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The Spoken Word and Group Activities

Thomas Carson presented the annual lecture of the Lincoln Fellowship of Wisconsin,Abraham Lincoln’s Ethics and Character,” on April 12, 2014 at the Lincoln-Tallman House in Janesville.

Frank J. Williams delivered “Abraham Lincoln and Roger B. Taney: Leadership Lessons From ex parte Merryman” at the opening of Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War at Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI on September 23.  He also spoke at the Johnston, RI Historical Society on September 24 presenting “Gettysburg at 150.”

Sherman House Museum and the Fairfield Heritage Association sponsored a Civil War Symposium, September 27-28, in Lancaster, OH with John Marszalek (“Sherman’s March to the Sea”), Frank J. Williams (“Abraham Lincoln’s Re-election: Almost Derailed”), Mark Grimsley (“Reconstruction”), E. Chris Evans (“An Echo of War: The Reunion of 1913 Gettysburg”), and Frank Bullock (“Milestones Leading Up to War”).

John C. Waugh presented the 31st Annual Frank and Virginia Williams Abraham Lincoln Lecture at Louisiana State University Shreveport, “Lincoln Ends the War,” on October 3.

James M. McPherson spoke about his new book, Embattled Rebel: Jefferson Davis as Commander in Chief, at the New-York Historical Society on October 7.

The Lincoln Club of Topeka, on October 7, featured a showing of sculptor Merrell Gage’s Face of Lincoln.  They also viewed Lincoln’s Secret Killer—a National Geographic film—on November 4.

Frank Williams presented “Keeping the Promise: Abraham Lincoln’s Leadership and the 13th Amendment” to Bryant University freshmen for the University’s required program Global Foundations of Character and Leadership on October 8.

Teacher Ruth Squillace and Shoreham-Wading River High School hosted The Living Lincoln Symposium on October 10 with the SWR Band performing American Salute by Morton Gould; “Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties: Then and Now” by Frank J. Williams; and Joseph R. Fornieri on “Lincoln: The Statesman.”  Lincoln artist Wendy Allen presented “Searching for the Exact Location of America’s Soul: Yesterday, Today and Forever,” and Lincoln interpreter Howard Wright delivered, as President Lincoln, “Liberty for All: Lincoln’s Vision for the Future.”  The conference closed with Ruth Squillace moderating a panel with all of the presenters, “Lincoln: In the Eye of the Beholder.”

The 12th Annual Lincoln Legacy Lectures, Lincoln’s Funeral, was held on October 16 at the University of Illinois Springfield with James L. Swanson (“‘I give you my sprig of lilac’: The Death and Funeral of Abraham Lincoln”), Richard Wightman Fox (“What We’ve Forgotten About Lincoln’s Funeral, and What We’ve Never Known”), and “Why Lincoln Was Murdered” by moderator Michael Burlingame.

Guy C. Fraker led a one-day tour of the Eighth Judicial Circuit, where Lincoln practiced, for the Oscher Life Long Learning Institute of the University of Illinois on October 16.  Fraker will teach an eight-week course on the Eighth Judicial Circuit for the institute on the Urbana campus of the University of Illinois commencing January 2015.

Louis Masur taught “Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War: What’s Fact and What’s Fiction?” at The Seattle Times One Day University on October 18.

Frank J. Williams presented “Lincoln’s Melancholia” to the Forbes House Museum at the Milton (MA) Public Library on October 19.  Williams also presented “Lincoln: A Litigator and a Judge” as a part of the Office & Trial Practice 2014 seminar of the Delaware State Bar Association and the Delaware Bar Foundation in Wilmington.

The National Archives hosted Harold Holzer, who spoke about his Lincoln and the Power of the Press on October 23, and Richard Brookhiser, author of Founders’ Son, on October 30.

Harold Holzer appeared with publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. and vice president Meredith Kopit Levien on October 27 at the New York Times to participate in a Q&A on Lincoln and the Power of the Press led by national correspondent Michael Paulson.

Wayne C. Temple spoke about “Ensign Thomas Lincoln in the Kentucky State Militia” at the October 29 meeting of the United States Daughters of 1812, Sangamon River Chapter, in Springfield, IL.

Frank J. Williams presented “The Civil War at 150” for the Priory of St. David of Wales conclave on November 1 in Providence, RI.

