"Watching this exhausted man face-to-face with the bloodiest war in our history and a nation still deeply divided about slavery, somehow finding the courage and faith to seek reelection, is a unique reading experience. You feel in touch with the essence of America."
— Thomas Fleming, author of The Perils of Peace
In 1864: Lincoln at the Gates of History, the reader is plunged into the heart of that crucial year as Lincoln faced enormous challenges. The Civil War was far from being won: as the year began, Lincoln had yet to appoint Ulysses S. Grant as the general-in-chief who would finally implement the bloody strategy and dramatic campaigns that would bring victory. At the same time, with the North, cick of the war, Lincoln was facing a reelection battle in which hundreds of thousands of "Peace Democrats" were ready to start negotiations that could leave the Confederacy as a separate American nation, free to continue the practice of slavery. In his personal life, he had to deal with the erratic behavior of his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, and both Lincolns were haunted by the sudden death two years before, of their beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie. 1864 presents the man who not only saved the nation, but also, despite the turmoil of the war and political infighting, set the stage for westward expansion through the Homestead Act, the railroads, and the Act to Encourage Immigration. As 1864 ends and Lincoln, reelected, is planning to heal the nation, John Wilkes Booth, whose stalking of Lincoln through 1864 is one of this book's suspenseful subplots, is a few weeks away from killing him.
The above is excerpted from "1864" by Charles Bracelen Flood. Reprinted by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.