Lincoln's Darkest Year: The War in 1862

Lincoln's Darkest Year: The War in 1862

William Marvel

Language: English

Pages: 491

ISBN: 0618858695

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A revealing look at Lincoln’s actions in 1862—and a nation in the midst of war

Lincoln’s Darkest Year offers a gripping narrative of 1862, a pivotal year in our country’s Civil War. Marvel continues the story he began in Mr. Lincoln Goes to War, which focused on Lincoln’s first year in office, again relying on recently unearthed primary sources and little-known accounts to paint a picture of this critical year in newfound detail. Lincoln’s Darkest Year highlights not just the actions but also the deeper motivations of the major figures, including General Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, George McClellan, Stonewall Jackson, and, most notably, Lincoln himself. As the action darts from the White House to the battlefields and back, Marvel sheds new light on the hardships endured by everyday citizens and the substantial and sustained public opposition to the war.

The second in a planned four-part series on the Civil War, and the first major reexamination in over fifty years, Lincoln’s Darkest Year stands apart from traditional assumptions and narratives about the early years of the Civil War. Marvel combines fluid prose and scholarship with the skills of an investigative historical detective to unearth the true story of our nation’s greatest crisis.

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Diary (LC) describes finding comforts like ice and ice cream for General McDowell. 30. Coco, Blood and Fire, 11; Duncan, Blue-Eyed Child, 237; Anthony Ross to "Dear Wife," August 8,1862, USAMHI; James Gillette to "Dear Father," August 27,1862, LC. 31. Gillette to "Dear Mother," July 31, 1862, LC; Sparks, Inside Lincoln's Army, 120, 127; Frederick Ranger to "My Darling Wife," August 14, 1862, USAMHI; Washington Roebling to "Dear Father," August 24,1862, Rutgers. 32. OR, 12(3):573; Coco, Blood

and efficiency than raising and organizing new regiments. The new Militia Act did include a paragraph allowing men to enlist in the old regiments for a single year, and if Stanton thought he could prompt those enlistments with a draft he was free to do so, as long as any drafted men were subtracted from the required three hundred thousand. 94 Nothing betrayed the sinking popularity of Lincoln's war so much as the cynical response to the enactment of a draft law. In the shadow of random

an "abolition war," that the Confederacy carried the greater political rectitude, and that the South could not be defeated. Even if any of those statements had demonstrated active disloyalty, a skeptical prosecutor might have wondered why all the affidavits denouncing the holder of a competitive political office bore the same date, the same handwriting, and identical quotations of Bigger's alleged remarks. 23 Stanton's dictum quickly led to the arrest of James Caldwell, a Kentuckian who happened

or other I could not," and his letters never resumed their former volume. One of the remaining captains in his regiment seemed similarly downcast as he recounted the many friends who died that sultry summer evening. Banks had lost about a third of his effective force, compared to less than 10 percent casualties on the Confederate side, and thenceforward most of the mail from his corps betrayed evidence of that universal dejection. Recording his long summer's campaign toward the end of that year,

Run bridge, where they tried to rally with a couple of fresh Ohio regiments on their way down the railroad, but Hill's men crossed, chased them away, and left the bridge in flames when they withdrew to the other side. That was more damage than Colonel Haupt's construction crews could repair on short notice.40 Jackson spent the day at Manassas, distributing the wealth of Union supplies to his quartermasters and commissaries. The men filled their haversacks to overflowing and burned the rest on

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