The Presidents' War: Six American Presidents and the Civil War That Divided Them

The Presidents' War: Six American Presidents and the Civil War That Divided Them

by Chris DeRose
The Presidents' War: Six American Presidents and the Civil War That Divided Them

The Presidents' War: Six American Presidents and the Civil War That Divided Them

by Chris DeRose


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For the first time, readers will experience America's gravest crisis through the eyes of the five former presidents who lived it. Author and historian Chris DeRose chronicles history's most epic Presidential Royal Rumble, which culminated in a multi-front effort against Lincoln's reelection bid, but not before: * John Tyler engaged in shuttle diplomacy between President Buchanan and the new Confederate Government. He chaired the Peace Convention of 1861, the last great hope for a political resolution to the crisis. When it failed, Tyler joined the Virginia Secession Convention, voted to leave the Union, and won election to the Confederate Congress. * Van Buren, who had schemed to deny Lincoln the presidency, supported him in his efforts after Fort Sumter, and thwarted Franklin Pierce's attempt at a meeting of the ex-Presidents to undermine Lincoln. * Millard Fillmore hosted Lincoln and Mary Todd on their way to Washington, initially supported the war effort, offered critical advice to keep Britain at bay, but turned on Lincoln over emancipation. * Franklin Pierce, talked about as a Democratic candidate in 1860 and '64, was openly hostile to Lincoln and supportive of the South, an outspoken critic of Lincoln especially on civil liberties. After Vicksburg, when Jefferson Davis's home was raided, a secret correspondence between Pierce and the Confederate President was revealed. * James Buchanan, who had left office as seven states had broken away from the Union, engaged in a frantic attempt to vindicate his administration, in part by tying himself to Lincoln and supporting the war, arguing that his successor had simply followed his policies. How Abraham Lincoln battled against his predecessors to preserve the Union and later to put an end to slavery is a thrilling tale of war waged at the top level of power.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493009541
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 10/01/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 392
Sales rank: 982,379
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Chris DeRose is the author of the highly acclaimed Congressman Lincoln: The Making of America's Greatest President and Founding Rivals: Madison vs. Monroe, the Bill of Rights, and the Election that Saved a Nation. DeRose is an assistant professor of law at Arizona Summit Law School and political strategist who for the past seventeen years has served in nearly every capacity on campaigns up and down the ballot in five different states. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Visit him at or @chrisderose on Twitter.

Table of Contents

Prologue: In Jackson's Time ix

Chapter 1 I Met Nullification at Its Threshold 1

Chapter 2 The Freshmen 12

Chapter 3 The Setting Sun 19

Chapter 4 …And Tyler, Too 22

Chapter 5 War in Mexico! 33

Chapter 6 The 30th Congress 43

Chapter 7 A Final Settlement 51

Chapter 8 A Hell of a Storm 61

Chapter 9 The Final Election of the Old America 76

Chapter 10 General Jackson Is Dead! 83

Chapter 11 The First and Only Choice of the Republicans of Illinois… 90

Chapter 12 A Startling Tide of Reckless Fanaticism 97

Chapter 13 Five against Lincoln 104

Chapter 14 The Gathering Storm 116

Chapter 15 The Tug Has to Come 126

Chapter 16 The Last Winter of Peace 137

Chapter 17 That All Will Yet Be Well 142

Chapter 18 Home Again 153

Chapter 19 Breakfast at Fort Sumter 161

Chapter 20 The Meeting That Never Was 172

Chapter 21 The Border States 181

Chapter 22 Twilight at Wheatland, Dawn at Manassas 188

Chapter 23 To Lose Kentucky Is Nearly the Same as to Lose the Whole Game 197

Chapter 24 Capture on the High Seas 203

Chapter 25 The Bottom Is Out of the Tub 209

Chapter 26 Greenbacks and Ironclads 217

Chapter 27 Any Explanations Which You May Offer Would Be Acceptable 221

Chapter 28 West and East 225

Chapter 29 The Very Vortex of Hell 232

Chapter 30 Destroy the Rebel Army If Possible 239

Chapter 31 A Continuation of War by Other Means 245

Chapter 32 A Storm of Lead 250

Chapter 33 If My Name Ever Goes into History, It Will Be for This Act 253

Chapter 34 We Are Ruined 260

Chapter 35 The Brave Men, Living and Dead 264

Chapter 36 The Fourth of July 270

Chapter 37 A New Birth of Freedom 278

Chapter 38 Our Old Home 282

Chapter 39 Those Not Skinning Can Hold a Leg 290

Chapter 40 Not Unworthy to Remain in My Present Position 294

Chapter 41 The Last Full Measure 304

Epilogue: Do Not Despair of the Republic 312

Acknowledgments 317

Sources 319

Bibliography 363

Index 369

About the Author 380

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