Lincolns Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America By Allen C. Guelzo

More than 20 books into my current binge on all things Lincoln, it’s always refreshing to spend some time with a thoughtful book by a true Lincoln scholar, to counteract some of the hooey written by Lincoln dilettantes who think they have something important to say but clearly don’t know their material well.

Guelzo knows his material. And he’s a great, precise writer - there are few wasted words here, as he packs a lot of information and insight into this relatively short book. If you’ve ever seen him speak or be interviewed on TV (he always pops up in various documentaries about Lincoln), he has a very cultivated, literate, almost theatrical flair about him, and I could almost hear him reading his own words aloud as I read this book.

If the introduction by itself was a standalone essay, it would display a more informed perspective on the Emancipation Proclamation than some entire books do. In it, Guelzo counters both the critics and the apologists of Lincoln and his proclamation - the critics for claiming that the Proclamation was toothless and meaningless propaganda that Lincoln didn't actually fully support, and the apologists for claiming Lincoln had to come around to the idea of emancipation, or was waiting for public opinion to catch up before going ahead with it. Guelzo adopts the counterargument that Lincoln always aimed to end slavery, and the Proclamation was the most effective tool he ultimately settled on to do it, after other ideas like compensated emancipation and colonization failed to work.

Guelzo illustrates this by astutely placing on the timeline the famous carriage ride, in which Lincoln first revealed his thoughts on issuing a general emancipation, to Cabinet members Edwin Stanton and Gideon Welles. It was three days after Lincoln returned from a visit to the front lines, where Gen. McClellan insubordinately urged a change in political strategy and renounced the idea of emancipation, and one day after Lincoln made a final, unsuccessful appeal to the border states to accept his compensated emancipation proposal. At that point, an Emancipation Proclamation, Guelzo writes, was Lincoln’s one 'last card' to play.

Sure, it didn’t immediately free all the slaves, it didn’t free any of the slaves in the border states, and it didn’t end the institution of slavery altogether. It was “an emergency measure, a substitute for the permanent plan that would really rid the country of slavery, Guelzo writes, but a sincere and profound substitute. The Proclamation “closed and locked the door on any possibility that slavery could be tiptoed around, or that the war could be fought as though slavery had nothing to do with it.

Well before we get to the Proclamation, though, Guelzo puts an appropriate focus on Congress, where Lincoln’s fellow Republicans got to work very early in the war on restricting slavery, countering the notion that the war was exclusively about restoring the Union and only after the Proclamation did it become about eradicating slavery. Various ideas were tossed around - treating slaves as contraband, confiscating them, declaring them free under martial law. Lincoln preferred a more permanent solution via gradual, compensated emancipation, persuading individual states to outlaw slavery themselves.

The long-term idea was to make the border states into free states, containing slavery to the Confederacy, weakening it by depriving it of the hope that the border states could be lured to its side, and ultimately offering the same deal to Southern states upon their eventual return to the Union. It seemed like a workable idea. But the border states wouldn’t go for it, so the Emancipation Proclamation it was.

Guelzo provides a very good analysis of Lincoln’s public letter to Horace Greeley, in which he wrote If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it... Guelzo reads it not as Lincoln saying he’d happily see slavery continue if it meant saving the Union, but as Lincoln laying out all the available options for saving the Union, while subtly hinting at what his preferred option was - if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that - the very option he chose when he issued the Preliminary Proclamation weeks later.

While rejecting the notion that the Proclamation represented some kind of sudden epiphany on Lincoln’s part, Guelzo does acknowledge some of the criticism of Lincoln, particularly when it comes to his support for the idea of colonizing freed slaves outside the country. This “has done more than almost anything else to erode his reputation as 'the colored man's president', he writes. Lincoln did always advocate for voluntary, never compulsory, colonization - partly as a sop to wavering whites who didn’t want freed slaves living among them, and partly out of a genuine fear that the races could never peacefully coexist. But it is telling that once the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, Lincoln never seriously advocated for colonization again.

