LINCOLN FINDS A GENERAL by Kenneth P. Williams


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Though this is sub-titled ""A Military Study of the Civil War"" the interest should be considerably broader, embracing many of the readers of the Freeman Lee's Lieutenants and even some who liked R.E. Lee for more than its human portrait of the man. This, for students of the Civil War, throws considerable light on the grim years during which Lincoln faced disappointment after disappointment in his generals,- McClellan, whose victories were due to the good troop leaders, whose failures were deeply rooted in the man himself; Halleck Burnside- Pope -- Hooker- Meade, each failing on different levels of authority, for different reasons, though Meade's ineffectuality in the follow-through after Gettysburg was a close parallel to McClellan's failure after Antietam. The first resounding succession of victories,- Fort Donelson, Vicksburg, Chattanooga, made Grant the man of the year, the ""first general we've had"" in Lincoln's opinion. And here the record ends. There is comparatively little on the periphery of the military study, -- economic, political, international- and in this the book has sharp limitations. But in the analysis of the men of the Army of the Potomac and the campaigns in the east, in the study of Lincoln's relations to his generals, this is absorbing reading for any student of military history.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1949
Publisher: Macmillan