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Lincoln's Lieutenants: The High Command of the Army of the Potomac by Stephen W. Sears (review)

Lincoln's Lieutenants: The High Command of the Army of the Potomac by Stephen W. Sears (review) Lincoln’s Lieutenants: The High Command of the Army of the Potomac. By Stephen W. Sears. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017. Pp. 884. Cloth, $38.00.) Stephen Sears has appropriately dedicated his latest book to Bruce Catton. In terms of both content and style, Lincoln’s Lieutenants will remind many readers of their early encounter with Civil War history in Catton’s classic Army of the Potomac trilogy. This is good old-fashioned narrative history replete with human drama; it is unabashedly great-man history with an emphasis on military decision making at the highest lev- els. In Sears’s view, command decisions mattered most in determining the course and outcome of the Civil War, and so he pays little attention to other issues aside from the ways in which politics influenced the Army of the Potomac. In these pages, even the commander in chief, Abraham Lincoln, is usually offstage. Sears begins with some excellent material on the creation of the Army of the Potomac, and a great strength of the volume is how he handles the myriad changes in the army’s personnel and order of battle. That he describes organizational details in both a clear and interesting manner is a real tribute to his writing http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

Lincoln's Lieutenants: The High Command of the Army of the Potomac by Stephen W. Sears (review)

The Journal of the Civil War Era , Volume 8 (2) – May 25, 2018

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
2159-9807

Abstract

Lincoln’s Lieutenants: The High Command of the Army of the Potomac. By Stephen W. Sears. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017. Pp. 884. Cloth, $38.00.) Stephen Sears has appropriately dedicated his latest book to Bruce Catton. In terms of both content and style, Lincoln’s Lieutenants will remind many readers of their early encounter with Civil War history in Catton’s classic Army of the Potomac trilogy. This is good old-fashioned narrative history replete with human drama; it is unabashedly great-man history with an emphasis on military decision making at the highest lev- els. In Sears’s view, command decisions mattered most in determining the course and outcome of the Civil War, and so he pays little attention to other issues aside from the ways in which politics influenced the Army of the Potomac. In these pages, even the commander in chief, Abraham Lincoln, is usually offstage. Sears begins with some excellent material on the creation of the Army of the Potomac, and a great strength of the volume is how he handles the myriad changes in the army’s personnel and order of battle. That he describes organizational details in both a clear and interesting manner is a real tribute to his writing

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: May 25, 2018

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