The most comprehensive portrait of noteworthy public figures can generally be seen in their personal letters and journal entries. Lincoln’s wartime correspondence is no exception, and the letters he penned to his Civil War generals – through one of the most critical episodes in American history – are of singular importance. Lincoln was not a natural strategist. He worked hard to master the subject, just as he had done to become a lawyer. Still, despite being forced to learn the functions of a commander-in-chief on the job, he demonstrates an oftentimes striking understanding of the issues. Against this backdrop, the format of the letters annotated here have been preserved whenever possible and, collectively they provide a unique glimpse into the character and thought processes of Lincoln as a military commander. And whether the subject might be a general memorandum of military policy, a reflection on the sentencing of a deserter, or pressing the attack on Confederate forces, he writes with remarkable clarity, insight, and concise eloquence. The addressees are identified, particularly those who have been lost to history, and, where indicated, explanatory notes are provided to assist the reader in placing the correspondence in its particular historical, political, or conceptual context. Readers are encouraged to arrive at their own conclusions as to the intention of a specific piece of correspondence. This text presents, in their entirety, the original written communications which generations of historians have repeatedly cited as the basis for the interpretation of events or conclusions of fact. Thus the book Lincoln’s Letters to his Generals is both a comprehensive reference resource and a unique, annotated supplement to the existing literature.
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Brett F. Woods, Ph.D., is a professor of history for the American Public University System where he teaches graduate level courses in historiography, historical research methods, and British perspectives of the American Revolution. He received his Ph.D. in political literature from the University of Essex, England. A senior executive fellow of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, he has written widely on political, military, and cultural history, with his work appearing in numerous academic and mainstream publications including the Canadian Journal of History, the Asian Studies Review, the California Literary Review, and the Richmond Review (London). He maintains an active research agenda, primarily directed to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British and American studies. Dr. Woods has previously published three books with Algora: Thomas Jefferson: Thoughts on War and Revolution (2009), Neutral Ground A Political History of Espionage Fiction (2007), and Letters from France: The Private Diplomatic Correspondence of Benjamin Franklin, 1776-1785 (2006).
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Book Description Algora Publishing, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 314 pages. 9.00x6.00x0.79 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk162894000X