The book ends with a historiography of how the Proclamation has been remembered, commemorated and criticized over the years. Guelzo acknowledges that Lincoln was perhaps more opposed to slavery itself then he was concerned about the welfare of the actual slaves. “When he spoke against slavery, he was speaking against the institution, and not necessarily for its black victims,” Guelzo writes. And the ensuing failures of Reconstruction and the resulting Jim Crow era negated many of the Proclamation’s promises. So it would be special pleading to claim that Lincoln was in the end the most perfect friend black Americans have ever had,” Guelzo notes. “But it would also be the cheapest and most ignorant of skepticisms to deny that he was the most significant.

Hagiographies of Lincoln are easy enough to write, and ignorant takedowns seem to be as well. But with this book, Guelzo provides a much more balanced approach, one that ultimately tips in Lincoln’s favor. We can criticize him for what he didn’t do, but it’s what he did do that makes Lincoln worth the serious study that a serious historian like Guelzo provides here. Allen C. Guelzo “If all that Lincoln said and was should fail to carry his name and character to future ages, the emancipation of four million human beings by his single official act is a passport to all of immortality that earth can give. There is no other individual act performed by any person on this continent that can be compared with it. The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, were each the work of bodies of men. The Proclamation of Emancipation in this respect stands alone. The responsibility was wholly upon Lincoln; the glory is chiefly his. No one can now say whether the Declaration of Independence, or the Constitution of the United States, or the Proclamation of Emancipation was the highest, best gift to the country and to mankind.”
- George S. Boutwell, American abolitionist and politician (1888)

“[B]y virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free…”
- Abraham Lincoln, Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863

Surely the Emancipation Proclamation is among the most misunderstood and unappreciated of the world’s great documents. At the stroke of a pen, Lincoln turned a fundamentally conservative war, meant to restore the status quo ante, into a revolution that would forever change America. Yet it has seldom been given the respect it deserves. Marx derided it as an example of the “ordinary summonses sent by one lawyer to another.” The historian Richard Hofstadter (he of the “paranoid style of American politics”) sneered at the Proclamation as having the “moral grandeur of a bill of lading.” In his magisterial recounting of the Civil War, Shelby Foote dismisses the Proclamation as empty politics, a gesture of impotence that attempted to free people where the Federal Government currently had no authority.

In Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, historian Allen C. Guelzo attempts to restore Lincoln’s wartime order to its proper place as a world-historical moment. He does so by examining the context in which the Proclamation was delivered; the motives behind its creation; and the actual effects it had on slaves and slavery. Guelzo dives into Lincoln’s legal authority to issue such a proclamation, which also serves to explain the unadorned and legalistic style that Lincoln employed. (Marx was correct that that the Proclamation echoed an ordinary legal summons; it was, in point of fact, a legal document, one that would eventually have been scrutinized by a federal court, if not for the Thirteenth Amendment).

By the end, Guelzo makes a convincing case that detractors such as Hofstadter and Foote were solely mistaken in what Lincoln did and accomplished in less than half the words it took to review this book: seven-hundred-and-nineteen to be precise.


The title of Guelzo’s book is a bit of a misnomer. Certainly, the Emancipation Proclamation is the central feature around which everything is organized. But this is not a monograph. Instead, Guelzo uses the Proclamation as a vehicle to explore Lincoln’s views on slavery. He disagrees that Lincoln was, in the words of Greeley, “a growing man,” a man in progress towards racial enlightenment. Rather, Guelzo argues that Lincoln knew from the outset that “his administration was the beginning of the end of slavery and that he would not leave office without some form of legislative emancipation policy in place.”

When we discuss the Civil War, we often confuse the cause of the war with the motivations of those who fought it. Slavery caused the Civil War. The South seceded from the Union because of the fear that Lincoln would (as he promised) stop the spread of slavery to the western territories. This was a huge issue, one that the U.S. had been grappling with since its inception, and one that had taken on new urgency in the years leading up to 1861 (the Kansas-Nebraska Act, “Bleeding Kansas”, and Dred Scott, among other things, set the momentum towards conflict). The South believed that if slavery could not spread, it would eventually die, no small matter since slaves represented billions of dollars in assets. The simple mathematics of representation (each new free state created two new senators and a handful of representatives) doomed them to being surrounded by political enemies.

