Monday Nov 28, 2022

056 - Abraham Lincoln: Commander-In-Chief


About this episode: 

It was a Thursday, March 10, 1864, when the brand-spanking new General-in-Chief of all US forces arrived at Brandy Station, Virginia where Major General George Gordon Meade made his headquarters. Fully aware the most pressing military matter was for the Army of the Potomac to forcefully campaign, Lieutenant General U. S. Grant arrived from Washington City to do what he believed he had to do - find a new man to lead the that eastern army. The Pennsylvanian, Meade, expected as much and opened their conversation by offering to uncomplainingly step down and serve in a subordinate role if Grant desired one of his own - perhaps a westerner like Sherman.  Instead, Meade’s candor impressed Grant and, whatever the Lieutenant General originally thought about the Army of the Potomac’s commander, the two hit it off.  They sensed they could work together.  Up in Washington City, the 16th President of the United States felt certain that, after three years of trial and bloody error, he finally had found his general.  This is the story of his learning curve and role as the nation’s top military official.  This is the story of Abraham Lincoln as Commander-in-Chief. 


Some Characters Mentioned In This Episode:

Elmer Ellsworth

Irvin McDowell

Henry Halleck

Simon Cameron

Joseph Hooker

Elihu B. Washburne


For Further Reading:


Lincoln's War: The Untold Story of America's Greatest President as Commander in Chief by Geoffrey Perrett


Get The Guide:

Want to learn more about the Civil War? A great place to start is Fred's guide, The Civil War: A History of the War between the States from Workman Publishing. The guide is in its 9th printing.


Producer: Dan Irving


Thank you to our sponsor Bob Graesser, Raleigh Civil War Round Table's editor of The Knapsack newsletter and the Round Table's webmaster at


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