Abraham Lincoln and Civil War America: A Biography
William E. Gienapp
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In Abraham Lincoln and Civil War America, historian William Gienapp provides a remarkably concise, up-to-date, and vibrant biography of the most revered figure in United States history. While the heart of the book focuses on the Civil War, Gienapp begins with a finely etched portrait of Lincoln's early life, from pioneer farm boy to politician and lawyer in Springfield, to his stunning election as sixteenth president of the United States. Students will see how Lincoln grew during his years in office, how he developed a keen aptitude for military strategy and displayed enormous skill in dealing with his generals, and how his war strategy evolved from a desire to preserve the Union to emancipation and total war.
Gienapp shows how Lincoln's early years influenced his skills as commander-in-chief and demonstrates that, throughout the stresses of the war years, Lincoln's basic character shone through: his good will and fundamental decency, his remarkable self-confidence matched with genuine humility, his immunity to the passions and hatreds the war spawned, his extraordinary patience, and his timeless devotion.
A former backwoodsman and country lawyer, Abraham Lincoln rose to become one of our greatest presidents. This biography offers a vivid account of Lincoln's dramatic ascension to the pinnacle of American history.
consider marriage again. On November 4, 1842, with virtually no notice, Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln were married. He was thirty-three years old, and she was ten years younger. While he had genuine feelings for her, Lincoln’s decision apparently stemmed more from a sense of obligation=of keeping his commitment=than from any emotional sentiment. When asking James Matheny to be his best man, he remarked, “I shall have to marry that girl.” As he blacked his boots for the ceremony, a young boy asked
battle, on August 28 and 29. Acidly commenting that his rival should be left “to get out of his scrape,” McClellan ignored orders to rush reinforcements to Pope, whose army was badly mauled in two days of ﬁghting. Pope bitterly complained of the treachery of oYcers loyal to McClellan, but his public reputation had been destroyed and the army was overtly hostile to him. A dark depression swept over Lincoln, who, Attorney General Edward Bates reported, “seemed wrung by the bitterest anguish” and
was to ﬁnd a new commander for the eastern theater. McClellan’s politicization of the Army of the Potomac, particularly its oYcer corps, severely limited his options. McClellan had ﬁlled key staV and command positions with Democrats who felt no loyalty to the president, opposed emancipation, and endorsed a limited war strategy. Many of them were nothing more than sycophants of McClellan, whose repeated failures they blamed on Lincoln, Stanton, Halleck, and Washington politicians in general.
past, are inadequate to the stormy present,” he declared. “As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew.” Lincoln’s plan was 124 Abraham Lincoln and Civil War America vague and confusing=perhaps deliberately so=and appealed to many diVerent groups. This scheme of compensated emancipation, which Browning dismissed as an “hallucination,” revealed how fundamentally conservative Lincoln was, and how much he hoped to control the revolutionary forces the war had unleashed. In the
enough to destroy the Union blockade. Armed with evidence provided by Charles Francis Adams, the American minister, that these vessels were secretly owned by the Confederacy, the British government ﬁnally seized them. This episode marked the last serious diplomatic crisis of the war. The Confederacy was left to stand or fall on its own resources. � Lincoln’s management of the war changed after mid-1863. He turned much of the day-to-day direction over to Halleck and Stanton, and he also abandoned