Though slavery caused the war, Lincoln did not initially prosecute it in order to end slavery. This is what we are told, at least. Instead, his stated reason was to preserve the Union. For Lincoln, the preservation of the Union was tantamount to the preservation of democracy, not just here, but everywhere. This “save-the-Union” mindset is most famously captured in Lincoln’s August 1862 letter to Horace Greeley, in response to Greeley’s The Prayer of Twenty Millions. In this letter, Lincoln announced that if he could restore the United States without freeing a single slave, he would do just that. This letter tends to embody the conventional wisdom of Lincoln as a man who only gradually came to the light of freedom.


Of course, by the time Lincoln contacted Greeley, he had already written the Emancipation Proclamation. He even gives a hint of that in the letter, writing “if I could save [the Union] by freeing some [slaves] and leaving others alone I would also do that.” That is exactly what the Emancipation Proclamation did, freeing the slaves in those states that were in open rebellion, and where federal courts were no longer in operation. Thus, Lincoln clearly had more than saving democracy on his mind.

At the very least, most people understood that once a war began over slavery, the end of slavery was a possible – if not probable – result of a Union victory. Just look at General George B. McClellan, the ill-starred commander of the Army of the Potomac until November 1862. When you study McClellan, a pro-slavery War Democrat, you find a man incredibly preoccupied with maintaining the South’s “domestic institutions” and property. One of his hobbies was writing Lincoln manifestos in which he opined on this very issue. It sometimes seemed more a concern of his than actually achieving victory.

Guelzo traces Lincoln’s thinking and actions on this matter in some detail. He spends, for instance, a lot of time investigating Lincoln’s efforts to convince the Border States to go along with a plan for compensated emancipation. Frankly, I had not read much about this, and it was really eye opening. One of the favorite criticisms of Lincoln-loathers is that he continually exceeded his Constitutional authority. Nevertheless, Lincoln personally felt himself constrained by the Constitution, and tried his best to operate within its parameters. Compensated emancipation was one of his work-arounds, a bottom-up scheme to end slavery at the state legislative level. Also discussed is Lincoln's dalliance with colonization.

As Guelzo admits, Lincoln did not satisfy members of his own party. But he shows Lincoln charting his own path to that same destination, linking the end of war with the destruction of slavery. Indeed, in presenting his concept of remunerative emancipation to Congress on December 1, 1862, Lincoln famously wrote: “In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free – honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of Earth.”


Obviously, the heart of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation is the titular document itself. Guelzo covers it from all the angles, from the legal basis (the War Power clause) upon which it was issued, to Lincoln’s stylistic choices (Guelzo compares the various drafts, and includes them as an appendix).

One of the more interesting topics is the political blowback to the Proclamation’s issuance. As Guelzo shows, the Proclamation proved very unpopular, at least among the people with the loudest voices. It angered Democrats by going too far, and angered Republicans by not going far enough. It led to electoral losses and no small amount of dissent, including within the turbulent high command of the Army of the Potomac. This will likely hearten those who love to point out that the North could be as racist as the South (except for not owning black people as chattel); at the same time, it makes it a lot harder to claim that Lincoln’s decision lacked a profound moral component.


Allen Guelzo is one of my favorite Civil War historians. His book on the battle of Gettysburg (Gettysburg: The Last Invasion) is one of the best I’ve read, not just on Gettysburg, but on history in general. He has a remarkable ability to shift seamlessly between disciplines. His work here encompasses not only military and political history, but social history as well. To that end, he concludes with an overview of Lincoln’s evolving place in our memory, and specifically, of Lincoln’s standing in the black community. It is fascinating to see the dizzying heights and nauseating lows experienced by the reputation of the greatest President in United States history.

