Abraham Lincoln Civil War Stories: Heartwarming Stories about Our Most Beloved President
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Abraham Lincoln Civil War Stories: Heartwarming Stories about Our Most Beloved President

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by Joe Wheeler
     
 

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This historic heirloom treasury is filled with heartwarming stories about our nation’s most beloved president—Abraham Lincoln.

More books have been written about Abraham Lincoln than about any other president in United States history. And now, story archeologist Joe Wheeler has gathered—for the first time ever—the most beloved, the

Overview

This historic heirloom treasury is filled with heartwarming stories about our nation’s most beloved president—Abraham Lincoln.

More books have been written about Abraham Lincoln than about any other president in United States history. And now, story archeologist Joe Wheeler has gathered—for the first time ever—the most beloved, the most deeply moving stories about Lincoln ever written. In this treasure you will dis­cover who Lincoln really was through stories that bring to life the powerful principles upon which America was founded.

This rare and beautiful heirloom collection reveals the servant heart of Presi­dent Lincoln, his dedication to the people who served him, and his homespun humor and wisdom. These are the stories that build character and inspire convic­tion in those who read and hear them. Gathered for the very purpose of being passed from generation to generation, these delightful stories will become favor­ites of adults and children alike—as parents and grandparents read them again and again to their children and grandchildren.

Collected over a lifetime from old magazines and publications—most pub­lished between the 1880s and the 1950s—these stories tell of the personal life of Lincoln, his tumultuous years during the Civil War, and the impact he had on the people who met him.

Editorial Reviews

Jim Daly
"My friend Joe Wheeler’s new collection of stories is sure to appeal to anyone who wonders what it would have been like to encounter Abraham Lincoln in person. These compelling accounts, painstakingly gathered over many years, offer a unique perspective on Lincoln’s humble spirit in the midst of the chaotic surroundings of the Civil War."
Thomas Schwartz
"Thomas Lincoln was a master storyteller, a skill he taught his son. Those who knew Lincoln vividly remembered the stories he told. Joe Wheeler sifts through the many stories about America's favorite president to provide a portrait of the man through the medium he loved—stories."
From the Publisher
"My friend Joe Wheeler’s new collection of stories is sure to appeal to anyone who wonders what it would have been like to encounter Abraham Lincoln in person. These compelling accounts, painstakingly gathered over many years, offer a unique perspective on Lincoln’s humble spirit in the midst of the chaotic surroundings of the Civil War."

"Thomas Lincoln was a master storyteller, a skill he taught his son. Those who knew Lincoln vividly remembered the stories he told. Joe Wheeler sifts through the many stories about America's favorite president to provide a portrait of the man through the medium he loved—stories."

Kirkus Reviews
More stories may have been told about Abraham Lincoln than any other U.S. president; here's a representative, somewhat haphazardly chosen batch, showing the popular image of Lincoln as it developed over the years. Wheeler (Christmas In My Heart series) brings together a variety of pieces, mostly from largely forgotten magazines of the late-19th and early-20th centuries. The implicit goal of those stories was to present Lincoln as a model for young people, much as the George Washington "cherry tree" story did. Typical are several stories of the president learning of a farm boy in the Union Army sentenced to death for sleeping on duty, often substituting for a wounded comrade. Lincoln, full of compassion for the common people, pardoned the offender, who went on to perform heroically later in the war. It's a touching tale, undoubtedly a true reflection of Lincoln's character, and odds are it actually happened a few times. The story also tells us something of how the generations immediately after the war thought of Lincoln--as a wise father figure who never lost the common touch or the ability to laugh at himself. But one good tale of a sleeping sentinel should have sufficed. Other stories make similar points--e.g., Lincoln giving a girl a gold piece for her church's missionary fund, a young Lincoln driving a coach across rough country while rich lawyers rode in comfort. A few, such as William Agnew Paton's story of himself as a schoolboy interviewing the president, appear to be factual. Others focus on Lincoln's family, especially his young son. But Wheeler doesn't appear to have tried to separate true accounts from fiction, and the stories aren't, on the whole, particularly well-written. The best entries here are probably the ones written closest to Lincoln's own time, such as Whitman's "O Captain! My Captain!" Lincoln completists will want it, but the content and concepts are covered better elsewhere.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781476702865
Publisher:
Howard Books
Publication date:
06/11/2013
Pages:
357
Sales rank:
366,014
Product dimensions:
6.42(w) x 9.12(h) x 1.14(d)

Read an Excerpt

Abraham Lincoln Civil War Stories


  • JOSEPH LEININGER WHEELER

    Yes, it has taken that long for this collection of stories about Lincoln to become a reality. One hundred of it being our family contributions. My late mother, Barbara Leininger Wheeler (born in 1912), spent her entire lifetime collecting and performing (as a stage-performing elocutionist) thousands of pages of short stories, poetry, and readings. And she loved Lincoln more than all the rest of our presidents put together. In this, she is anything but unique, for it is still true today, of all age groups, that Lincoln dominates the presidential market. Just look at the rows and rows of books about Lincoln on bookstore shelves.

