1864: Lincoln at the Gates of History

Written by Charles Bracelen Flood
Review by John R. Vallely

Students of the American Civil War have been blessed over the years by an astonishing number of truly talented scholarly and popular writers on the politics, personalities, and military affairs of this dynamic period. Charles Bracelen Flood has published Grant and Sherman and Lee: The Last Years to critical acclaim, and adds to his credentials with this account of the military and political events of 1864. This year featured the continued rise of Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman, the ascendancy of the Union in the western theater of war, the challenges of dealing with Lee in the horrors of the wilderness, as well as the intricate maneuvers of a Northern presidential campaign in the midst of war. Lincoln serves as Flood’s centerpiece and his critical role in events, coupled with accounts of other major and minor players, place the author in the front row of the flood of works commemorating Lincoln’s birth in 1809.