On April 14, 1876, eleven years to the day after Lincoln was fatally shot, Frederick Douglass gave a speech at the unveiling of the Freedman’s Memorial in Washington, D.C. The oration is captivating in its bluntness, its complexity, and its nuance. Lincoln “was preeminently the white man’s president,” Douglass said, “entirely devoted to the welfare of white men.” Compared to true abolitionists, Lincoln was “tardy, cold, dull, and indifferent.” Yet, Douglass continued, if you measured Lincoln against “the sentiment of his country…he was swift, zealous, radical, and determined.” He was also, Douglass acknowledged, the necessary man to nudge forward the wheel of history:

“But now behold the change: the judgment of the present hour is, that taking him for all in all, measuring the tremendous magnitude of the work before him, considering the necessary means to ends, and surveying the end from the beginning, infinite wisdom has seldom sent any man into the world better fitted for his mission than Abraham Lincoln.” Allen C. Guelzo The Great Event Of The Nineteenth Century

Abraham Lincoln issued the final version of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Near the end of that year, the artist Francis Carpenter determined to paint a historical picture of the first reading of the Proclamation of Emancipation. Carpenter spent six months in the White House beginning in February, 1864, created a historically important painting of the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation to the cabinet, got to know Lincoln, and wrote a book detailing his experiences. Carpenter wrote that Lincoln told him regarding the Emancipation Proclamation: It is the central act of my administration, and the great event of the nineteenth century.

Professor Allen Guelzo tells the story of the Carpenter painting (p. 220-21), includes a photograph of the painting in the book, discusses Lincoln's statement to Carpenter (p. 186) and includes much more in his detailed study, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America (2004). This book is a worthy successor to Professor Guelzo's recent study of Lincoln's religious and political beliefs in Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President.

Professor Guelzo takes issue with a historical interpretation of the Emancipation Proclamation beginning with Richard Hofstadter (1948) that argues that Lincoln had little concern with the status of black Americans and issued the Emancipation Proclamation only from reasons of prudence to protect the interests of white workers. Guelzo also approaches the Emancipation Proclamation to address recent arguments by African-American scholars skeptical of Lincoln's role and pessimistic about the future of race relations in the United States.

Professor Guelzo agrees that Lincoln approached the question of Emancipation cautiously. He offers several reasons for this caution. One major reason was Lincoln's fear of the reaction of the Federal courts to an attempt by the Executive to emancipate the slaves. Lincoln had good grounds for this concern as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Roger Taney, was the author of the notorious Dred Scott decision. Lincoln also had to act with the concerns of the border states in mind as these states were critical to the Union war effort; and he had to contend with generals and a substantial portion of the population of the North that would oppose any attempt to turn the Civil War from a war to preserve the Union to a war to free the slaves. To circumvent these obstacles, Lincoln proposed a system of compensated emancipation and asked the border states to adopt such a plan with Federal financial assistance. He also wanted to explore voluntary colonization efforts under which the freed slaves would be colonized in central America or in a location in the Western United States.

Professor Guelzo describes how the border states resisted any notion of compensated emancipation. He also describes Federal legislative efforts, and efforts of some Union commanders, to protect former slaves making their way to the Union lines. These slaves were described by the term contraband and Congress enacted two limited statutes, called Confiscation Acts providing freedom for the contrabands.

In 1862, Lincoln told Secretary of State Seward and, ultimately, the rest of the cabinet, that he had determined to free the slaves in the rebellious states. Although not a believer in any traditional sense, Lincoln stated that this course was forced upon him by God and Providence. He issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in September 22, 1862 and the final Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.

Professor Guelzo describes the origins of the Proclamation, and the effect of its issuance on the Union, the Confederacy, the free blacks, and the slaves. He also describes the impact of the Proclamation on the foreign affairs of the United States and on the conduct of the War -- as is well known, following the Proclamation the Civil War changed in character to total warfare. He describes the precarious legal basis for the Emancipation Proclamation and points to Lincoln's courage and determination in the face of doubt. Although some scholars have argued that the Proclamation had, in fact, no legal effect and freed no slaves, Professor Guelzo argues persuasively that it was and remains the pivotal event of the Civil War and the single most important factor in the destruction of slavery.

Following Lincoln's assassination, the Freedmen from the Southern states contributed funds for the construction of a statue of Lincoln emancipating a slave. The statue stands in Lincoln Park in Washington, D.C. It was dedicated in 1872, with remarks by Frederick Douglass. (I was moved to visit Lincoln Park to see the statue after hearing Professor Guelzo speak last year at a conference in Washington.) Douglass described Lincoln as a white man who shared the prejudices common to his countrymen towards the colored race. (p. 249) Yet he recognized that, in issuing the Proclamation Lincoln was swift, zealous, radical, and determined. (p. 250) In Professor Guelzo's words, the Emancipation Proclamation was an act of spectacular political daring (p.249)

This is a thorough, well-balanced, yet inspiring study, of what indeed has fair title to be the Great Event of the Nineteenth Century. The book will help the reader understand where our country has been in securing racial justice and in bringing to pass and expanding upon the American dream.