    Most Americans don’t realize that the same phenomenon remains true for short stories written about Lincoln. Reason being that few people know they even exist! In fact, I did an exhaustive search through generations of high school literature textbooks to see how many Lincoln stories have been picked up by textbook editors. I found only two: one, a chapter from Carl Sandburg’s monumental biography of Lincoln’s life, and the other, Bailey and Walworth’s “He Loved Me Truly.”

    One reason for this is that most Lincoln stories weren’t written by academics but by men and women from America’s heartland, and they were kept alive by oral tradition. At virtually every school, civic, or church function, elocutionists of all ages would recite the most beloved stories, poems, and readings of the age. Sadly, today that tradition is all but extinct.

    Indeed, up until the late 1800s, it was virtually a given that if a public speaker, politician, or minister alluded to any of three works (the Bible, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, or the McGuffey Readers), most everyone, young or old, in the audience would catch the allusion. That is no longer true. Just watch the Jeopardy! programs each evening: There is no longer any cultural denominator that our culture shares. Not even the Bible. In cultural tests I’ve administered to various groups through the years, the only two genres that register at all on people’s radar screens are sports and media trivia.

    First of all, they survived through oral transmission. Virtually all of them are based on true incidents in Lincoln’s life. During the first couple of generations after his passing, these stories thrived in the American heartland, many being passed down from one elocutionist to another. However, not until the 1880s did very many get written down.

    In my own lifetime spent searching (as a story archeologist) for these precious vanishing Lincoln stories (they continue to crumble out of existence with each day that passes), I have found stories 1) still in the oral tradition, 2) handwritten, 3) carbons, 4) typewritten, 5) spirit-duplicated (if you’re older you’ll remember purple fingers and hands), 6) mimeographed (such a gooey mess to work with!), 7) printed, 8) computer-typed, and, of course, 9) clipped out of magazines, newspapers, and books. If you were to paw through my story archives, you’d find them all! Early magazine editors did the most to keep these stories alive. I unearthed the majority of the strongest Lincoln stories in older magazines. And now, with print increasingly on the defensive, surviving copies are increasingly harder to find.

    At the very pinnacle of my personal bucket list is this: Put together a definitive collection of the most memorable Lincoln stories ever written before I die. And this collection is the result. I know of no other person who has ever amassed a comparable collection.

    If you check the acknowledgments, you’ll discover that the bulk of the surviving Lincoln stories were printed during the period I call the Golden Age of Stories (1880s through the 1950s). Ever since television and the digital age thundered in upon us, the magazines that enabled writers to earn a living by specializing in stories that internalized core values have, one after another, been forced to either close their doors or specialize in contemporary social media instead.

    It is my earnest hope that you will discover in these simple but moving stories answers to some of your own deeper questions about life and its meaning. In these stories—far more than in Lincoln history and biography—you will begin to understand why Lincoln continues to grow in stature around the world. And you will find virtually everything in these stories amazingly relevant to today’s day-to-day problems and challenges.

    You may wish to access my recent biography, Abraham Lincoln: A Man of Faith and Courage (New York: Howard/Simon & Schuster, 2008), so that you may better understand life and times during the bloodiest war in our history. Many years of my life went into the evolution of that biography, written not just for the academic or historian but for the average person who seeks to find in but one book the essence of our greatest American.

    So welcome aboard! I would love to hear from you, and especially about your reactions to these stories. You may reach me at:

    Joe L. Wheeler, Ph.D.

    P.O. Box 1246

    Conifer, CO 80433

    www.joewheelerbooks.com

  • Meet the Author

    Joe Wheeler is considered one of America’s leading story anthology creators. His bestselling “Christmas in My Heart” story anthology is the longest running Christmas story series in America. Wheeler earned a master’s in history from Pacific Union College, a master’s in English from Sacramento State University, and a PhD in English from Vanderbilt University. He lives with his wife in Conifer, Colorado.

    Cover illustration: "In the Darkest Hour: Lincoln at Antietam" by Nathan Greene, © 2010. All rights reserved, used by permission. www.NathanGreene.com.

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