Stackpole Books presents Gen. Edward J. Stackpole’s Civil War classics -- They Met at Gettysburg, Drama on the Rappahannock, Chancellorsville, and From Cedar Mountain to Antietam -- in a single abridged volume that covers the war’s pivotal and turbulent middle year in the Eastern Theater, from the summer of 1862 through the summer of 1863. This year of bloody conflict included the war’s defining battles: Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. It was a year during which the Union cycled through generals as Lincoln sought one who could fight and win – from McClellan to Pope for Second Bull Run, back to McClellan for Antietam, to Burnside for Fredericksburg, to Hooker for Chancellorsville, and to Meade for Gettysburg. As Union command in the East remained unsettled and these generals proved incompetent, timid, or both – or worse – this was the South’s chance, and Lee came into his own as a general for the ages during these months, besting Pope at Second Bull Run, decimating Burnside at Fredericksburg, and outsmarting and outfighting Hooker, with help from Stonewall Jackson, at Chancellorsville. Lee, with a growing belief in his army’s invincibility and an awareness that the Union’s considerable resources in men and material would soon tell, twice mounted invasions of the North during these months, first at Antietam, where he fought McClellan to a draw but had to turn back, and last and more disastrously at Gettysburg, where Meade defeated Lee in three days of hard fighting and sent the Confederates reeling back to Virginia. This was also the year during which Lincoln gave the war higher purpose and greater stakes: Antietam enabled him to issue the Emancipation Proclamation while Gettysburg yielded the famous address. The new birth of freedom Lincoln promised would be won or lost on the battlefield.
This is epic history, told in sweeping, dramatic style by a master of the craft. One battle flows seamlessly to the next in Stackpole’s grand narrative, which also turns a soldier’s eye to the leadership of the men in blue and gray. This book will find enthusiastic readers among general readers as well as among Civil War buffs, military history aficionados, and military officers seeking insightful professional reading.
Edward J. Stackpole graduated from Yale and went on to fight in the trenches of World War I, winning the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, and three Purple Hearts. Stackpole returned home to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was active in the Pennsylvania National Guard, worked in the family newspaper business, and founded Stackpole Books. General Stackpole returned to military service to head the Panama Security Command and the War Department Manpower Board during World War II, after which he commanded the 28th Infantry Division. He died in 1967.