About this Item
Quantity Available: 1
Title: A MATTER OF HOURS - TREASON AT HARPER'S ...
Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson, Rutherford
Publication Date: 1982
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good
Edition: 1st Edition
Book Type: Book
About this title
The central figure of this book is Colonel Dixon S. Miles, a forty-year regular army officer from the border state of Maryland, who loyally stayed with the Union when the Civil War broke out but whose prospects for top rank were quickly shattered when he was convicted of drunkenness at the Battle of Bull Run I. [He was] relegated to command of an out-of-the-way post at Harper's Ferry, in September 1862...After weaving a massive mosaic of "mistakes" by Miles--always in favor of the enemy--the author proceeds to his clinching argument: that the assent of Miles's officers to the surrender was obtained by fraud. The evidence adduced here from postwar sources makes it clear that Miles withheld from his surrender council a vital message he had received the night before from General McClellan that a relieving Union army was now close at hand and expected to reach Harper's Ferry in a matter of hours. Small wonder that certain of the "ten thousand angry men" that Miles then proceeded to deliver to Jackson are believed by the author (on eyewitness evidence) to have been responsible for Miles's death immediately thereafter.
Finally, the author develops an explanation of why and how Miles's treason was incidentally covered up by a posthumous military court in inquiry in the wake of the Lincoln administration's decision to blame the surrender of Harper's Ferry on General McClellan as one basis for removing him from command of the Army of the Potomac. Miles's offense thus escaped the gaze of history for over a century. The evidence revealed here establishes that the surrender of Harper's Ferry, which undoubtedly played a part in McClellan's failure to win a decisive victory at Antietam two days later, was the product not of mere incompetence but of treason.
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