Mr. Lincoln's Army A magnificent history of the opening years of the Civil War by Pulitzer Prize–winning author Bruce Catton
The first book in Bruce Catton’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Army of the Potomac Trilogy, Mr. Lincoln’s Army is a riveting history of the early years of the Civil War, when a fledgling Union Army took its stumbling first steps under the command of the controversial general George McClellan. Following the secession of the Southern states, a beleaguered President Abraham Lincoln entrusted the dashing, charismatic McClellan with the creation of the Union’s Army of the Potomac and the responsibility of leading it to a swift and decisive victory against Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Although a brilliant tactician who was beloved by his troops and embraced by the hero-hungry North, McClellan’s ego and ambition ultimately put him at loggerheads with his commander in chief—a man McClellan considered unworthy of the presidency.
McClellan’s weaknesses were exposed during the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in American military history, which ended in a stalemate even though the Confederate troops were greatly outnumbered. After Antietam, Lincoln ordered McClellan’s removal from command, and the Union entered the war’s next chapter having suffered thousands of casualties and with great uncertainty ahead.
America’s premier chronicler of the nation’s brutal internecine conflict, Bruce Catton is renowned for his unparalleled ability to bring a detailed and vivid immediacy to Civil War battlefields and military strategy sessions. With tremendous depth and insight, he presents legendary commanders and common soldiers in all their complex and heartbreaking humanity.
“A job which should rank high in the literature of the Civil War.” —The Washington Post
Praise for Bruce Catton
“One of America’s foremost Civil War authorities.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Nothing in our time makes the Civil War as alive as the writings of Bruce Catton.”
“The Civil War found its place and its popular voice in Catton.” —American Heritage
“[Catton] has the rare gift of doing enormous research and then presenting it in what is almost a motion picture in color.” —The New York Times
Bruce Catton (1899–1978) was a Pulitzer Prize–winning author, historian, and journalist. He served in the navy during World War I and was the director of information for the War Production Board during World War II. Catton’s military and government experience inspired his first book, The War Lords of Washington, and he is best known for his acclaimed works on the Civil War, including Mr. Lincoln’s Army and Glory Road. His most celebrated Civil War history, A Stillness at Appomattox, won both the National Book Award for Nonfiction and the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1954. Catton was also the founding editor of American Heritage magazine. Among his other works are Grant Moves South; Grant Takes Command; and a three-part chronicle endorsed by the US Civil War Centennial Commission, The Coming Fury, Terrible Swift Sword, and Never Call Retreat.