Joseph Fornieri, Director of the Center for Statesmanship, Law and Liberty, spoke about his new book, Lincoln: Philosopher and Statesman, for the Alexander Hamilton Institute at Hamilton College, Clinton, NY, on November 3.  His talk was followed by a panel with David Frisk and Frank J. Williams.

Richard Brookhiser delivered The Carl Menges Lecture in American History at the Historical Society, “Founders’ Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln.”  On November 5, former Newsweek national correspondent Jonathan Alter moderated a session with Harold Holzer about his Lincoln and the Power of the PressHolzer also discussed Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion, at the November 6 meeting of the Lincoln Group of New York.

Frank J. Williams discussed “Keeping the Promise: Abraham Lincoln’s Legacy” at the Teachers History Day Workshop of the Rhode Island Historical Society on November 8.

Smithsonian Associates sponsored a November 8-9 study tour, led by Ed Bearss and Gregg Clemmer, following a trail from Petersburg National Battlefield (where 70,000 were killed or wounded) to Appomattox Court House, where General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant.

“What the Election of 1864 Can Teach Us About 2014” was presented by Thomas E. Schneider at the Allen County Public Library on November 9.

The Southern Historical Association annual meeting in Atlanta included, on November 14, Reflections on the New York Times’ Disunion Blog with Blain Roberts presiding and panelists Clay Risen, editor of the blog, Susan Schulten, Ronald S. Coddington, Kate Masur, and Ethan J. Kytle.  The November 15 session, Atlanta’s Civil War, featured Brian S. Wills as moderator with Wendy Venet (“Enlisted for the War”?), Stephen Davis (“New Perspectives on John Bell Hood and the Atlantic Campaign”), and Clarence L. Mohr (“Slavery and Freedom During the Campaign for Atlanta”).  Also on November 15, Stephanie McCurry presided over The Civil War’s Legacy and Shaping of the New South with William A. Blair, Robert Cook, William A. Link, Kidada Williams, and Anne Marshall.

The 19th Annual Lincoln Forum Symposium, “The People Say Lincoln!” Fighting for Military and Political Victory in 1864, was held in Gettysburg November 16-18.  Presenters included Harold Holzer (“Anyone But Lincoln: The President, the Press, and the Election of 1864”), James McPherson (“Jefferson Davis and The General Who Would Not Fight”), Jonathan W. White (“The Battle for the Soldiers’ Vote”), Thavolia Glymph (“Disappeared: Enslaved Women and the Armies of the North”), John F. Marszalek and Craig L. Symonds (“Sherman vs. Johnston at Atlanta and Beyond”), Frank J. Williams (“Real or Reel: Lincoln on Film”), Robert Wilson (“Mathew Brady: Portraits of a Nation”), and Catherine Clinton (“Teeming With Rivals: Women’s Parlor Politics During the Civil War”).  Moderators included Edna Greene Medford, Harold Holzer, and Jared PeatmanWilliam C. (“Jack”) Davis moderated Atlanta and the Wilderness: Lincoln and the Battles of 1864 with John F. Marszalek, Richard McMurry, and Craig L. SymondsMatthew Pinsker moderated the panel The Campaign of ’64 in Politics and Print with Harold Holzer, Thomas Horrocks and Frank J. Williams.  Musician Bobby Horton entertained over the 300 in attendance with his Songs and Stories of the Civil War.

Kent Masterson Brown was the keynote speaker at the Dedication Day ceremonies at the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania on November 19 in the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, Gettysburg.  Allen Guelzo was the luncheon speaker following.

Nina Silber presented the 53rd Annual Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture at Gettysburg College on November 19.

Frank J. Williams presented “Abraham Lincoln’s Bid for Re-Election Almost Derailed by Cries for Peace,” “Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties,” and “Lincoln’s Leadership and the Thirteenth Amendment,” to the New Jersey Judicial College, Newark, on November 24.

John Fabian Witt spoke about his Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History at the Center for Presidential History and the George W. Bush Library and Museum in Dallas on December 2.

Katie Spindell, head of the 2015 Lincoln Funeral Coalition, was the keynote speaker at the December 3 dedication of the original Third Street Oak Ridge Cemetery entrance in Springfield.  The cemetery received the remains of President Lincoln on May 4, 1865.

The 23rd Annual Sarasota Civil War Symposium organized by Robert Maher and his Civil War Education Association was held in Sarasota, FL, January 21-24, 2015, and included “Measuring the Giants: The Generalship of Grant and Lee” by William C. “Jack” Davis, “When Did the Civil War End?” by Frank J. Williams, “Lincoln and the Military” by John F. Marszalek, and “Water: The Forgotten Element” by James I. “Bud” Robertson.

