September 17, 1862:
General Lee vs. General McClellan, in Maryland, Bloodiest day in American History.
Lee knew midterm elections were coming, and victory might damn President Lincoln/Union Cause by crippling congress. He also believed that Maryland was only being held by force and he could liberate it and strengthen the confederacy with its addition.
McClellan intercepted the plans and knew that Lee's army was divided into 4, and where, yet failed to attack and demolish while divided. Delays raise Lee's army, terrible battle in which Lee lost 1/4 of his army, McClellan still had huge numerical advantage, according to Lincoln he had Lee in the palm of his hand and failed to finish him, and end the war!!! Lincoln completely and totally exasperated. However, McClellan did nothing, didn't capitalize during the battle or after. Lincoln dusgusted relieved him a month after this.
- Significance: Democrats gain in elections, but marginal gain, helps overt British recognition of CSA.
- Lincoln spins this as a victory (turning back invasion a victory?) but uses this as his excuse to deliver his long awaited emancipation proclamation (so as not to seem an act of desperation), changes the dynamic of the war. Warning to the South, and betters U.S.A. cause to the world. Lee leaves, but this also solidifies Marylands position in union (didn't receive Lee well), and aided Lincoln's decision for emancipation proclamation.