McClellan bad, very bad man

If you scorn McClellan, you'll like this new book that tries to revive Centennial-era judgements about the Army of the Potomac.

It's reviewed by Centennialist Gary Gallagher ("Fresh look at Army of the Potomac") and includes these breakthrough concepts:

* "... the army’s operations 'defined the fortunes of Abraham Lincoln and his administration'"

* "Joseph Hooker, Burnside’s replacement, did well in planning the campaign of Chancellorsville but stumbled badly as the action unfolded."

* "Wert’s heart lies with the common soldiers, most of whom fought steadfastly on difficult fields."

* "Only with Ulysses S. Grant, who accompanied Meade’s army as general-in-chief in 1864-65, did a man possessing an 'inner core of cold steel ... who understood and accepted that fighting meant killing' take charge of the war in Virginia."

Gallagher's summary speaks volumes [emphasis added]:
Readers conversant with existing literature do not need to be reminded that the Army of the Potomac played a leading role in restoring the Union, but anyone new to the topic, as well as veteran students seeking a convenient one-volume treatment, can turn with confidence to Wert’s narrative.
... with confidence that the editorial decisions reflect the very best in predigested opinions.

Civil War history parodies itself.