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This Author: Michael Burlingame
This Narrator: Sean Pratt
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Abraham Lincoln: A Life 1861-1862 by Michael Burlingame

Abraham Lincoln: A Life 1861-1862

The Fort Sumter Crisis, The Hundred Days, The Phony War, The Lincoln Family in the ExecutiveMansion

by Michael Burlingame

Title Details

Unabridged Edition
Running Time
12 Hrs. 2 Min.


"You Can Have No Conflict Without Being Yourselves the Aggressors": The Fort Sumter Crisis (March - April 1861): Lincoln struggles with William Seward's thirst for power while the Fort Sumter question comes to the forefront of the nation's politics. To supply Fort Sumter would incite hostilities with the South and to desert Sumter would imply acknowledgment of the Confederacy. It is a decision that cannot be made lightly. As time goes by without a verdict, the North starts to question the strength of their government. Seizing the opportunity, Seward secretly begins negotiations with the South based on unfounded promises. Out of time, Lincoln makes a fateful decision.

"I Intend to Give Blows": The Hundred Days (April - July 1861): War has begun. Lincoln hesitates calling a session of Congress amidst fears of interference with the war effort. Needing to defend the capital, he calls for the Union militia. The brash proclamation offends many in the Upper South and Borderline States. A few refuse to allow troops to cross their borders, infuriating inhabitants in Washington. The wait for reinforcements begins. Measures are taken to prevent States from secession. The army, which has been neglected by Congress and state governments, has difficulty mobilizing due to corruption and neglect. Lincoln must explain his actions to a half formed Congress. Defeat at the battle of Bull's Run has unforeseen results.

"Sitzkrieg": The Phony War: (August 1861 - January 1862): A commander by the name of George B. McClellan is placed in complete control of the Union army. Snobbish and arrogant, he treats many in the White House with little respect, including the president. For six months, no offense is made from either side of the war. People grow impatient for action. In Missouri, Commander John Freemont attempts to rebel and establish an independent government. Two envoys from the Confederacy, bound for Great Britain, are captured by the Union. The affair leads to tal...

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