by Al Benson Jr.
Today, September 17th, marks the 160th anniversary of the Battle of Sharpsburg in Maryland during the War of Northern Aggression. General Lee had marched north with an army of 55,000 and ended up confronting General McClellan with an army of 87,000. The idea of Lee moving north was twofold. One was to give Virginia a little respite from the fighting that had gone on there since the war started and another was to try to win a decisive victory in the north that might have resulted in European recognition of the Confederate States.
Some have noted that Lee’s original destination was probably Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which if he could have made it, would have put him in a good position to keep federal help from getting to Washington. At one point he had to send a force to Harpers Ferry to capture that so he would have a way to get supplies for his army from Virginia and he could not leave a federal force there on his flank.
Lee and McClellan finally collided near Sharpsburg on September 17th and fought a battle there that lasted all day, with around 12,000 Union casualties and 10,000 Confederate casualties. The battle ended around 5:30 in the afternoon, with Lee preparing his defensive line to receive another attack from McClellan the next day. That attack never came, and so the next night, Lee moved his army back toward Virginia.
I’ve read articles that said the Union won this battle. Wishful thinking! At best, the battle was a draw, and Lee only retreated after waiting for an attack from McClellan that never came. Just a few personal observations here. McClellan had 30,000 more men than Lee did and yet was still not able to defeat him. Not only that, McClellan had gotten a copy of Lee’s orders to his generals and so should have known how to use that intelligence to defeat Lee, yet he did not. So Lee, with 30,000 less men fought him to a draw.
Though the North won the war, it took overwhelming numbers of troops, many of whom were foreigners, to defeat the South. Had the numbers been somewhere near equal on both sides the results may have been dramatically different and the South may well have been able to resist Northern aggression. I never forgot the story I heard years ago about the Union soldier who asked the Confederate soldier “Why are you fighting this war anyway?” To which the Southern soldier replied “Because you’re here.”
Most Southerners didn’t own slaves and so that’s not what they fought over, but they had a bad attitude about being invaded. They didn’t like it. I realize there were people and groups that wanted North and South to fight because no matter who won they planned to put the entire country into political bondage. It was easier to do if the North won, and they are still working at it today. They have destroyed state sovereignty throughout the country and kept people asleep with their federal education establishment and now they feel they are about to put the finishing touches on their agenda. However, they realize people are starting to wake up and so they are in a big hurry to complete their task before enough of us wake up to give them serious resistance.
Actually Lincoln and the Northern Republican Establishment didn’t fight a war to abolish slavery. They fought a war to institutionalize it on the national level. Biden’s crew of internationalists are working on that as I write this. Whether they are successful or not will depend on how many people are willing to resist being slaves to the Establishment.