U.S. Army Campaigns of the Civil War: Virginia Campaigns, March-August 1862

Government Printing Office
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Since the Civil War began in April 1861 at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, both the United States government and the rebellious Confederate States of America had placed a premium on controlling the Commonwealth of Virginia. Home to the Confederate capital at Richmond, and adjacent to the Federal capital at Washington, D.C., Virginia’s strategic importance was undeniable. The Civil War’s first major engagement, the Battle of Bull Run, had taken place on Virginia soil near Manassas Junction on 21 July 1861. Elsewhere in 1861, Union forces had won victories in Missouri, Kentucky, and North Carolina, yet in Virginia the Confederacy had remained defiant, and it was on Virginia that all eyes focused. By year’s end the Federal government’s failure to capture Richmond had discouraged Northerners and buoyed the spirits of rebellious southerners. Anxious to end the bloodshed, President Abraham Lincoln hoped that 1862 would be the year in which Federal forces swept into Virginia, captured Richmond, and put an end to the insurrection. In this he was destined to be disappointed.

Contains descriptive maps, photographs and drawings from the time period, and beautiful color illustrations of important people and events.
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Government Printing Office
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Published on
Oct 4, 2016
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Best For
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History / United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
History / United States / State & Local / South (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV)
Technology & Engineering / Military Science
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Eligible for Family Library

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Doris Kearns Goodwin
Winner of the Lincoln Prize

Acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Abraham Lincoln's political genius in this highly original work, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president.

On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry.

Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war. That Lincoln succeeded, Goodwin demonstrates, was the result of a character that had been forged by experiences that raised him above his more privileged and accomplished rivals. He won because he possessed an extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires.

It was this capacity that enabled Lincoln as president to bring his disgruntled opponents together, create the most unusual cabinet in history, and marshal their talents to the task of preserving the Union and winning the war.

We view the long, horrifying struggle from the vantage of the White House as Lincoln copes with incompetent generals, hostile congressmen, and his raucous cabinet. He overcomes these obstacles by winning the respect of his former competitors, and in the case of Seward, finds a loyal and crucial friend to see him through.

This brilliant multiple biography is centered on Lincoln's mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation's history.
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