The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation hosted its fourth annual symposium at HistoryMiami on January 25, featuring keynoter William C. Davis, actor Stephen Lang, and a panel of foundation historians including Harold Holzer, Edna Greene Medford, and Frank J. Williams.  Sponsorship was provided by Board Member Jean Somen and her husband William.

Carol Campbell is organizing, on behalf of the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum of Lincoln Memorial University, a symposium, Religion, Death and Martyrdom in the Civil War, for April 17-18, 2015.

International Legacy

William D. Pederson (LSU Shreveport) chaired a panel on “Lincoln’s Legacy in the Third World” at the annual Association of Third World Studies conference held at Metropolitan State University of Denver on October 16-18.  Presentations were made by Elizabeth Kemp (LSU Shreveport), “Lincoln’s Legacy in Gabon and Guyana”; Dennis Kirimi (Kent State University), “Lincoln’s Legacy in Kenya”; Saad Shams (International Lincoln Center), “Lincoln’s Influence on Pakistani Leaders”; and Hunter Trombetta (LSU Shreveport), “Lincoln’s Legacy in French Guiana.”

The Forum on Contemporary Theory conference on “Re-Imagining Theory in the Humanities and the Social Sciences” on December 21-24, in Goa, India, included a panel on “Lincoln, Gandhi, and the World at Large,” chaired by Meeta Chatterjee-Padmanabhan.  Papers included William D. Pederson (LSU Shreveport) and Sunil Kumar Sarangi (XLRI Xavier School of Management, C.H. Area, East); Hunter Trombetta (LSU Shreveport), “Lincoln’s Legacy in South America”; and Prafulla C. Kar (Centre on Contemporary Theory, Vadodara, India), “Lincoln Transfigured in Gandhi.”

Brian Jenkins has authored Lord Lyons: A Diplomat in an Age of Nationalism and War (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014).

Thomas P. Myers, “Lincoln Stamps Used in Nicaragua for More Than a Decade,” appeared in Linn’s Stamp News, September 22.

Enrico Dal Lago’s William Lloyd Garrison and Giuseppe Mazzini: Abolition, Democracy, and Radical Reform (LSU Press, 2013) was reviewed by Angela F. Murphy in the Journal of American History, September 2014.

James M. Cornelius, “The Global Lincoln: International Noises From 1864,” appeared in For the People, Fall 2014.

John Boyko’s Blood and Daring: How Canada Fought the American Civil War and Forged a Nation (Knopf Canada, 2013) was reviewed by Harvey Strum in the Journal of Southern History, November 2014.

Arts & Entertainment

Terrence Malick’s film The Better Angels, starring Jason Clarke, tells the story of Abraham Lincoln’s childhood in the wilderness of Indiana and the hardships that shaped him, the tragedy that marked him forever, and the two women who guided him to immortality.  Braydon Denney plays young Lincoln.

In a multi-faceted sesquicentennial observance of Lincoln’s funeral and burial in Springfield, Illinois, a performance of Our American Cousin will be staged on April 14, 2015 at the Hoogland Center For the Arts.  The Lincoln Symposia will be held from April 15 through May 3.  Robin Austin and Carill Onneur will perform a concert, Lincoln and the Music He Loved, in Washington Park, Springfield.  Lincoln’s Life: a Musical Celebration will be performed by the Illinois Symphony Orchestra at the Bloomington (IL) Center for the Performing Arts on May 1 and in the Sangamon Auditorium, Springfield on May 2.  At 11:00 AM on May 2, a re-enacted funeral procession will arrive in Springfield with a commemoration and candlelight vigil to last until the Sunday, May 3 funeral re-enactment.  Commemorative church services will be held on May 3 in Springfield’s local churches with the Lincoln funeral procession to Oak Ridge Cemetery beginning at noon, followed by a Lincoln funeral commemorative service at the receiving vault, where Lincoln’s body lay before the completion of the Lincoln Tomb.

The United States Post Office announced that not all post offices would automatically receive shipments of the 1864 Civil War commemorative forever stamps.  The stamps were issued on July 30 to commemorate Mobile Bay and Petersburg.  Post offices that do not receive this distribution will still permit orders through USPS catalogs.

The cartoon Dustin that appeared in the September 15 Shreveport, LA Times portrays a teacher asking, “Who wants to recite the Gettysburg Address?” and choosing Eric, who then asks, “Where’s the teleprompter?”

