Category Archives: Lincoln

Lincoln, Shakespeare, and the Wilderness

“My God! My God! twenty thousand poor souls sent to their final account in one day,” President Lincoln lamented after the battle of the Wilderness. “I cannot bear it! I cannot bear it!” 

Posted in Lincoln, Newspapers | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

“The Finest Cavalry Display Ever Witnessed”: Lincoln Reviews the Mounted Arm

The spring of 1863 brought about a season of change in the cavalry corps of the Army of the Potomac. On St. Patrick’s Day, Brig. Gen. William W. Averell’s division clashed with Brig. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee’s brigade on the south … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Cavalry, Common Soldier, Leadership--Federal, Lincoln, Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From the ECW Archives: Creating the Medal of Honor

March 25 is Medal of Honor Day. When the Civil War began, the U.S. military had few medals or awards to recognize bravery or exemplary conduct.  General George Washington created the Purple Heart in 1782 to recognize “singularly meritorious action;” … Continue reading

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February 27, 1860: Lincoln at Cooper Union

On this day 158 years ago-February 27, 1860-Abraham Lincoln of Illinois delivered an invited speech at the Cooper Institute in New York City. Lincoln had gained a reputation and a following among some Republicans in 1858 when he skillfully debated … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War, Leadership--Federal, Lincoln, Personalities, Slavery | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

An Unusual Valentine: Elmer E. Ellsworth, Esquire

Every biography or biographical article about not-yet-colonel Elmer Ellsworth says the same thing: It is not known if Ellsworth passed, or even took, the Illinois State Bar Examination. I know this is not a bombshell issue for most people, but … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War, Lincoln, Personalities, Politics, Preservation, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Question of the Week: 2/12-2/18/18

Today is the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday! In your opinion, what character quality or actions made Lincoln one of the most remembered and honored presidents in U.S. History?

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On Location: Charlotte, NC

One of the most oddball monuments I’ve ever seen is in Charlotte, North Carolina, embedded in the sidewalk. Last summer, I finally went On Location to seek it out: the spot where Jefferson Davis heard the news about Lincoln’s assassination. Check … Continue reading

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The Homestead Act, Early Republicans, and the Coming of the Civil War

Nearly everyone knows that the Emancipation Proclamation became effective on January 1, 1863.  This document formally established abolition of slavery as one of the Union’s goals in fighting and winning the Civil War and enabled the North to recruit African … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Emerging Civil War, Lincoln, Reconstruction, Slavery | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Searching for George Brinton McClellan

In preparation for Rob Orrison’s and my upcoming ECWS book, To Hazard All: A Guide to the Maryland Campaign, 1862, we closed the books and hit the trails and cement roads zigzagging through northern Virginia and central and western Maryland. At … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War Series, Leadership--Federal, Lincoln, Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Unexpected Turn

In my conclusion to Turning Points of the American Civil War, I suggest that Lincoln’s assassination was perhaps a turning point of the war rather than just a tragic coda that followed the surrender at Appomattox. In his outstanding book … Continue reading

Posted in Lincoln, Reconstruction, Trans-Mississippi | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments