September 25, 2013 Meeting
2013 – 2014 Campaign
September 25, 2013

Ed Bonekemper holds a B.A., cum laude, in American history from Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania and an M.A. in American history from Old Dominion University in Virginia. He also earned a J.D. from Yale Law School. Ed was a Federal Government attorney for 34 years, including 11 years on active duty with the U.S. Coast Guard, from which he retired as a commander. He taught maritime and constitutional law at the Coast Guard Academy and military history at Muhlenberg. Ed has been the Book Review Editor of Civil War News since early 2010. For over 15 years, he has been a Civil War speaker at hundreds of Roundtables and numerous other forums, including eight appearances at the Smithsonian Institution.

His five Civil war books are: “Lincoln and Grant: The Westerners Who Won the Civil War”, “Grant and Lee: Victorious American and Vanquished Virginian”, “McClellan and Failure: A Study of Civil War Fear, Incompetence and Worse”, “A Victor, Not a Butcher: Ulysses S. Grant’s Overlooked Military Genius”, and “How Robert E. Lee Lost the Civil War”. His many published articles include: “The Butcher’s Bill: Ulysses S. Grant is often referred to as a ‘butcher,’ but does Robert E. Lee actually deserve that title?”, Civil War Times, April 2011, pp. 36-43; “General Disobedience: ‘Little Mac’ Let John Pope Twist in the Wind,” Civil War Times, December 2010, pp. 32-39, and “Is Grant or Lee Greatest General?”, The Washington Times, March 29, 2008, p. D3.

“Antietam: A Calamity of Errors” will explore the Maryland, or Antietam, Campaign and focus on the deadly Battle of Antietam fought by the armies of Robert E. Lee and George B. McClellan. That battle was the deadliest in American military history. Ed will discuss the strategic and tactical errors that placed Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia in a position in which it should have been destroyed and the offsetting strategic and tactical errors of McClellan that saved Lee’s army from destruction. He will conclude with an explanation of the battle’s ramifications and significance that made it perhaps the most important battle of the Civil War.