Don Carlos Buell
Most Promising of All
Stephen D. Engle
A conservative Democrat, Buell viewed the Civil War as a contest to restore the antebellum Union rather than a struggle to bring significant social change to the slaveholding South. Stephen Engle explores the effects that this attitude--one shared by a number of other Union officers early in the war--had on the Northern high command and on political-military relations. In addition, he examines the ramifications within the Army of the Ohio of Buell's proslavery leanings.
A personally brave, intelligent, and talented officer, Buell nonetheless failed as a theater and army commander, and in late 1862 he was removed from command. But as Engle notes, Buell's attitude and campaigns provided the Union with a valuable lesson: that the Confederacy would not yield to halfhearted campaigns with limited goals.