By Russell Freedman

Abraham Lincoln stood out in a crowd as a lot for his wit and rollicking humor as for his peak. This Newbery Medal-winning biography of our Civil struggle president is hot, attractive, and illustrated with dozens of rigorously selected photos and prints.

Russell Freedman starts off with a full of life account of Abraham Lincoln's boyhood, his profession as a rustic attorney, and his courtship and marriage to Mary Todd. Then the writer specializes in the presidential years (1861 to 1865), skillfullly explaining the various advanced concerns Lincoln grappled with as he led a deeply divided state during the Civil battle. The book's ultimate bankruptcy is a relocating account of that tragic night in Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865. Concludes with a sampling of Lincoln writings and a close checklist of Lincoln ancient websites.

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One in every of his hardest jobs was once reviewing court-martial sentences of Union soldiers—sleeping sentries, homesick runaways, cowards, deserters, and so forth. He desired to see that justice used to be performed, but he hunted for excuses to pardon squaddies. He was once reluctant to approve the dying penalty specially whilst a soldier have been sentenced to die sooner than a firing squad for working away within the face of conflict. "Do you spot these papers crowded in these pigeonholes [in my desk]? " Lincoln requested a customer to his place of work. "They are the circumstances you name by means of that lengthy identify, 'cowardice within the face of the enemy. ' I name them, for brief, my 'leg instances. ' I placed it to you, and that i depart it to you in deciding for your self: if Almighty God supplies a guy a cowardly pair of legs, how can he support their operating away with him? " Lincoln turned well-known for his last-minute pardons and reprieves. "The generals continuously sought after an execution conducted prior to it might be introduced ahead of the president," a pal saw. "He was once as tenderhearted as a lady. " Lincoln spoke of himself as "pigeon-hearted. " nevertheless, he attempted to accomplish his accountability as he observed it, and he didn't continually intrude. huge numbers of court-martialed infantrymen really have been finished in the course of the Civil struggle. but if he may perhaps give some thought to a superb cause to pardon, he pardoned, announcing, "It rests me, after a difficult day's paintings, that i will locate a few excuse for saving a few negative fellow's lifestyles. " In overdue afternoon, Lincoln may opt for a carriage trip with Mary, taking within the clean air as they drove in the course of the nation-state, observed through a cavalry escort. occasionally they stopped to speak with infantrymen at a military mess or an army medical institution sooner than returning to the White apartment. If there has been no reliable functionality that night, the Lincolns may possibly attend the opera or theatre, which Mary enjoyed. Or Lincoln may sit back with a small workforce of shut associates, changing into his outdated self back, "the cheeriest of talkers, the riskiest of storytellers," as one pal acknowledged. On so much evenings, Lincoln lower back to his workplace after dinner and labored overdue into the evening via lamplight. His final chore earlier than going to mattress was once to prevent on the struggle division telegraph room and browse the most recent dispatches from front. Wounded Union squaddies in a Washington health facility ward. Lincoln additionally visited accomplice wounded whilst he toured a medical institution. in response to Dr. Jerome Walker, "... He used to be simply as sort, his handshakings simply as hearty, his curiosity simply as genuine for the welfare of the lads, as whilst he used to be between our personal squaddies. " at the Western entrance, Union armies have been profitable a string of victories. On July four, 1863—the day after the conflict at Gettysburg—the fortified urban of Vicksburg, the final very important accomplice stronghold at the Mississippi, had surrendered to basic Ulysses S. furnish. by the point of Lincoln's Gettysburg handle, Grant's armies have been battling their approach via Tennessee, heading for Georgia and the center of the Confederacy. furnish had emerged because the one commander the president may well expect.

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