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Lincoln and His Admirals: Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. Navy, and the Civil War

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Lincoln and His Admirals: Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. Navy, and the Civil War Cover

 

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Abraham Lincoln began his presidency admitting that he knew "but little of ships," but he quickly came to preside over the largest national armada to that time, not eclipsed until World War I. Written by naval historian Craig L. Symonds, Lincoln and His Admirals unveils an aspect of Lincoln's presidency unexamined by historians until now, revealing how he managed the men who ran the naval side of the Civil War, and how the activities of the Union Navy ultimately affected the course of history.

Beginning with a gripping account of the attempt to re-supply Fort Sumter--a comedy of errors that shows all too clearly the fledgling president's inexperience--Symonds traces Lincoln's steady growth as a wartime commander-in-chief. Absent a Secretary of Defense, he would eventually become de facto commander of joint operations along the coast and on the rivers. That involved dealing with the men who ran the Navy: the loyal but often cranky Navy Secretary Gideon Welles, the quiet and reliable David G. Farragut, the flamboyant and unpredictable Charles Wilkes, the ambitious ordnance expert John Dahlgren, the well-connected Samuel Phillips Lee, and the self-promoting and gregarious David Dixon Porter. Lincoln was remarkably patient; he often postponed critical decisions until the momentum of events made the consequences of those decisions evident. But Symonds also shows that Lincoln could act decisively. Disappointed by the lethargy of his senior naval officers on the scene, he stepped in and personally directed an amphibious assault on the Virginia coast, a successful operation that led to the capture of Norfolk. The man who knew "but little of ships" had transformed himself into one of the greatest naval strategists of his age.

Co-winner of the 2009 Lincoln Prize

Winner of the 2009

Barondess/Lincoln Prize by the Civil War Round Table of New York

John Lyman Award of the North American Society for Oceanic History

Daniel and Marilyn Laney Prize by the Austin Civil War Round Table

Nevins-Freeman Prize of the Civil War Round Table of Chicago

About the Author

Craig L. Symonds is Professor Emeritus at the U.S. Naval Academy and the author of ten previous books, including Decision at Sea: Five Naval Battles that Shaped American History, which won the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Prize in 2006.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

Introduction

1861: GETTING UNDER WAY

1. "What Have I Done Wrong?" Lincoln and the Fort Sumter Crisis

2. "A Competent Force" Lincoln and the Blockade

3. "No Affront to the British Flag" Lincoln and the Trent Affair

1862: CHARTING A COURSE

4. "I Wont Leave Off Until It Fairly Rains Bombs" Lincoln and the River War

5. "It Strikes Me There's Something In It" Lincoln and the Monitor

6. "We Cannot Escape History" Lincoln and the Contraband

1863: TROUBLED WATERS

7. "The Peninsula All Over Again" Lincoln, Charleston, and Vicksburg

8. "I Shall Have to Cut This Knot" Lincoln as Adjudicator

9. "Peace Does Not Appear So Distant as it Did" Lincoln and Wartime Politics

1864: FULL SPEED AHEAD

10. "It Becomes Immensely Important to Us to Get the Cotton" Lincoln and the Red River Campaign

11. "A Vote of Thanks" Lincoln and the Politics of Promotion

12. "I Must Refer You to General Grant" Lincoln and the Fort Fisher Expedition

1865: FINAL HARBOR

Epilogue: "Thank God I Have Lived to See This"

Abbreviations Used in Notes

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780199751570
Author:
Symonds, Craig
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
Symonds, Craig L.
Author:
null, Craig
Subject:
United States - Civil War
Subject:
Military - United States
Subject:
United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
Subject:
History, American | Civil War
Subject:
Reconstruction
Subject:
History, American | Civil War & Reconstruction
Subject:
Biography-Presidents and Heads of State
Publication Date:
20101031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
12 pages b/w plates, 22 b/w halftones
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
6.1 x 9.3 x 1.2 in 1.344 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » Presidents and Heads of State
History and Social Science » Military » Civil War » General
History and Social Science » Military » Civil War » Nautical
History and Social Science » Military » Naval History
History and Social Science » Military » US Military » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » US History » 1800 to Civil War
History and Social Science » World History » General
Religion » Spirituality » General

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