Lincoln's Last Months

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, Feb 16, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 303 pages
0 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

Lincoln Prize winner William C. Harris turns to the last months of Abraham Lincoln's life in an attempt to penetrate this central figure of the Civil War, and arguably America's greatest president. Beginning with the presidential campaign of 1864 and ending with his shocking assassination, Lincoln's ability to master the daunting affairs of state during the final nine months of his life proved critical to his apotheosis as savior and saint of the nation.

In the fall of 1864, an exhausted president pursued the seemingly intractable end of the Civil War. After four years at the helm, Lincoln was struggling to save his presidency in an election that he almost lost because of military stalemate and his commitment to restore the Union without slavery. Lincoln's victory in the election not only ensured the success of his agenda but led to his transformation from a cautious, often hesitant president into a distinguished statesman. He moved quickly to defuse destructive partisan divisions and to secure the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment. And he skillfully advanced peace terms that did not involve the unconditional surrender of Confederate armies. Throughout this period of great trials, he managed to resist political pressure from Democrats and radical Republicans and from those seeking patronage and profit. By expanding the context of Lincoln's last months beyond the battlefield, Harris shows how the events of 1864-65 tested the president's life and leadership and how he ultimately emerged victorious, and became Father Abraham to a nation.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

Lincoln's last months

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In this almost elegiac study, Harris follows Lincoln from his reelection in 1864 through the defeat of the Confederacy to his assassination. He finds a man who is humbled by the awesome tasks ... Read full review


Careworn and Haggard
The Burden of Patronage
The Search for Peace
The Humble Instrument of God
Beyond the Battlefield
At the Front

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 2 - And this issue embraces more than the fate of these United States. It presents to the whole family of man, the question, whether a constitutional republic, or a democracy — a government of the people, by the same people — can, or cannot, maintain its territorial integrity, against its own domestic foes.

About the author (2004)

William C. Harris is Professor of History at North Carolina State University.

Bibliographic information