|The San Francisco Civil War Round Table Meeting
21st October 2010
The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the introduction of guests.
Gary Yee reported on the progress of the West Coast Conference (November 12 - 14).
A stunning panel of top-class speakers has been assembled and bookings are arriving at a steady
rate. Full details can be found here. Gary commented that advance registrations from SFCWRT
members to date were not as many as expected.
Complimentary copies of the Civil War Courier were distributed.
Our guest speaker was Ed Bonekemper, Civil War and Military History and Speaker, who spoke
on the subject "McClellan, Lincoln's Greatest Nightmare."
Ed Bonekemper went beyond the usual criticisms
of Civil War General George B. McClellan and
explored his operational ineptitude, his fear of
failure, his cowardice on the battlefield, his missed
opportunities for early Union success, and even
his treacherous behavior that caused John Pope
to lose the Battle of Second Manassas.
Unlike other authors who claim that McClellan
was just being McClellan when he withheld
25,000 troops from the Second Manassas
battlefield, Bonekemper described Little Mac’s
nefarious motives and concluded his conduct was
He began with an overview of McClellan’s failures: his fabricated “victories” in western Virginia, his
refusal to fight his huge Army of the Potomac in the Washington area, his defiance of Lincoln, his
painfully slow Peninsula Campaign, his fearful and cowardly retreat during the Seven Days’ Battle,
his ensuring that Pope lost at Second Manassas, his timid pursuit of Lee in the Maryland (Antietam)
Campaign, his incompetent conduct of the Battle of Antietam, and finally the failure to pursue Lee in
late 1862 that led to his dismissal.