Lincoln as Military Leader

4 April 2015
Effectiveness of president as commander-in-chief in Union’s Civil War campaigns in the East, focusing on his relationships with generals.

This research paper discusses and assesses the impact of President Abraham Lincoln’s military decisions in the East on the outcome of the Civil War. After a shaky beginning, Lincoln became an effective commander in chief and politico-military leader of the Union with respect to its campaigns in the East. Lincoln was handicapped during the first three years of the war in the East by a serious command problem which was not finally solved until 1864 with the appointment of Ulysses Grant to command all Union forces, including those in the East, but nevertheless his military decisions gradually moved into alignment with a more sensible military strategy and made a major contribution to the ultimate defeat of the Confederacy.

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