Sculptor Lorado Taft, who created Lincoln the Lawyer for Urbana, IL, is the subject of Allen Stuart Weller’s Lorado Taft: The Chicago Years, edited by Robert G. LaFrance, Henry Adams and Stephen P. Thomas (The University of Illinois Press).

The Colvey Theatre Company, Syracuse, NY, presented Lincoln’s Blood by Garrett A. Heater on November 1 and 7.

The last, full measure…, written by Ken Bradbury with Richard “Fritz” Klein as President Abraham Lincoln, was performed at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum’s Union Theater, Springfield, IL, November 13-16.

Cartographer Kieran McAuliffe (418 Davisville Ave., Toronto, ON, M4S1H6) has produced a History Map of The Life of Abraham Lincoln: From His Birthplace in Kentucky to His Life in Springfield, Illinois, His Election as President of the United States, and His Departure For Washington, D.C.

Defined by Light: Photography’s First Seventy-Five Years (images and objects from the collection of Jack and Beverly Wilgus in celebration of the 175th anniversary of the announcement of photography by the collectors) has been published by DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University, under the leadership of Russell L. Martin III, Director & Librarian.

Harold Holzer and Frank J. Williams have written The Grand Review: Lincoln, Grant & the Civil War in Art and Artifacts from the treasures in the Donald R. Tharpe Collection of American Military History, Robert Lang’s Portraits of Lincoln, and Peter Colasante’s L’Enfant Gallery of Georgetown (The Liberty Heritage Society).

Photographer Dave Wiegers has yet again prepared a desktop calendar, The Faces of Lincoln—2015, as well as a wall calendar.

The Morgan (WV) Arts Council presented Ed Steers’ play The Trial of Dr. Mudd February 14-15, 2015.  Kirsten Trump was the director.


Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust delivered remarks in connection with the opening of the Schlesinger Library exhibit at Harvard, What They Wrote, What They Saved: The Personal Civil War, on October 15.

The Oregon Historical Society hosted an exhibition exploring America’s 16th president, entitled 2 Years, 1 Month: Lincoln’s Legacy.

Lincoln Speaks: Words That Transformed a Nation, which will open January 23, 2015 at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City, has been three years in the making and will draw on the Morgan’s own collection, as well as that of the Library of Congress, Harvard, the Schapell Manuscript Foundation, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.  The exhibition, which will continue through June 7, 2015, will feature examples of books Lincoln owned along with manuscripts of speeches, proclamations, military memos and correspondence with his family.  Included will be a rare speech fragment believed to date from Lincoln’s unsuccessful 1858 Illinois Senate race against Stephen A. Douglas, in which Lincoln hopes he might contribute “an humble mite to that glorious consummation, which my own poor eyes may not last to see.”

The Ford’s Theatre Society will open “Silent Witnesses”: Artifacts of the Lincoln Assassination on March 23, 2015 at the Center for Education and Leadership (across from Ford’s), scheduled to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination and death on April 14 and 15, 2015.  Featured in the exhibition will be: Abraham Lincoln’s top hat, cuff buttons, a Brooks Brothers gray coat, the contents of his pockets from the night of the assassination, Mary Lincoln’s black velvet cape, and John Wilkes Booth’s Derringer pistol.

A full exhibit of The Grand Review will be held at the L’Enfant Gallery of Georgetown January 10 to February 1, 2015.  The Lincoln component will be on display at the Decatur House, Lafayette Square, Washington, from February 9 to April 30, 2015.

Civil War Sesquicentennial

The Washington Post continued its “Shorts” for the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War on September 11 with John Stauffer (“The Inaugural Audience”); Waite Rawls (“Chicago’s POW Camp”); Brag Bowling (“Absentee Ballots”); William Blair (“Disenfranchising Deserters”); Harold Holzer (“Lincoln’s Priorities”); Mike Musick (“The Assassin’s Motives”); Frank J. Williams (“Peace Conference”); and John F. Marszalek (“The Death of Taney”).

Army 1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing, who fought among the Union troops repulsing the Confederate assault known as Pickett’s Charge, was killed during the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863.  He was 22 years old.  President Barack Obama posthumously bestowed the Medal of Honor to his descendants on November 6.

The Smithsonian Institution published Smithsonian Civil War: Inside the National Collection and Lines in Long Array: A Civil War Commemoration—Poems and Photographs, co-edited by David C. Ward and Frank H. Goodyear, III.

