Great presentation (scroll down if you missed it). The South is about lose quickly and be allowed back in the Union with its peculiar institution intact. Then, almost by chance, the heretofore unimpressive Lee is given command, turns things around, and with a little more luck and skill might have won the war quickly in MD. 1862 is striking especially for missed opportunities on both sides for decisive victory. Question for discussion: Would either the Confederacy’s quick win or the quick defeat have been better than what actually happened?--a protracted and incredibly bloody and destructive conflict. The long war was actually a pretty unlikely and seemingly very unfortunate outcome--but it was the only way that it could have ended slavery and brought Lincoln to the prominence he enjoys in our political tradition. The brilliant and admirable but still quite flawed leadership of Lee, Mac suggests, was THE cause of the war dragging on and on.