The union was “pinned together with bayonets.” In his new book The Long Road to Antietam, How the Civil War Became a Revolution, Professor Richard Slotkin traces the battle of egos between President Lincoln and his General George McClellan and how that may have been a factor in transforming the war from between armies of the south and north into an all out war on the entire Confederate population. Was this radical escalation necessary? What was the “role of God” in both sides’ leaders? What was the effect of subjugation of the southerners? Might it have been preferable to just let the south, as Jefferson Davis asked, to just be left alone? The discussion and arguments about that horrible conflict that left 800,000 dead goes on forever.

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