Volume Three |
1862: Forever Free
The Union giant appears helpless. McClellan abandons his attempt to capture Richmond.
The talk in Washington is that the North may lose the war. But Lincoln grimly pursues his
course, and slowly, the character of the conflict is changing. What started as a struggle
to preserve the Union is now becoming a crusade against slavery. The evil itself is crumbling
wherever Northern armies gain a foothold, and in July, the president declares all Southern
black people free forever. Yet to give force to his edict, Lincoln must have a victory.
But now Lee invades Maryland, boldly seeking to "conquer a peace." At a small creek called
Antietam, Union forces stop him. In the bloodiest day of the war, 23,000 men fall on both sides.
At the end, Lee retreats and Lincoln issues his Emancipation Proclamation. It is, says Ralph
Waldo Emerson, "a demand of civilization."