The Lincoln Group of New York will conduct a half-day symposium on March 28, 2015 focusing on Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.  (There will also be a walking tour along the route of Lincoln’s actual New York funeral on the anniversary date of April 25.)  Harold Holzer will conduct a tour of the Great Hall at Cooper Union, Frank J. Williams will speak on “The Lincoln Assassination & Military Tribunals of the Conspirators,” and Barnet Schechter will discuss African Americans at Lincoln’s New York funeral—followed by a panel discussion about the Lincoln conspirators, moderated by Richard Sloan, with Michael Kauffman, Betty Ownsbey, and Kate Larson.

Civil War exhibitions include The Price of Freedom: Americans at War at the National Museum of American History; How the Civil War Changed Washington from October 27 to September 21, 2015 at the Ann Costia Community Museum; Bound for Freedom’s Light: African Americans and the Civil War through March 2, 2015 at the National Portrait Gallery; Mathew Brady’s Photographs of Union Generals through May 31, 2015; Mr. Lincoln’s Washington: A Civil War Portfolio from December 13 to January 25, 2015; One Life: Grant and Lee from July 4, 2014 to May 31, 2015; and ending with Alexander Gardner from March 6, 2015 to September 13, 2015.

Matthew Warshauer, head of the Connecticut Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration Commission (, is hosting The Lincoln Assassination Tour, Washington, DC, April 22-26, 2015.

Awards and Prizes

Lincoln interpreter James Getty received The Richard Nelson Current Lincoln Forum Award of Achievement in Gettysburg on November 18.


Swann’s November 20 auction of autographs included poet Edgar Lee Masters’ manuscript of “Anne Rutledge,” which sold for $469.  A commission signed by Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton sold for $5,500 and an autograph card by “Mrs. Abraham Lincoln,” went for $1,125.  Swann’s auction of primitive manuscript Americana on November 25 included the hand-colored lithographs relating to the Lincoln assassination, including one by J.E. Baker that sold for $750.  A rare Honest Old Abe on the Stump lithograph sold for $1,400 and a lithograph by Louis Maurer, “Taking the Stump” or Steven in Search of His Mother went for $900.


The Illinois State Journal-Register on July 22 reported that the Lincoln Monument Association and public television producer Chris Ryder are at work on a comprehensive documentary about the Lincoln Tomb, copies of which will be sold by the Association as the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s death approaches.  Contributions may be made at

Archaeologists excavating near the McLean County Museum of History (IL) have unearthed part of the footprint of the 1836 courthouse where Abraham Lincoln worked as an attorney (The State Journal-Register, July 30).

The Great Western Railroad Depot in Springfield, IL, where Abraham Lincoln gave his farewell speech in 1861, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Two previously unknown Lincoln documents have been uncovered in a collection that had been donated to the University of Alabama Libraries in Tuscaloosa.  The Papers of Abraham Lincoln has scanned the two documents found in the A.S. Williams III Americana Collection at the Libraries.  The first is a letter to Lincoln’s former Secretary of War Simon Cameron written on November 6, 1863.  The letter relates to treason cases against prominent Baltimore officials whom Cameron had imprisoned while a member of Lincoln’s cabinet (in turn, several of them had sued him for false imprisonment).  The second document is an endorsement written by Lincoln on an 1862 letter from New York firearms dealer Orison Blunt to an army official trying to locate rifles for Illinois soldiers.

The Illinois State Journal-Register on September 11 reported that The Papers of Abraham Lincoln has published a pamphlet commemorating the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s election to a second term of office on November 8, 1864.  On Lincoln’s Side: Reelecting a Leader featured 27 documents from the Papers’ extensive collection.  The State Journal-Register featured previews of one of these documents online.  The documents can be viewed at

The Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor was deemed “Thinkin’ Lincoln” during November 2014.  It honored President Abraham Lincoln, the namesake of the Lincoln Highway—America’s first cross-country highway.

On November 2, William Hageman wrote “Lincoln’s home gets an energy upgrade” for the Chicago Tribune, describing the residence of the Lincolns getting a modernized heating and cooling system at the Springfield site.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has assembled major items from its Civil War and Abraham Lincoln Collection, including Lincoln’s black silk hat, for a documentary to be aired in April 2015 on the Smithsonian channel—all to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the President’s assassination.

Dan Weinberg’s Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, Inc. published its 175th catalog, Americana.

