Civil War Transcendence, Part 58


I know what you are going to say.

“So what’s so important about the parallel universe’s history?”

Well, it indirectly, and then directly, shapes what happens to me.

McClellan portrait

US General George B McClellan

So what happened next in 1862 in the parallel universe?  As previously explained, but with a little more detail, Union General McClellan in the first week of February, 1862, took a joint force of about 10,000 men on troop transports, along with a flotilla of 20 gunships and 50 supply ships under Flag Officer Goldsborough, and captured Roanoke Island, N.C. with its three forts.

The idea was then to steam south 175 miles; capture Confederate Fort Macon and Beaufort, North Carolina, located on the North Carolina Coast and at the end of the Barrier Islands; march inland and capture New Bern, N.C.; build up the army; and move south toward Atlanta, the Confederate Capital.

Due to the utilization of the same gunship tactics employed at Hatteras and Beaufort, South Carolina, both Confederate Fort Macon and Beaufort, N. C. were captured by March, 1862.  At that point the campaign ground to a halt.

It seems that Union General George Brinton McClellan has the same attitude toward the opposition no matter what universe he occupies.  He indicated to Lincoln he needed another 25,000 troops before he could march 35 miles and take New Bern, NC.

Lincoln and Union Secretary of War, Stanton, were adamant that McClellan move toward New Bern with the force he had.  After much coaxing and placating, with the promise that once New Bern was taken he would be supplied with a much larger army, McClellan advanced on New Bern.  The Confederates there capitulated with hardly a fight.

McClellan then asked for the needed rearmament, resupply, and reinforcements needed to begin a campaign south to Atlanta.

Lincoln complied, and the buildup began and lasted through April and May of 1862. The Confederates learned of this buildup and began a buildup of their own forces at Goldsboro, N.C., located 75 miles northwest of New Bern. The stage was set for a confrontation that rivaled the Virginia Peninsula in my old universe.

About Civil War Reflections

Vernon has been a Civil War buff since childhood, but had been inactive in Civil War history for over two decades. However, in the early 1990s his interest was rekindled after watching Ken Burns’ “Civil War Documentary” on PBS. He particularly became interested in the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) and decided to learn more about this epic struggle.
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