Portraits of African American Civil War soldiers, c. 1863, Chicago, Illinois. Photographs by unknown.
Abraham Lincoln to Major General George B. McClellan: “You’re Fired”
Major General George B. McClellan snubbed and acted insubordinately toward President Lincoln on numerous occasions. Lincoln suffered the insults as long as McClellan produced results. But when McClellan failed to follow up his success at Antietam, despite Lincoln’s direct order, this general order announced to the U.S. Army that McClellan had been relieved of his command.
September 17, 1862: Sharpsburg, MD
150 years ago today, the Battle of Antietam killed 23,000 soliders in the single bloodiest day of fighting in American history.
Just weeks before the battle, Abraham Lincoln explained his determination to proceed with the war:
In the present civil war it is quite possible that God’s purpose is something different from the purpose of either party—and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect his purpose. I am almost ready to say that this is probably true, that God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet. By his mere great power on the minds of the now contestants, he could have either saved or destroyed the Union without a human contest. Yet the contest began. And having begun, he could give the final victory to either side any day. Yet the contest proceeds.
Thinking of Antietam today.
Putting Flesh on the Bones of Your Civil War Soldier Ancestors
2nd Floor, Doty Board Room, Minneapolis Central Library
Tuesday, Dec. 6, 7–8 p.m.
Mark Anway has been researching his family genealogy since 1998. He has uncovered 16 relatives, including three great-great-grandfathers who served in the Civil War, and is currently writing a book about them. Learn about their lives and how you can discover your family’s Civil War era history. Questions? Call 612-543-8000.
The photo above is of Gus Plummer soon after his enlistment to the 1st Minnesota Regiment, circa 1862.
Hennepin County Library, you can research my Civil War family history any day. If you’re in the area, check out what sounds like an awesome event!