Sarah Richardson interviewed Daniel R. Stowell, Director of The Papers of Abraham Lincoln papers project for the February 2015 Civil War Times.

Books and Pamphlets

Abraham Lincoln and Joseph Smith: How Two Contemporaries Changed the Face of American History by Roy L. Andersen has been published by Cedar Fort, Inc.

George R. Dekle, Sr. has written Abraham Lincoln’s Most Famous Case: The Almanac Trial (Praeger).

Paul D. Escott’s Lincoln’s Dilemma: Blair, Sumner, and the Republican Struggle Over Racism and Equality in the Civil War has been published by the University of Virginia Press.

Erika L. Gienapp and her late husband, William, edited The Civil War Diary of Gideon Welles, Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy.  The original manuscript edition is a volume in The Knox College Lincoln Studies Center series edited by Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis (University of Illinois Press).

Exploring Lincoln: Great Historians Reappraise Our Greatest President, edited by Harold Holzer, Craig L. Symonds, and Frank J. Williams—A Lincoln Forum Book—has been published by Fordham University Press with contributions by Catherine Clinton, William C. Davis, Jason Emerson, Eric Foner, Amanda Foreman, William C. Harris, Harold Holzer, Michael J. Kline, John F. Marszalek, Barnet Schecter, Walter Stahr, John Stauffer, Richard Striner, Craig L. Symonds, John C. Waugh, and Frank J. Williams.

Harold Holzer’s Lincoln and the Power of the Press is now available on

David S. Reynolds has edited Lincoln’s Selected Writings for Norton.

The third edition of Abraham Lincoln From Skeptic to Prophet by Wayne C. Temple is now available.

John C. Waugh’s Lincoln and the War’s End and Edward Steers, Jr.’s Lincoln’s Assassination—two volumes in the Concise Lincoln Library of Southern Illinois University Press—have been published.

Jonathan W. White is the author of Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln (LSU Press).

Nellie Yomtov is the author of a new comic book, Tracking an Assassin-Nickolas Flux and the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln (Capstone Press).

Civil War Sesquicentennial and Related Books

The late John S.D. Eisenhower’s American General: The Life and Times of William Tecumseh Sherman has been published by NAL Hardcover.

Brian Matthew Jordan’s Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War has been published by Liveright/Norton.

Jennifer M. Murray is the author of On a Great Battlefield: The Making, Management, and Memory of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1933-2013 (University of Tennessee Press).

Da Capo Press has published John Oller’s American Queen: The Rise and Fall of Kate Chase Sprague, Civil War “Belle of the North” and Gilded Age Woman of Scandal.

J. Ronald Spencer has edited A Connecticut Yankee in Lincoln’s Cabinet: Navy Secretary Gideon Welles Chronicles the Civil War (Wesleyan University Press).

The Ordeal of the Union: A New History of Reconstruction by Mark Wahlgren Summers has been published by the University of North Carolina Press.

The Rhode Island Home Front in the Civil War Era, edited by Frank J. Williams and Patrick T. Conley, is a publication of the Rhode Island Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration Commission (1111 Main Street, Hope Valley, RI 02832).

Calvin Goddard Zon’s Divided We Fall: The Confederacy’s Collapse From Within: A State-by-State Account has been published by Zon Blaydes Publishing (


“Oregon’s Civil War: The Troubled Legacy of Emancipation in the Pacific Northwest,” by Stacey L. Smith, was published in the Summer 2014 Oregon Historical Quarterly.

Heather Cox Richardson wrote “It’s My Party,” about why Andrew Johnson restored the old South, for the Summer Boston College Magazine.

The Summer Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association included “William H. Herndon on Lincoln’s Fatalism” by Douglas L. Wilson, “‘Simply a Theist’: Herndon on Lincoln’s Religion” by Richard Carwardine, “‘Not Even Wrong’: Herndon and His Informants” by Thomas F. Schwartz, and “Why a New Biography of William Herndon is Needed” by Michael Burlingame.

The October Lincoln Ledger of the Lincoln Fellowship of Wisconsin featured “The Wisconsin Lincoln Heritage Trail Tour.”

Jonathan W. White wrote “Did Lincoln Dream He Died?” for the Fall For the People: A Newsletter of the Abraham Lincoln Association.

The Fall Lincoln Lore, edited by Sara Gabbard, included interviews with Harold Holzer, David S. Reynolds, and Joseph R. FornieriJohn F. Marszalek wrote “Lincoln and His Commanders: Grant, Sherman and Halleck.”

