The Sword of Lincoln: The Army of the Potomac
The Sword of Lincoln is the first authoritative single-volume history of the Army of the Potomac in many years.
From Bull Run to Gettysburg to Appomattox, the Army of the Potomac repeatedly fought -- and eventually defeated -- Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia. Jeffry D. Wert, one of our finest Civil War historians, brings to life the battles, the generals, and the common soldiers who fought for the Union and ultimately prevailed. The obligation throughout the Civil War to defend the capital, Washington, D.C., infused a defensive mentality in the soldiers of the Army of the Potomac. They began ignominiously with defeat at Bull Run. Suffering under a succession of flawed commanders -- McClellan, Burnside, and Hooker -- they endured a string of losses until at last they won a decisive battle at Gettysburg under a brand-new commander, General George Meade. Within a year, the Army of the Potomac would come under the overall leadership of the Union's new general-in-chief, Ulysses S. Grant. Under Grant, the army marched through the Virginia countryside, stalking Lee and finally trapping him and the remnants of his army at Appomattox.
Wert takes us into the heart of the action with the ordinary soldiers of the Irish Brigade, the Iron Brigade, the Excelsior Brigade, and other units, contrasting their experiences with those of their Confederate adversaries. He draws on letters and diaries, some of them previously unpublished, to show us what army life was like. Throughout his history, Wert shows how Lincoln carefully oversaw the operations of the Army of the Potomac, learning as the war progressed, until he found in Grant the commander he'd long sought.
With a swiftly moving narrative style and perceptive analysis, The Sword of Lincoln is destined to become the modern account of the army that was so central to the history of the Civil War.
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Acclaimed Civil War historian Wert (General James Longstreet ) marches out with the Army of the Potomac in this riveting drums-and-bugle account of the troops that squared off against Lee for four ... Read full review
Chapter Three An Army Born
Chapter Four To the Peninsula
Chapter Five Along the Chickahominy
Chapter Six If We Were Defeated the Army and the Country Would Be Lost
Chapter Seven McClellan Has the Army with Him
Chapter Eight Behold a Pale Horse
Chapter Twelve Big Fight Some Wears Ahead
Chapter Thirteen An Army of Lions
Chapter Fourteen Virginia Interlude
Chapter Fifteen This War Is Horrid
Chapter Sixteen A Sit Down Before the Wall of Petersburg
Chapter Seventeen I Never Seen a Crazier Set of Fellows
Ambrose Burnside Antietam army’s artillery assault attack brigade Bull Run Burnside Burnside’s cannon casualties cavalry Chancellorsville Civil War Letters Civil War Papers Colonel Confederate Corps commander Davis defenders Diary Edwin Sumner enemy Federals Fifth Corps fight fire flank Franklin Fredericksburg Campaign Gallagher George George McClellan George Meade Gettysburg Campaign Gettysburg—The Gibbon Grant Halleck Hancock Harper’s Ferry Henry Hill History Hooker Ibid infantry Jackson’s James Longstreet John John Sedgwick Joseph Hooker July June Kearny Lee’s army lieutenant Lincoln McClellan McDowell Meade Meade’s Headquarters Nevins numbers o’clock O’Reilly ordered Peninsula Peninsula Campaign Pennsylvania Porter Potomac president ranks Rappahannock Rebels regiments Rhea Richmond Ridge River Road Scott Sears Second Corps Sedgwick Sheridan SHSW Sixth Corps soldier Southerners Spotsylvania staff officer Styple Sumner Third Corps troops Trudeau Union Army units USAMHI veterans Virginia Warren Washington Webb Papers Wert William Winfield Scott Hancock wounded wrote Yankees