Abraham Lincoln and Military Justice

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Was President Abraham Lincoln really the compassionate soul we have been led to believe? Did he live by his own inspiring words, "With malice toward no and charity for all?"In the midst of America's deadliest war, Lincoln was at the center of a national cataclysm of blood and grief. As commander-in-chief, he directed the fate of countless soldiers and civilians. But he also decided the fate of those soldiers, and even some civilians, sentenced by court-martial for a wide variety of crimes-desertion, spying, ...

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More About This Book

Overview

Was President Abraham Lincoln really the compassionate soul we have been led to believe? Did he live by his own inspiring words, "With malice toward no and charity for all?"In the midst of America's deadliest war, Lincoln was at the center of a national cataclysm of blood and grief. As commander-in-chief, he directed the fate of countless soldiers and civilians. But he also decided the fate of those soldiers, and even some civilians, sentenced by court-martial for a wide variety of crimes-desertion, spying, sabotage, murder, and rape. Pressed on one side by weeping relatives begging for mercy, and on the other by military leaders demanding severe discipline for an unruly citizen army, Lincoln balanced sternness and compassion. The man many have described as America's greatest president approached his thankless task with a unique blend of humor, compassion, practicality and, as Lowry describes it, "a kind of weary joy."This thought-provoking study is based on 500 court-martial cases that President Lincoln personally reviewed and hundreds of related documents in his own hand-many never before seen. Thomas P. Lowry tells each story and describes each life-or-death decision and the factors that would tip the balance one way or the other. Each man waited for the single stroke of the President's pen. Would it be life or death? Freedom or prison? A dishonorable discharge or a chance at personal redemption?Thomas P. Lowry, M.D., a favorite on the speaking circuit, is the author of several books including The Story the Soldiers Wouldn't Tell and Tarnished Eagles. Tom and his wife (his indefatigable research partner) Beverly live in Northern Virginia, and can usually be found working in their favorite haunt: the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306812187
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 10/4/2002
  • Pages: 328

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