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By William K. Klingaman

The Emancipation Proclamation eternally replaced the process American historical past. In Abraham Lincoln and the line to Emancipation, William Klingaman offers a much-needed well known heritage of the making of the Emancipation Proclamation and its next impression on race family in America.

In the culture of Garry Wills's award-winning Lincoln at Gettysburg, Klingaman reconstructs the occasions that resulted in Lincoln's momentous determination. he's taking us from Lincoln's inauguration during the outbreak of the Civil conflict and the Confederates' early army victories. regardless of the Abolitionists' urging, Lincoln was once reluctant to factor an edict releasing the slaves lest it alienate unswerving border states. A succession of army reverses led Lincoln to attempt to procure congressional approval of sluggish, compensated emancipation. but if all his plans failed, Lincoln eventually begun drafting an emancipation proclamation as an army weapon-what he defined as his "last card" opposed to the rebellion.

Finally issued on January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation didn't finish the war-or slavery-overnight, and Klingaman follows the tale via extra years of bloody conflict sooner than ultimate Union victory and Lincoln's tragic assassination. The publication concludes with a quick dialogue of ways the Emancipation Proclamation-its language and the situations during which it used to be issued-have formed American background.

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The following day, the pres46 T H E W H I T E M A N ’ S WA R ident summoned Congress to a special session, to begin on July 4. To defend the Union—and particularly Washington—in the meantime, Lincoln called for 75,000 militiamen to serve for ninety days, the maximum period permitted by law. Defending the Capital In his call for troops, Lincoln made it clear that his only goal was to preserve “the honor, the integrity, and the existence of our National Union . . ” Nowhere in his public statements did the president attack slavery or discuss the possibility of emancipation.

38 T H E W H I T E M A N ’ S WA R Lincoln rarely acted impulsively. ” Under the circumstances, he really had little choice. The government did not have 20,000 troops to reinforce Sumter, since the entire United States Army numbered a mere 16,000 regulars. Besides, Lincoln knew that only a minority of voters of the states still in the Union had elected him, and he was uncertain whether the northern public would support military action to retain Fort Sumter. Congressional Republicans disagreed among themselves as to what Lincoln should do about Sumter.

If you will guarantee me the State of Virginia I shall remove the troops. ” In the absence of a clear signal from Lincoln about his position— Cameron later complained that nothing was ever really decided at Cabinet meetings—the discussion around the large oak table in the president’s office deteriorated. Lincoln sent his advisers on their way with a request for their written opinions on a proposal to provision Sumter by sea, without sending any troop reinforcements. The following day, March 10, Lincoln discovered that Scott had done nothing to develop plans to reinforce Sumter and Pickens.

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