By Willard Sterne Randall

Historians rank Abraham Lincoln as certainly one of America's maximum presidents, having led the kingdom during the slaughter and sorrow of the Civil conflict. he's additionally one among history's such a lot tragic figures, wasting his existence to an assassin's bullet simply days after reaching his long-sought victory at the battlefield. the following, during this short-form e-book by means of historians Willard Sterne Randall and Nancy Nahra, is Lincoln's inspiring and heartbreaking tale.

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A slow, penetrating analyst, he had a mind “like polished steel,” said his longtime friend Joshua Steel. He could remember names, dates, facts, and long passages of poetry that he had read only once. As war seemed increasingly inevitable, he devoured books on military science at the Library of Congress. And as president, Lincoln relied on reason, common sense, foresight, and his own judgment and intuition. ” Then and all through the war, Lincoln’s first goal was to preserve the Union. He believed that if North and South were allowed to divide, neither could survive.

More than ever, the war became a struggle to the finish for the Southern way of life. Unfortunately for the Union, however, it was a battle in which most of the good generals seemed to be on the Confederate side. With a few exceptions, Lincoln’s generals proved to be incompetent. He replaced the procrastinating McClellan with Ambrose E. Burnside. But in Burnside’s debut battle at Fredericksburg, Virginia, on December 13, 1862 - with 113,000 troops against Lee’s 75,000 - the general ordered his soldiers up a steep bluff fourteen times into withering Confederate fire, suffering 10,884 Union casualties, more than twice the Southern losses.

Abe and his sister Sarah attended a one-room schoolhouse, where, whenever a teacher came along, they were taught to read, write, add, and subtract. Abe’s formal education was erratic: By his own account, his entire time in school amounted to little more than a year. It was typical of the time. Teaching himself, young Lincoln read voraciously - Pilgrim’s Progress, Robinson Crusoe, Aesop’s Fables, and Parson Mason Weems’ less-than-accurate Life of Washington. Years later in a speech before the New Jersey senate, Lincoln asked “to be pardoned if on this occasion I mention that away back in my childhood, the earliest days of my being able to read, I got hold of a small book .

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