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== The War Before Antietam ==
[[File:George_B._McClellan_-_Brady-Handy.jpg|thumbnail|300px|left|General George B. McClellan, from the Matthew Brady Studio.]]
May 1861 saw the establishment of a functioning Confederate government in Richmond, Virginia. CSA President Jefferson Davis and his armies were in control of nearly all of the 750,000 acres that were deemed CSA territory.<ref>James McPherson, ''Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam, The Battle That Changed the Course of the Civil War'' (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), 11.</ref> After the first shots of the war were fired a month prior in South Carolina, the Confederates became defenders. They simply needed to retain what they already possessed in order to prove victorious over the “invading” Yanks. Conversely, President Lincoln and the Union forces were tasked with subduing the Southern rebellion, controlling CSA lands, and reuniting the nation. This arduous endeavor seemed beyond the scope of McClellan and the Army of the Potomac in the eastern theater of the war.

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