Council of War - Should We Attack? - Boonsboro, Maryland
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 39° 32.324 W 077° 42.630
18S E 267066 N 4380072
Quick Description: Civil War Discovery marker at Devil's Backbone County Park near Boonsboro, Maryland.
Location: Maryland, United States
Date Posted: 4/11/2014 8:35:43 PM
Waymark Code: WMKGE1
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 4

Long Description:

Text of marker:

Council of War
Should We Attack? 

Gen. George G. Mead gathered his generals near here at his "Antietam Bridge" headquarters on the evening of July 12, 1863, to decide whether to assault the Confederate defenses near Williamsport protecting Gen. Robert E. Lee's escape routes to the Potomac River.  President Abraham Lincoln applied pressure: "If General Meade can complete his work, so gloriously prosecuted thus far, by the literal or substantial destruction of Lee's army, the rebellion will be over."

Meade himself wrote his wife that he believed "we shall have another before Lee can cross the river.  For my part, as I have to follow and fight him, I would rather do it at once and in Maryland than to follow him into Virginia."  Concerned about a rash attack, however, General-in-Chief Henry W. Halleck cautioned Meade from Washington on July 10 to "postpone a general battle till you can concentrate all your forces and get up your reserves and reenforcements... Beware of partial combats."

When Meade solicited his lieutenants' advice two days later, five of his six corps commanders, "unqualifiedly opposed" assaulting Lee's entrenched position.  A displeased Halleck admonished Meade: "It is a proverbial that councils of war never fight.  Act upon your own judgment and make your generals execute your orders."  Meade decided to attack on July 14, but it was too late.  Lee had escaped across the river the previous night.

Type of site: Other Military Site

18934 Lappans Road
Boonsboro, Maryland

Admission Charged: No Charge

Phone Number: Not listed

Website: Not listed

Driving Directions: Not listed

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