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.
write, Lincoln would stop and “become abstracted,” staring out the window and saying nothing for long periods of time. On some days, his partner was so depressed that Herndon simply locked the oYce, drew the shade, and left, leaving him to the solitude he desired. When Herndon returned an hour or two later, the spell had passed, and he would ﬁnd Lincoln talking to a client or telling a joke. On the circuit, he could be the center of merriment and mirth one hour, and by himself the next, leaning
Lincoln’s speeches varied more than Douglas’s, he often read long passages from his earlier addresses. As a result, the debates quickly became repetitious and at times extremely tedious, with the two candidates often merely rehashing points that they had made in speeches opening their campaigns. Douglas stressed the radicalism of the House Divided doctrine, labeled Lincoln an abolitionist, constantly brought up the race issue, and defended popular sovereignty as a democratic principle. Lincoln
Lincoln’s action by South Carolina’s governor, JeVerson Davis and the Confederate cabinet decided to demand the immediate surrender of Fort Sumter. When Anderson refused, Confederate batteries opened ﬁre at 4:30 in the morning on April 12. Fox’s ﬂeet, which arrived after the battle had started, could only watch helplessly oV shore. After thirty-six hours of bombardment, Anderson ﬁnally surrendered. The Civil War had begun. 82 Abraham Lincoln and Civil War America � Following the surrender of
because he had to rise at daybreak to do his chores. His stepmother, though illiterate herself, valued knowledge and brought a few books with her, which Abraham read and reread. He also borrowed books from neighbors, often walking several miles to get a copy. Yet printed material was understandably scarce on the frontier, and his reading was predictably limited. His reading included classic works such as Robinson Crusoe, The Pilgrim’s Progress, and Aesop’s Fables, plus Parson Weems’s Life of
bravery, his avoidance of politics, and his self-conﬁdence, Lincoln added, “I have heard, in such way as to believe it, of your recently saying that both the Army and the Government needed a Dictator. Of course it was not for this, but in spite of it, that I have given you the command. Only those generals who gain successes, can set up dictators. What I now ask of you is military success, and I will risk the dictatorship.” A good organizer, Hooker set about restoring morale in the Army of the