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Lincoln and His Admirals

Lincoln and His Admirals by Craig L. Symonds
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Abraham Lincoln began his presidency admitting that he knew "but little of ships," but he quickly came to preside over the largest national armada to that time, not eclipsed until World War I. Written by naval historian Craig L. Symonds, Lincoln and His Admirals unveils an aspect of Lincoln's presidency unexamined by historians until now, revealing how he managed the men who ran the naval side of the Civil War, and how the activities of the Union Navy ultimately affected the course of history.Beginning with a gripping account of the attempt to re-supply Fort Sumter--a comedy of errors that shows all too clearly the fledgling president's inexperience--Symonds traces Lincoln's steady growth as a wartime commander-in-chief. Absent a Secretary of Defense, he would eventually become de facto commander of joint operations along the coast and on the rivers. That involved dealing with the men who ran the Navy: the loyal but often cranky Navy Secretary Gideon Welles, the quiet and reliable David G. Farragut, the flamboyant and unpredictable Charles Wilkes, the ambitious ordnance expert John Dahlgren, the well-connected Samuel Phillips Lee, and the self-promoting and gregarious David Dixon Porter. Lincoln was remarkably patient; he often postponed critical decisions until the momentum of events made the consequences of those decisions evident. But Symonds also shows that Lincoln could act decisively. Disappointed by the lethargy of his senior naval officers on the scene, he stepped in and personally directed an amphibious assault on the Virginia coast, a successful operation that led to the capture of Norfolk. The man who knew "but little of ships" had transformed himself into one of the greatest naval strategists of his age.Co-winner of the 2009 Lincoln PrizeWinner of the 2009Barondess/Lincoln Prize by the Civil War Round Table of New YorkJohn Lyman Award of the North American Society for Oceanic HistoryDaniel and Marilyn Laney Prize by the Austin Civil War Round TableNevins-Freeman Prize of the Civil War Round Table of Chicago
Oxford University Press; October 2008
448 pages; ISBN 9780199793129
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Title: Lincoln and His Admirals
Author: Craig L. Symonds
  • News
Commander-in-Chief - Washington Post
Sat, 01 Nov 2008 05:18:42 -0700
Commander-in-ChiefWashington PostLincoln and his Admirals, by Craig L. Symonds, professor emeritus at the U.S. Naval Academy, ...
Q&A with author Craig L. Symonds - OUPblog (blog)
Sun, 03 Nov 2013 04:39:38 -0800
OUPblog (blog)Q&A with author Craig L. SymondsOUPblog (blog)There are a number of mysteries surrounding the Battle of ...
Abraham Lincoln: James M. McPherson - OUPblog (blog)
Tue, 10 Feb 2009 05:37:20 -0800
Abraham Lincoln: James M. McPhersonOUPblog (blog)... Lincoln's Opponents in the North, and Craig L. Symonds, author of ...