All the President's Men

His lack of military experience didn't stop Lincoln from micromanaging the war. Three years and seven generals later, he found the man to match his determination

From the moment the war started, Abraham Lincoln was surrounded. Across the Potomac was the Confederacy; in Washington was a Cabinet unsure of his abilities, an increasingly hostile Congress and a growing list of Union generals with sensitive egos but alarmingly few victories on the battlefield.

As the war's shocking toll mounted, Lincoln turned from commander to commander, looking for the man who would protect Washington from rebel armies and press the Union's biggest advantage: "We have the greater numbers."

Lincoln had no real military experience except for 77 combat-free days in an Illinois militia, but he became an avid strategist,...

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