The Ghosts of Antietam
About the Book
Just received a telegram from Halleck stating that Pope and Burnside are very hard pressed -- urging me to push forward reinforcements and to come myself as soon as I possibly can . . . Now they are in trouble they seem to want the 'Quaker,' the 'procrastinator,' the 'coward' & the 'traitor.'
George B. McClellan to Nelly, August 21, 1862
Abraham Lincoln dies only a few days after becoming President. Vice President Hannibal Hamlin takes over the office and then hastens to Charleston, South Carolina, in a desperate attempt to avert civil war. Accompanying him as military advisor is a brilliant young general.
The Ghosts of Antietam is an adventure in alternate history which takes a fresh look at the Civil War through the eyes of one of its most maligned characters, General George B. McClellan.
The novel poses questions. Was the bloody conflict truly inevitable? Was McClellan a traitor or a hero? Would Hannibal Hamlin have made a better President than Abraham Lincoln?
At Charleston George McClellan saves Hamlin from death at the hands of a rabid secessionist and enjoys a vexing flirtation with the beautiful Mary Chesnut. After seeing a tragic example of what civil war would be, McClellan urges Hamlin to make a courageous political maneuver which lures Jefferson Davis back into Union and dooms the Confederacy.
But later McClellan is shocked into the realization of an alternate world in which the war actually did take place. George McClellan now relives his wartime odyssey of conflict with Lincoln and the devious, vindictive Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton.
The Ghosts of Antietam is an adventure of conflicting realities in which President Hamlin ends slavery without war, and George McClellan attempts to save Lincoln from assassination with surprising results.
Or as the ghost of Edwin Stanton says to Vice President Richard Nixon: 'It's not the same old bullshit they put in the history books.'
About the Author
John Grissmer has filled many roles. He has been an actor, professor of drama, film producer, writer and director, U. S. Army officer, playwright, business executive, theatrical producer and novelist.
Some years ago he pondered two questions. Was the Civil War truly inevitable, and had George McClellan been fairly treated by history? The search for answers to these questions led him to write The Ghosts of Antietam.
Currently a consultant and guest director in the Performing Arts Program at Xavier University, he has recently completed The Perfect Game, a musical play about the invention of basketball.