Robin Friedman Allen C. Guelzo A thorough and balanced book on the Emancipation Proclamation and Lincoln’s cautious approach to the issue of slavery. Guelzo thoroughly describes all of Lincoln’s reservations and concerns on the issue: his uncertainty about the reaction of federal courts, the necessity of keeping the border states in the Union, and the divided opinion of the Northern public regarding the issues of emancipation and the place of blacks in society. To circumvent these considerable obstacles, Lincoln proposed a system of compensated emancipation for the border states and explored the possibility of re-colonizing freed blacks to Central America or the western US.

As Guelzo reveals, Lincoln was reluctant to deal with slavery through anything resembling executive action, recognizing that this would meet strong opposition in the courts. Although emancipation initiatives such as the Confiscation acts, Benjamin Butler’s “contraband theory, and the proclamations of Generals John Frémont and David Hunter originated without Lincoln’s involvement and theoretically could have been used by Lincoln as more politically expedient methods, Lincoln ignored or reversed all of these developments--not because he was opposed to their aim, but because he was convinced that they would never hold up in federal court, especially with such pro-slavery jurists as Roger Taney at the helm. And although Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation wasn’t all that different from these initiatives, Lincoln at that point decided that he could no longer wait for state legislatures to catch up.

Guelzo thoroughly describes the resistance of the border states and how US military commanders dealt with the issue of slaves escaping to their lines--some allowed the refugees to remain protected within their lines while others excluded them from camp. Eventually, the War Department made it a criminal offense for Union soldiers to assist the rebels in recovering their slaves. Some Union soldiers did whatever they could to aid these refugees, while others took them on as servants or abused them verbally, physically, and sexually. Guelzo also describes the “confiscation acts” that authorized Union commanders to shelter slaves within their lines and forbade them assisting in their return to their masters.

Guelzo explores what effect the proclamation had on the union, the Confederacy, free blacks, slaves, the international community, and the conduct of the war. Critics have long repeated the myth that the Proclamation did not free a single slave because it applied only to areas the Union did not control and exempted areas occupied by Union forces. But those areas had to be excluded in order to sustain the argument that military necessity demanded emancipation: there couldn’t be a “military necessity” in areas controlled by the Union; besides, the Proclamation actually did include some Union-controlled areas as well. Guelzo explores all of the legal issues involved, and argues that the Proclamation was ultimately, the single most important factor in slavery’s destruction.

Although Guelzo’s writing occasionally contains such oddities as “Fresh whispers of slave insurrections rose like the smell of decay in the mangrove swamps,” this is, in all, a well-written and interesting study of this important and too often misunderstood event. Allen C. Guelzo This is perhaps the best book I have ever read about the Civil War era. Sandburg's books on Lincoln were excellent, and Shelby Foote's books on the Civil War were great for their breadth and military content. However, this book by Allen Guelzo provides a detailed discussion of the end of slavery and arguments about its constitutionality, moral aspects, legal aspects, and how Lincoln responded to all of the criticisms from all of these viewpoints. It also provides more insights into Lincoln's personality than most books, and shows some very vivid reactions of enslaved people to the Emancipation Proclamation. Great book! Allen C. Guelzo

One of the nation's foremost Lincoln scholars offers an authoritative consideration of the document that represents the most far-reaching accomplishment of our greatest president.

No single official paper in American history changed the lives of as many Americans as Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. But no American document has been held up to greater suspicion. Its bland and lawyerlike language is unfavorably compared to the soaring eloquence of the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural; its effectiveness in freeing the slaves has been dismissed as a legal illusion. And for some African-Americans the Proclamation raises doubts about Lincoln himself.

Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation dispels the myths and mistakes surrounding the Emancipation Proclamation and skillfully reconstructs how America's greatest president wrote the greatest American proclamation of freedom.

