Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief

Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief

James M. McPherson

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 0143116142

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Pulitzer Prize?winning author reveals how Lincoln won the Civil War and invented the role of commander in chief as we know it

As we celebrate the bicentennial of Lincoln?s birth, this study by preeminent, bestselling Civil War historian James M. McPherson provides a rare, fresh take on one of the most enigmatic figures in American history. Tried by War offers a revelatory (and timely) portrait of leadership during the greatest crisis our nation has ever endured. Suspenseful and inspiring, this is the story of how Lincoln, with almost no previous military experience before entering the White House, assumed the powers associated with the role of commander in chief, and through his strategic insight and will to fight changed the course of the war and saved the Union.

The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume 1: Fort Sumter to Perryville

Army Life in a Black Regiment (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)

Anything But Civil (Hattie Davish Mystery, Book 2)

The Face of Heaven (Snapshots in History, Book 2)

The Myth of the Lost Cause: Why the South Fought the Civil War and Why the North Won












times during the war Union prospects were dark. Three times in particular stand out. After the Confederate victory at Second Manassas in August 1862, demoralization in the Eastern Union armies and among the Northern people reached dire levels. Lincoln made the difficult decision—opposed by his cabinet and by principal congressional leaders—to give McClellan command of the reconstituted Army of the Potomac. Victory at Antietam followed, though Lincoln was grievously disappointed with McClellan’s

it not been for the initial sponsorship of Grant by Elihu B. Washburne, chairman of the House Military Affairs Committee, and of Sherman by his brother John, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. SOME OF THE political generals caused Lincoln nagging problems—Frémont in Missouri and McClernand in the Tennessee-Mississippi theater, for example. But by far the most problematical was a thoroughgoing professional who graduated second in his West Point class and had been a rising star in the

near Yorktown. Lincoln telegraphed McClellan that with this advantage, “I think you better break the enemies’ line…at once. They will probably use time, as advantageously as you can.” McClellan’s only reaction to this admonition was a comment to his wife: “I was much tempted to reply that he had better come and do it himself.”37 The commander of the Confederate force at Yorktown was Gen. John. B. Magruder, who had been known in the old army as “Prince John” because of his taste for the high

“vastly superior” forces overwhelmed him, McClellan told Lincoln and Stanton, “I will in no way be responsible for it, as I have not failed to represent repeatedly the need of reinforcements…. The responsibility cannot be thrown on my shoulders; it must rest where it belongs.” To this astonishing accusation, Lincoln responded only that it “pains me very much. I give you all I can…while you continue, un-generously I think, to assume that I could give you more if I would. I have omitted and shall

time Lincoln had begun to suspect that Scott’s professional opinion was colored by his political convictions. Although loyal, Scott was after all a Virginian who deplored the possibility of fratricidal war in which his native state would become a battleground. He was willing to make large concessions to avert such a calamity. Scott was also influenced by Seward, who had been one of his advisers when the general ran for president (and lost) in 1852. Seward was working behind Lincoln’s back leaking

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