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Lincoln's political generals

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  • "President Abraham Lincoln sought to bind important political leaders to the Union by appointing them as generals. He had to find qualified officers to command a military that would fight along a front that stretched halfway across the continent. West Point hadn't graduated enough officers, and many chose to fight for Confederacy. Lincoln needed loyal men accustomed to organization, administration, and command. He also needed soldiers, and political generals brought with them their constituents and patronage power. Could politicians make shift from a political campaign to a military one? Could they be trusted to fight? Could they avoid destructive jealousies and temptations of corruption? David Work examines Lincoln's policy of appointing political generals to build a national coalition to fight and win Civil War. He follows careers of sixteen generals through the war to assess their contributions and to ascertain how Lincoln assessed them. Among them were some of the most famous generals of the Union such as Francis P. Blair Jr., John A. Dix, John A. Logan, James S. Wadsworth, and others whose importance has been obscured by more dramatic personalities. Work finds that Lincoln's policy was ultimately successful, as these generals provided effective political support and made important contributions in military administration and on battlefield. Several proved to be poor commanders, others were effective in exercising influence on military administration and recruitment, slavery policy, and national politics--Publisher's description."

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  • "Lincoln's political generals"
  • "Lincoln's political generals"@en