Lincolns Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America

This book deserves all of its accolades and more. It is clear, concise, and provocative. It explains the road Lincoln took to issuing the Proclamation, the difficulties he encountered along the way, the reasons for the style he chose to use, and its ultimate success. Those who choose to believe that the Emancipation Proclamation did not free anyone do not understand it or the law; those who choose to cast Lincoln as a lukewarm abolitionist who dragged his feet and failed to free all the enslaved people at once, do not understand the Constitution as he did and the constraints it put on him in this regard. Lincoln was very careful to stay within the bounds of Constitutional acceptance so as not to give the courts a reason to overturn it. He was also working within the constraints of being the elected head of a country of racists. It has been a while since I have given any book five stars but this book truly deserves it. I urge anyone with an interest in CW or the history of this country to read it. Allen C. Guelzo the writer’s personal insights & asides make it far better than the dry read you might expect. Allen C. Guelzo The beginning and end of this book is very good and contains some strong analysis. Other chapters, however, were much too detailed. In short, it is worth reading if you are interested in the politics of the American Civil War. Allen C. Guelzo This book was a very good read and its a good read for anyone interested in Lincoln and the politics in play during the civil war. Very eye opening for me. Allen C. Guelzo Wading into the argument of Lincoln's Emancipation proclamation, noted Lincoln scholar Allen Guelzo [1] seeks to place this most notable and prosaic of Lincoln's pronouncements into a sound historical context and manages to do so.  In the process, he reveals the tension between Lincoln's words and deeds, and the way that slavery was ended in the United States [2] and the long-term consequences and repercussions of the choices that Lincoln made and refused to make.  Throughout the book, the author shows Lincoln to have been motivated by a strong sense of prudence and pragmatism of an enlightened kind that was deeply concerned not with appealing to grand heroic gestures and soaring prose, but to making meaningful and lasting change, ultimately to end slavery in the United States in a way that would do the most good as possible and the least harm to society as for.  To our age prudential morality and prudence in general is not viewed in a particularly noble light, but Lincoln's prudence was well-founded and the author validates the approach of the Emancipation Proclamation through the perspective of history.

As is frequently the case, this particular book is written in chronological order and takes about 250 pages to cover five reasonably long chapters and a short post-script.  After a lengthy and eloquent acknowledgements section and an introduction that questions the harsh criticism the language of the Emancipation Proclamation has endured over the course of the 20th century and places Lincoln firmly in the place of a rational Enlightenment political philosopher, the author digs deeply into both the text and context of the Emancipation Proclamation.  First showing the four possible routes to freedom for enslaved blacks, the author makes a strong defense of Lincoln's approach given his fears of military coups and his well-placed mistrust in the courts.  Later chapters show the delicate process by which Lincoln prepared the nation for the Emancipation Proclamation and showed himself to be an instrument in God's hands, if an often misunderstood one.  The author then notes the importance of the Emancipation Proclamation in serving as an encouragement to slave states to engage in gradual and compensated emancipation, which was not a very popular proposition and notes the increasing despair in which many blacks feel about the United States and their resulting negativity towards Lincoln himself.

This book has a lot to say about the Emancipation Proclamation and is an essential book for those wishing to know the document and its importance better.  The author makes a convincing case that Lincoln sacrificed his usual gift for eloquence in order to attempt to make a declaration that would be as immune as possible to legal challenges while the Civil War was ongoing.  His mistrust of the legislative solution to slavery in light of probable court challenges was shown to be reasonable in light of the dismal record of the Reconstruction and Guilded Age Supreme Court in defending the rights of freedmen.  Without seeking to pander to contemporary progressives, a common fault among people who write about Lincoln and his behavior towards slavery, the author gives a sound historical argument that demonstrates Lincoln's political savvy as well as his unusual but distinctive view on justice and the way it can best be approximated in this fallen world.  For those who want to understand how a prosaic and seemingly mundane piece of writing that dramatically and decisively increased the scope of Union war aims and brought blacks en masse into the United States military and made their civil rights a matter of national honor and moral debt, this book is an excellent volume.

[1] See, for example:

[2] See, for example: Allen C. Guelzo

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