What was the mission of the Army of the Potomac?

1 Answer
Aug 9, 2016

The main missions of the Army of the Potomac was to defend the Union Capital Washington DC and to capture the Confederate capital Richmond.


One of the ironies of the Civil War was that the rival capitals were so close together.

The need to defend Washington DC contributed to conservative and often timid actions by the Army of the Potomac.

The first effort to capture Richmond ended in the first battle of Bull Run. The Army of the Potomac despite early success and great numbers was routed by strong defensive action by Stonewall Jackson.

The Army of Potomac suffered numerous defeats in its attempts to capture Richmond. The capture of Richmond finally came through a series of battles of attrition that destroyed the army of Northern Virginia.

The Army of the Potomac did better in its battles to defend Washington, stopping both of the South's invasions of the North.