In every

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