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Some 8,000 men, including more than 80 percent of one Texas regiment, fell in the midst of cornstalks cut down by musketry and cannon fire. This part of the fighting ended with the near destruction of a Union division that stumbled into a deadly crossfire in woods near a modest brick church that served a Dunker congregation. Lee's invasion of Maryland represented the final act in a three-part drama that opened at the Seven Days, continued with the Battle of Second Manassas and closed with the fearful slaughter at Antietam.

On one occasion, he returned home to find that Lincoln and Secretary of State William Henry Seward had been waiting to see him. The General proceeded to go upstairs, sending word 30 minutes later that he had gone to bed and the two could come back another time. Obnoxious personal qualities did not prevent McClellan from turning McDowell's demoralized soldiers into a formidable force. He christened them the Army of the Major-General George B. McClellan won the hearts of soldiers in the Army of the Potomac, but he lacked the stomach for the harsher aspects of war 'I am tired of the sickening sight of the battlefield,' he wrote to Mrs McClellan following his first real engagement at Seven Pines, 'with its mangled corpses & poor suffering wounded!

Lee and a talented cast of subordinates who included Stonewall Jackson and James Longstreet, won a series of dramatic victories in 1862-63 that created an aura of magnificent accomplishment. Overall, however, North and South drew on very similar pools of officers. West Pointers held most of the top positions in all Civil War armies, and they shared a common heritage. They took the same courses from 35 the same professors at the academy, learned the same lessons in class and on battlefields in Mexico, and tended to subscribe to the same strategic and tactical theories.

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