Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as commander in chief by James M. McPherson

Read: September 1 - September 11
Format: Audio 8 CDs equivalent 384 Pages
Source: Public library
Subject: Abraham Lincoln, Civil War
Challenges: 101020, 75 Book, USPC, Audio, SYLL, TIOLI
Category: Civil War and its Leaders
Genre: History
Stars: 3½

The most amazing point of interest regarding this book about Abraham Lincoln is that it is the first book that basically analyzes Lincoln's position as the Commander-in-Chief. His entire administration was impacted by war starting with letters from Fort Sumter requesting aid on the day of his inauguration and ending with his assassination 6 days after General Lee surrendered at Appomattox. We have books about Lincoln's writings, his humor, his views on religion and slavery, and his ideas of how to reunite the nation, but nothing that had centered on his military role as Commander-in-Chief.

Lincoln spent more time during his Presidency with matters of war - communications with his Generals in the field, visiting the troops and battlefields, international relations, and military strategy then any other aspect of his policies. Never having been a soldier (he actually only served in the military for a short period and saw no action), Lincoln spent hours studying military strategy. He had to deal with incompetent Generals who were either filled with their own thoughts of supremacy or with Generals who were afraid to move their troops. Not until Ulysses Grant was placed in the position of the General in charge did Lincoln have a leader that would eventually end the Confederacy's drive toward separation from the Union.

I found this book fascinating in that the reader can see all the abilities that Lincoln had to put in place to prevent the Southern forces from completely demolishing the morale of the North and at the same using the knowledge that he had gathered from his military studies to instruct the officers in the Union Army to do what was need to win the war.

After reading this book, I am really glad as an American, that at this time, Lincoln was the President of our nation. He was the man that was needed at the time and he truly completed the task that was given to him.

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