Crossroads of Freedom

President Abraham Lincoln’s war objectives were to see United States as a single nation i. e. all the states united as a nation preserving their autonomous rights. Lincoln’s goal needed an army that could capture the Confederates, overpower its armies, triumph all over the confederacy invasions and ultimately to overcome its rule. Until 1861, this seemed impossible (p. 11). The ambassadorial crisis and prospective war broke out quietly with Great Britain when Union warship incarcerated emissaries of Confederates, i. e. Mason and Slidell.

This was taken action by President Lincoln immediately and he liberated both Mason and Slidell. This stopped the forth-coming war but the grudges left the thing unpleasant. Abraham Lincoln got into serious trouble because the British and French upper hand had vanished due to Confederates conquests. Now until the Confederates do not guarantee cotton heave, intimidation risks will keep being there on Lincoln’s head. Dangers of suing were pretty much possible if the foreign involvement to these issues continues (p. 12). Lincoln’s war aims were disturbed when the banks of Bull Run were conquered in July 1861.

Another blow to Union force was the Potomac River’ Balls Bluff catastrophe, situated at Leesburg, Virginia in October of same year. Union had no more marine barricades. Even then Union had the grip over the situation by having the rule of Kentucky and Missouri. In 1862, when Union had started losing battles again, these failures had reversed all the Lincoln’s other war policies. He desperately called for some triumphs otherwise foreign involvement would just destroy his goals of emancipation proclamation which is to liberate the slaves and slavery standards (p. 12).

Lincoln’s armies had let him down who were not very sensitive about the issue of emancipation proclamation. They were also not very loyal to Abraham Lincoln. Above all, in the case of Antietam McClellan ignored that almost every time and when Lincoln sent strict orders for the defense only then he started off with his army but he did not have much ample time on the other hand Confederacy had strategies and already they were working on them (p. 14). Battle of Antietam created a lot of resentment between the people and government, people and army, army and government, and within the army.

A kind of distrust established between the army men and their chief McClellan. A great carnage took place after the battle of Antietam. In a small field the count of those Union soldiers would be probably 200 and it was a big place. The way these dead bodies were pictured in different newspapers was even more terrible (p. 4 – p. 7). The sunken farm road had a horrible sight because this was the place where the bloodshed had occurred big time. Valley of Deaths should be the name given to the place that time. The road and the ground were covered by the bodies and their parts.

After the victory when the victorious confederacy army got the orders of burials, then it seemed a difficult task. They were not able to count the dead. Bodies and body parts were scattered in the area of more than 55 yards. Along with soldiers there were the bodies of hundreds of horses also. All they assorted with one another in that bloody environment. Battlefield looked hell from the day of the battle and after the soldiers’ bodies were buried and horses’ bodies were burnt, it was still depicting a horrific panorama (p. 4 – p. 7).

McPherson is describing all this in his book as words of an official who belonged to United States Sanitary Commission who came to treat those soldiers medically. After many days the newspapers were still announcing about the unending smell of blood and bodies. Wounded soldiers were almost in every house. This is what it takes to fight a battle. Whatever the reasons may be, be it political, be it social, or be it defensive it has a great bloodshed hidden in itself. War should not be the thing to do not even the last option (p-4 – p. 7). General Robert E.

Lee had made a strong wall of his army across the Pennsylvania after the battle of Antietam so that nobody dares to have that place and conflict with the Confederacies. This was a great win over southern armies. But the facts of holding battles should be unveiled. The army of the Northern Virginia rode across the river Potomac and reached Maryland. Confederates were on the verge of victory. This brought an end to the South’s victorious past. The war remained to be continued for a couple of years and a bit more but the decisive factor of the war was decided in the battle of Antietam which was the liberation of the slaves.

The foremost goal of Abraham Lincoln was to free the slaveries and to bring success to his Proclamation of Emancipation. He issued emancipation proclamation just five days after the war of Antietam. The foreign relations improved to greater extent after Antietam battle. African-Americans got liberation after years. The concerns of Europe i. e. France and Europe again came to United States. This was the war that gave United States of America a strength and confidence that they can achieve things (p. 4 – p. 11).


McPherson, J. M. (2002). Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam. New York: Oxford University Press US.