“One of the world’s foremost Lincoln scholars offers a selection of the president’s writings and remarks on war, its conduct, trials, horror and meaning.” —Kirkus Reviews
President Lincoln used his own weapons—his words—to fight the Civil War as brilliantly as any general who ever took the field. In Lincoln on War, historian Harold Holzer gathers and interprets Lincoln’s speeches, letters, memoranda, orders, telegrams, and casual remarks, organizing them chronologically and allowing readers to experience Lincoln’s growth from an eager young Indian War officer to a middle-aged dove congressman to a surprisingly hardened and determined hawk as the Union’s commander-in-chief.
Through these historic records, we observe a man willing to sacrifice life and treasure in unprecedented quantities, to risk wounding the pride of vain generals, and even to mislead the public if it meant the preservation of an unbreakable union of states, the destruction of slavery, and the restoration of America as an example to inspire the world.
From masterpieces such as the Gettysburg Address to lesser-known meditations on God’s purposes, Lincoln on War covers strategy; tactics; the endless hiring, sustaining, motivating, and dismissal of commanders; military discipline; and military technology. Modern commanders-in-chief have repeatedly quoted Lincoln to justify their own wars, so it behooves us as citizens to know Lincoln’s record well.
“A wisely chosen, expertly arranged collection.” —Kirkus Reviews