“Again I have been called upon to save my country.” George McClellan to his wife. September 5, 1862

George McClellan from a Harpers Weekly article

Voices from September 5, 1862


Union Voices


“Again I have been called upon to save my country.  The case is desperate but with God’s help I will try unselfishly to do my best & if he wills it accomplish the salvation of the nation.  My men are true & will stand by me to the last.”

George B. McClellan

Sep 5 1862

McClellan to his wife describing his challenge

From The Battle of South Mountain by John David Hoptak.  Charleston:  The History Press, 2011.

page 26

“While on the sidewalk we could look over on the lawn in front of the White House.  It was as thickly strewn with played out soldiers as was possible for them to lie.  We could see the tall form of the President (“Old Abe,” as we called him) in shirt sleeves, water pail and dipper in hand, stepping over and among the boys lying around all over the grounds, giving them water to drink.”

A Wisconsin man

Sep 5 1862

A Wisconsin man witnesses Abraham Lincoln giving water to troops hurrying forward in the Maryland Campaign while in DC.

WI Inf

From “They Must Be Made of Iron.” by Kent Gramm. Giants in Their Tall Black Hats – Essays on the Iron Brigade. Ed. Alan T. Nolan and Sharon Eggleston Vipond. Bloomington:  Indiana University Press, 1998.

page 15

“You will not abandon Harpers Ferry without defending it to the last extremity

John Wool

Sep 5 1862

Message from General John Wool to Colonel Dixon Miles regarding the retention of Harpers Ferry

From A Matter of Hours Treason at Harpers Ferry by Paul R. Teetor.  London:  Associated University Presses, 1982.

page 49


“I must have McClellan to reorganize the army and bring it out of chaos.  But there has been a design-a purpose in breaking down Pope without regard of consequences to the country.  It is shocking to see and know this, but there is no remedy at present.  McClellan has the army with him.”

Abraham Lincoln

Sep 5 1862

Lincoln confides to a secretary about reappointing McClellan

From Until Antietam The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army by Jack Mason.  Carbondale IL:  Southern Illinois Press, 2009.



“he excels in making others ready to fight”

Abraham Lincoln

Sep 5 1862

Lincoln to John Hay

From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears.  New York:  Ticknor & Fields, 1988.

page 267


Confederate Voices


“I don’t like the idea, as I don’t like to invade anybody’s Country.”

A Virginia boy in John Walker’s brigade

Sep 5 1862

A Virginia boy in John Walker’s brigade in his diary describing his disike at invading Maryland

From “The Army of Northern Virginia in September 1862.” by Robert K. Krick.  Antietam – Essays on the 1862 Maryland Campaign. Ed. Gary Gallagher  Kent OH:  Kent State University Press, 1989.


“It makes no difference to you, my man.  Keep up with your regiment.”

Robert E. Lee

Sep 5 1862

While walking in Leesburg, Lee’s reply to a soldier who asked the distance to White’s Ford

From Taken at the Flood Robert E. Lee & Confederate Strategy in the Maryland Campaign of 1862 by Joseph L. Harsh.  Kent:  The Kent State University Press, 1999.

page 93


“General Hill marched on foot with the rear guard all the day through Maryland, an old white hat slouched over his eyes, his coat off and wearing an old flannel shirt, looking as mad as a bull”

A.P. Hill

Sep 5 1862

Hill as observed by a NC lieutenant after his arrest by Stonewall Jackson.  Clark, N.C. Regiments, IV, 165

From General A. P. Hill – The Story of a Confederate Warrior by James I. Robertson.  New York:  Random House, 1987.

page 133

The View from Catoctin Mountain toward the Water Gap

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