Len Barcousky wrote “1864, Lincoln vs. McClellan: How Allegheny County Voted” for November 2 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Harold Holzer wrote “Stop the Presses!” about Lincoln’s war on the press as “censor-in-chief” for the December Civil War Times.

The Louisiana Lincoln Group’s The Lincolnator featured “Abraham Lincoln at Home” for its 2014 issue with “Walt Disney and Abraham Lincoln” by Donna Byrd and the 24th Annual Abraham Lincoln Lecture: “Lincoln—Hero Unbound” by David Wells, who presented the 30th Annual Frank and Virginia Williams American Studies Lincoln Lecture at Louisiana State University-Shreveport.

Gary W. Gallagher and Katherine Shively Meyer wrote “Coming to Terms With Civil War Military History” for the December Civil War Era.

James Piereson’s “Abraham Lincoln: American Prophet” appeared in the December The New Criterion.

The winter issue of The Civil War Monitor included Brooks D. Simpson (“Campaign Promise”), Lorien Foote (“The Fugitives”), “The Best Civil War Books of 2014” which included Elizabeth R. Varon’s Appomattox: Victory, Defeat, and Freedom at the End of the Civil War, Jack E. Levin’s Malice Toward None: Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, Todd Brewster’s Lincoln’s Gamble, The Library of America’s The Civil War: The Final Year Told By Those Who Lived It, edited by Aaron Sheehan-Dean, William A. Blair’s With Malice Toward Some: Treason and Loyalty and the Civil War Era, and James B. Conroy’s Our One Common Country: Abraham Lincoln and the Hampton Roads Peace Conference of 1865.

John Stauffer wrote “The Song That Keeps Marching On” about The Battle Hymn of the Republic for the February 2015 Civil War Times.

William Connery wrote “President John Tyler & the Confederacy” for the December The Maryland Line.

Civil War History celebrated 60 years with its December 2014 issue.  It included Broach A. Hess (“Where Do We Stand? A Critical Assessment of Civil War Studies in the Sesquicentennial Era”), Jennifer L. Weber (“Reflections On ‘Where Do We Stand?’”), Richard B. McCaslin (“Reflections On ‘Where Do We Stand?’”), Nimrod Tal (“The American Civil War In British Military Thought From the 1880s to the 1930s”), “Letters From the Monitor: The Civil War Correspondence of Jacob Nicklis, U.S. Navy” edited by Jonathan W. White and Christopher J. Chappell, and J. David Hacker (“Has the Demographic Impact of Civil War Deaths Been Exaggerated?”).


Todd Brewster, Lincoln’s Gamble: The Tumultuous Six Months That Gave America The Emancipation Proclamation and Changed The Course of The Civil War, rev. by Sean A. Scott, Civil War News (December 2014).

Richard Brookhiser, Founders’ Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln, rev. by Stephen Kent Shaw, Library Journal (September 15, 2014).

Chris DeRose, The Presidents’ War: Six American Presidents and the Civil War, rev. by Jay Jorgensen, Civil War News (October 2014).

Jim Downs, Sick From Freedom: African-American Illness and Suffering During the Civil War and Reconstruction, rev. by John Harley Warner, Journal of Southern History (November 2014).

Joseph R. Fornieri, Abraham Lincoln, Philosopher Statesman, rev. by Frank J. Williams, Civil War News (October 2014).

William E. Gienapp and Erica L. Gienapp, editors, The Civil War Diary of Gideon Welles, Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy: The Original Manuscript Edition, rev. by Jonathan White, Civil War News (December 2014).

Allen Guelzo, Lincoln: An Intimate Portrait, rev. by Edward Bonekemper, Civil War News (December 2014).

Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861-1867.  Series 3, Volume 2: Land and Labor, 1866-1867, edited by Renee Hayden and others, rev. by Jeffrey R. Kerr-Ritchie, Journal of Southern History (November 2014).

Harold Holzer, Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion, rev. by Stephen Kent Shaw, Library Journal (September 15, 2014), rev. by Fergus M. Bordewich, The Wall Street Journal (October 18-19, 2014), rev. by David S. Reynolds, The New York Times (October 31, 2014), rev. by Frank J. Williams, Civil War Book Review (Fall 2014), rev. by James McGrath Morris, Washington Post (October 19, 2014).

Thomas A. Horrocks, Lincoln’s Campaign Biographies, rev. by Evan McLaughlin, Civil War News (October 2014).

