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A Connecticut Yankee in Lincoln’s Cabinet
Navy Secretary Gideon Welles Chronicles the Civil War
Gideon Welles; J. Ronald Spencer, ed.




Acorn
2014 • 200 pp. 5 illus. 6 x 9"
History / American History - 19th Century

$24.95 Paperback, 978-0-615-96103-3
$19.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7498-5

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.



“With a keen editorial eye and a deep knowledge of the Civil War, J. Ronald Spencer has selected key passages from Gideon Welles’s extraordinary diary... [continued in Reviews below]”—Louis P. Masur, author of Lincoln’s Hundred Days: The Emancipation Proclamation and the War for the Union, winner of the Abraham Lincoln Institute Prize for 2012,

The Civil War through the eyes of a key member of Lincoln’s cabinet

Gideon Welles, the Connecticut journalist-politician who served as Lincoln’s secretary of the navy, was not only an architect of Union victory but also a shrewd observer of people, issues, and events. Fortunately for posterity, he recorded many of his observations in his extensive diary. A Connecticut Yankee in Lincoln’s Cabinet brings together 250 of the most important and interesting excerpts from the diary, dealing with topics as varied as the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Marine Band’s concerts in Washington’s Lafayette Square, Lincoln’s sense of humor, rivalries among cabinet members, Welles’s often caustic opinions of prominent politicians and military leaders, demands for creation of a navy yard in his home state, the challenge of blockading 3,500 miles of Confederate coastline, the struggle against rebel commerce raiders, the battles of Antietam and Gettysburg, the Fort Pillow massacre of African American troops, and Lincoln’s assassination. Together, the excerpts provide a candid insider’s view of the Civil War as it unfolded, and an introduction provides the reader with context. Published by the Acorn Club.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“With a keen editorial eye and a deep knowledge of the Civil War, J. Ronald Spencer has selected key passages from Gideon Welles’s extraordinary diary and organized them topically. The result allows readers to eavesdrop on the central dramas of the day as the Secretary of the Navy confided his feelings about Lincoln, the cabinet, various admirals and generals, the meaning of the war, and issues in his home state of Connecticut. This edition of Welles’s diary should be required reading for all students of military and political history.”—Louis P. Masur, author of Lincoln’s Hundred Days: The Emancipation Proclamation and the War for the Union, winner of the Abraham Lincoln Institute Prize for 2012

“J. Ronald Spencer has judiciously selected the most historically significant passages from Welles’s invaluable diary, handily arranged them by subject, provided a thoughtful introduction, and thus created a compact, user-friendly edition which will be welcomed by everyone interested in Lincoln and the Civil War.”—Michael Burlingame, author of Abraham Lincoln: A Life

“Ronald Spencer has offered readers a remarkable gift with his masterful summary of Gideon Welles’s striking importance to Connecticut and the nation. The brief introductions to each of the diary entries provide clarity and power to Welles’s own words.”—Matthew Warshauer, author of Connecticut in the American Civil War: Slavery, Sacrifice, & Survival

“Welles, with his journalistic background, gives the reader a ‘you are there’ account with great attention to detail.”—Peter Marteka, The Hartford Courant

“This partial reprinting of Gideon Welles’s diary ‘has an immediacy rarely found in memoirs, since it records the rush of events as they happened.’”Maine Antique Digest

“Spencer took 250 excerpts from the wartime portion of the U.S. Secretary of Navy Gideon Welles’s diary, adding commentary and footnotes that give the reader a wonderful glimpse into the Lincoln administration. … Historian Robert Tracy McKenzie recently observed that 70,000 books about the Civil War have been published since the surrender at Appomattox Court House in April 1965. … This work certainly adds insights to that substantial library.”—Steven Park, Connecticut History Review



J. RONALD SPENCER is associate academic dean and lecturer emeritus in history at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.



Wed, 2 Aug 2017 09:16:24 -0500