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Collisions of Conflict

Studies in American History and Culture, 1820-1920

Series:

Jerzy Sobieraj

This book explores and analyzes the problems and challenges that have resulted from the Civil War, Reconstruction, slavery, and segregation in North America. These painful chapters in American history have continued along racial and regional lines and are of particular interest today when the USA are for the first time governed by an African American president. The postscriptum extends the main narrative by focusing on selected writers’ activities and fiction during the Civil War and Reconstruction.
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Chapter 3 Lincoln and the Civil War

Extract

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Chapter 3

Lincoln and the Civil War

In March, 1861, Robert E. Lee was promoted by Abraham Lincoln to colonel to take command of the First Regiment of the U. S. Cavalry. A few days later, he received a message from L. P. Walker, the Confederate Secretary of War, which contained the offer to command the Confederate army. Lee did not even reply.

On April 6, 1861, in a draft signed by the Secretary of War, Lincoln gave R. S. Chew, his messenger, instructions concerning the reaction to the situation in Fort Sumter, one of the two forts in the South that was still controlled by the federal government:

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