What Ifs? of American History

By Robert Cowley

Did Eisenhower keep away from a showdown with Stalin via no longer taking Berlin ahead of the Soviets? What may have occurred if JFK hadn't been assassinated? This new quantity within the greatly praised sequence offers interesting "what if..." situations by way of such admired historians as: Robert Dallek, Caleb Carr, Antony Beevor, John Lukacs, Jay Winick, Thomas Fleming, Tom Wicker, Theodore Rabb, Victor David Hansen, Cecelia Holland, Andrew Roberts, Ted Morgan, George Feifer, Robert L. O'Connell, Lawrence Malkin, and John F. Stacks.

Included are crucial bonus essays reprinted from the unique New York Times bestseller What If?-David McCullough imagines Washington's disastrous defeat on the conflict of ny, and James McPherson envisions Lee's winning invasion of the North in 1862.

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With no the invention of the misplaced orders, even perhaps this restricted Union victory don't have happened. the chances opposed to the series of occasions that resulted in the loss and discovering and verification of those orders should have been 1000000 to 1. even more according to the legislation of chance is anything just like the following state of affairs. figuring out that almost all citizens of western Maryland have been Unionists, Lee imposed tighter defense at the military than whilst in pleasant Virginia, to avoid penetration of his camps via any neighborhood civilians who hung round the side and surely integrated numerous spies between their quantity. Lee steered his adjutant to convey designated ninety six If the misplaced Order Hadn’t Been misplaced Orders No. 191 on to the correct corps and department commanders. They have been to learn them in Chilton’s presence and dedicate them to reminiscence, and then all copies of the orders have been burned other than one, which Lee stored in his ownership. during this method there might be no leaks. due to a clumsy security of Harpers Ferry through its Union commander, Dixon Miles, and thanks to McClellan’s failure to develop speedily, the garrison surrendered 12,000 males and mountains of offers to Jackson on September 15. in the meantime, Jeb Stuart’s cavalry played extraordinary provider, mentioning stragglers and guarding the passes throughout the South Mountain diversity opposed to the ineffectual probes of Union horsemen attempting to detect the whereabouts of Lee’s major strength. On September sixteen, McClellan arrived at Frederick, which the rebels had vacated every week past. by way of then Lee had reconcentrated his military at Hagerstown. millions of stragglers had rejoined the ranks, and because of the captures at Harpers Ferry, the military of Northern Virginia was once good outfitted for the 1st time in months. After a different pause for leisure, whereas McClellan remained in the dead of night approximately Lee’s situation and intentions, the rebels moved north into Pennsylvania. They brushed off neighborhood military and the outriders of Union cavalry who ultimately situated them. Spreading throughout the wealthy farmland of Pennsylvania’s Cumberland Valley like locusts, Lee’s army—now 55,000 strong—was capable of feed itself higher than it had in Virginia. On October 1, the van reached Carlisle. Lee despatched a robust detachment of cavalry and a part of Jackson’s swift-marching infantry twenty miles farther to the railroad bridge at Harrisburg, which they burned on October three. The accomplice commander additionally despatched his Maryland scouts again into their domestic kingdom to find the military of the Potomac. they discovered it close to Emmitsburg, simply south of the Pennsylvania border, marching northward with a decided velocity that advised McClellan eventually intended to discover Lee and struggle him. these scouts additionally stated to Lee they'd stumbled on a chain of hills and ridges round a city named Gettysburg the place various roads converged, allowing a military to pay attention there quick and enhance ninety seven Robert E. Lee’s Gettysburg crusade, Autumn 1862 Harrisburg forty 20 zero Miles S us q ue h Carlisle forty zero Kilometers an EY n a R.

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