Civil War Institute Gettysburg College Gabor S. Boritt Director
Oxford University Press, USA, 1994 M09 29 - 272 pages
From the moment the battle ended, Gettysburg was hailed as one of the greatest triumphs of the Union army. Celebrations erupted across the North as a grateful people cheered the victory. But Gabor Boritt turns our attention away from the rejoicing millions to the dark mood of the White House--where Lincoln cried in frustration as General Meade let the largest Confederate army escape safely into Virginia. Such unexpected portraits abound in Lincoln's Generals, as a team of distinguished historians probes beyond the popular anecdotes and conventional wisdom to offer a fascinating look at Lincoln's relationship with his commanders. In Lincoln's Generals, Boritt and his fellow contributors examine the interaction between the president and five key generals: McClellan, Hooker, Meade, Sherman, and Grant. In each chapter, the authors provide new insight into this mixed bag of officers and the president's tireless efforts to work with them. Even Lincoln's choice of generals was not as ill-starred as we think, writes Pulitzer Prize-winner Mark E. Neely, Jr.: compared to most Victorian-era heads of state, he had a fine record of selecting commanders (for example, the contemporary British gave us such bywords for incompetence as "the charge of the Light Brigade," while Napoleon III managed to lose the entire French army). But the president's relationship with his generals was never easy. In these pages, Stephen Sears underscores McClellan's perverse obstinancy as Lincoln tried everything to drive him ahead. Neely sheds new light on the president's relationship with Hooker, arguing that he was wrong to push the general to attack at Chancellorsville. Boritt writes about Lincoln's prickly relationship with the victor of Gettysburg, "old snapping turtle" George Meade. Michael Fellman reveals the political stress between the White House and William T. Sherman, a staunch conservative who did not want blacks in his army but who was crucial to the war effort. And John Y. Simon looks past the legendary camaraderie between Lincoln and Grant to reveal the tensions in their relationship. Perhaps no other episode has been more pivotal in the nation's history than the Civil War--and yet so much of these massive events turned on a few distinctive personalities. Lincoln's Generals is a brilliant portrait that takes us inside the individual relationships that shaped the course of our most costly war.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Lincoln Meade and Gettysburg
Grant Lincoln and Unconditional Surrender
Abraham Lincoln American April Army of Northern Atlanta attack Basler batde battle Battle of Chancellorsville black troops Boritt Buder cabinet Chancellorsville Civil civilian Collected coln coln's command commander-in-chief Confederate corps defeat Democrat Ellen Sherman enemy eral Federal field fight flank force Fort Monroe general-in-chief general's George Gordon Meade George McClellan Gettysburg campaign Hamlin historians History Hooker Howard Ibid Jackson James Joe Johnston John Hay John Sherman Johnston Joseph Hooker July 14 June later Lee's army letter Lorenzo Thomas lorsville Major-General Manassas March McClellan Papers McClernand Meade Papers Meade's Memoirs ment military Neely negroes never North numbers officers Peninsula Peninsula campaign political Potomac president president's Rebel recruitment Republican Richmond River Robert Secretary Sher Sherman wrote Simon soldiers South southern Stanton strategy terrain Thomas thought tion unconditional surrender Union University Press victory wanted Washington West White House wife Wilderness William York