Lincoln and His Admirals, Craig L. Symonds, Oxford University Press, 448 pages $27.95
Abraham Lincoln began his presidency admitting that he knew "little about ships," but he quickly came to preside over the largest national armada to that time, not eclipsed until World War I. A unique and riveting portrait, Lincoln and His Admirals offers an illuminating account of Lincoln and the nation at war.
Written by prize-winning historian Craig L. Symonds, the book 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. (Text From Publisher)
Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief, James M. McPherson, Penguin Press, 384 pages, $35.
Though Abraham Lincoln arrived at the White House with no previous military experience (apart from a couple of months spent soldiering in 1832), he quickly established himself as the greatest commander in chief in American history. James McPherson illuminates this often misunderstood and profoundly influential aspect of Lincoln’s legacy. In essence, Lincoln invented the idea of commander in chief, as neither the Constitution nor existing legislation specified how the president ought to declare war or dictate strategy. In fact, by assuming the powers we associate with the role of commander in chief, Lincoln often overstepped the narrow band of rights granted the president. Good thing too, because his strategic insight and will to fight changed the course of the war and saved the Union.
For most of the conflict, he constantly had to goad his reluctant generals toward battle, and he oversaw strategy and planning for major engagements with the enemy. Lincoln was a self-taught military strategist (as he was a self-taught lawyer), which makes his adroit conduct of the war seem almost miraculous. To be sure, the Union’s campaigns often went awry, sometimes horribly so, but McPherson makes clear how the missteps arose from the all-too-common moments when Lincoln could neither threaten nor cajole his commanders to follow his orders.(Text from publisher)
The Lincoln Prize at Gettysburg College shall be awarded annually by the Lincoln and Soldiers Institute for the finest scholarly work in English on Abraham Lincoln, or the American Civil War soldier, or a subject relating to their era. The Prize will generally go to a book but in rare instances an important article or essay might be honored. When studies competing for the Prize show similar scholarly merit, preference will be given to work on Abraham Lincoln, or the Civil War soldier, or work aimed at the literate general public. In harmony with the last preference, in rare instances the Prize may go to a work or works of fiction, poetry, the theatre, the arts, a film, scholarly article or editing project- provided they are true to history. In rare instances, the Prize may go to an historical project, such as an inspired conference or an editing project, such as an inspired conference or an editing project. In rare instances, the trustees may grant the award to a work or service related to Lincoln, or the Civil War soldier or their era, not included in the foregoing description. As many as two prizes may be awarded each year. It will be awarded for works published only during the designated year of the Prize.
The Prize is intended chiefly to encourage outstanding new scholarship, but a lifetime contribution to the study of Lincoln, or the American Civil War soldier, may qualify for the award. Each year any work that appears during the previous year may be eligible for consideration. However, facing a lean scholarly year, the Board of Trustees may request the jury to consider work from the previous two or three years.
The Prize is supervised and awarded by the five trustees of the Lincoln and Soldiers Institute. The Board of Trustees appoints a jury of three historians or qualified specialists each year. The jury will be requested to recommend three finalists and the Board of Trustees is to make a final selection of the winner.
Text Source: Gettysburg College