Lincoln and His Generals

Book Report: Lincoln and His Generals
Harry T. Williams was born on May 19, 1909.When in college, he was encouraged by aprofessor to study history.This professors main interest was the Civil War era and had a great effect on Williams.He attended Platteville State Teachers College (later Wisconsin State University at Platteville) where he received a B.Ed in 1931. Williams continued education into graduate school was mainly due to the lack of work during the Great Depression.He went on to earn a Ph.M. in 1932, and Ph.D. in1937, from the University of Wisconsin (Dawson 431).
Lincoln and His Generals was the breakthrough book for Williams who had only written one book previously.This book provided him with many national and local acclaims.He book was on the best seller list, he received rave reviews in national publications, and scholarly awards where he was teaching at the time, L.S.U.He would go on to become a very respected writer during his forty-year career.He would also win the Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for his book Huey Long (437).
Williams main theme in Lincoln and His Generals is about the Civil War being thefirst modern war and Lincoln’s function in the position of President.He introduces the state of the Union army as one that has no shape to it.This includes the lack of any plan of attack, as the thought of war had not been translated into any type of scheme.The armies lacked organization and communication, and existing qualified generals were old and inept.Thefirst task that Lincoln had was the immediate selection of Generals.Lincoln’s selection process was sometimes based on political and personal grounds, and he was in the position of selecting from a pool of generals that had no experience leading a large army.Williams
tells us that even if the selection was for political reasons, Lincoln had the ‘national cohesion’ in mind. It appears that control was …

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