A.J. Langguth, After Lincoln: How the North Won the Civil War and Lost the Peace, rev. by Michael Farrell, Library Journal (September 1, 2014), rev. by John Foskett, Civil War News (November 2014).

David Lowenthal, The Mind of Abraham Lincoln, Philosopher-Statesman, rev. by Martin P. Johnson, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association (Summer 2014).

John F. Marszalek, Lincoln and the Military, rev. by John Foskett, Civil War News (December 2014).

Brian McGinty, Lincoln’s Greatest Case: the River, the Bridge & the Making of America, rev. by Publisher’s Weekly (October 2014).

James M. McPherson, Embattled Rebel: Jefferson Davis as Commander-in-Chief, rev. by John Carver Edwards, Library Journal (September 1, 2014), rev. by Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post (October 5, 2014).

James Oakes, Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865, rev. by George C. Rable, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association (Summer 2014).

Benton Rain Patterson, Lincoln’s Political Generals: The Battlefield Performance of Seven Controversial Appointees, rev. by Larry Clowers, Civil War News (November 2014).

Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever, rev. by Kate Clifford Larson, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association (Summer 2014).

David S. Reynolds, editor, Lincoln’s Selected Writings, rev. by John Harpham, The Wall Street Journal (October 18-19, 2014).

J. Ronald Spencer, editor, A Connecticut Yankee in Lincoln’s Cabinet: Navy Secretary Welles Chronicles the Civil War, rev. by Jonathan White, Civil War News (December 2014).

Robert K. Summers, The Assassin’s Doctor: The Life and Letters of Dr. Samuel A. Mudd, rev. by Clint Johnson, Civil War News (December 2014).

Ferenc Morton Szasz with Margaret Connell Szasz, Lincoln and Religion, rev. by Thomas A. Horrocks, Civil War News (October 2014).

Robert P. Watson, William D. Pederson and Frank J. Williams, co-editors, Lincoln’s Enduring Legacy: Perspectives From Great Thinkers, Great Leaders, and the American Experiment, rev. by Matthew Pinsker, Louisiana History (Summer 2014).

Jonathan White, Emancipation, The Union Army and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln, rev. by Kevin Adams, Civil War Book Review (Fall 2014).

Frank J. Williams and Patrick T. Conley, editors, The Rhode Island Homefront in the Civil War Era, rev. by Erik J. Chaput, The Providence Journal (November 9, 2014).


On September 24, KyForward (Kentucky’s online newspaper) included Feoshia H. Davis’s portrait of Lincoln as a lawyer with the commentary of Professor Roger Billings of Northern Kentucky University’s Chase College of Law.

The Papers of Abraham Lincoln received an anonymous gift of $100,000 to honor the service of Cullom Davis, Director of the Lincoln Legal Papers from 1988 to 2000.  Davis is Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois Springfield.

James M. McPherson, author, most recently, of Embattled Rebel: Jefferson Davis as Commander in Chief, was interviewed for the October 5 New York Times Book Review.

Artist and sculptor Lily Tolpo is writing her autobiography.

Harold Holzer’s Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion (Simon & Schuster) was included in the Washington Post’s “Fifty Notable Works of Non-Fiction” on November 24.

Lincoln and Political Culture

Bruce Rushton reported in the July 10-16 Illinois Times about “A Lackluster Report Card” given the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum by a consultant who was retained under the fundraising foundation of the Library and Museum.  The consultant indicated that the institution lacked a strategic plan that establishes priorities and is missing the chances to procure grants due to a lack of long-range planning.  The museum’s lack of accreditation is an issue that the consultant addressed by recommending steps that might lead to that crucial recognition.  The report came amid a power struggle for control of the institution with Illinois Historic Preservation Agency officials seeing no problems with governance while members of the institution’s advisory board urge that the museum be removed from IHPA and put under the advisory board’s control as a stand-alone agency.  The report in hand, the IHPA board met in July, asserting that Eileen Mackevich, Executive Director of the ALPLM, is “in charge of the institution.”  The consultant indicated in her report that little had been done since the 2010 report of the American Association of Museums and said that the ALPLM had a long way to go before it can gain accreditation.  Mackevich indicated that this was “a governance issue,” but IHPA Director Amy Martin, who has been in a tussle with Mackevich for months over who has the authority to run the institution, believed that there should be a strategic plan.  Mackevich met with Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan about divorcing the ALPLM from IHPA before the Speaker’s proposal blindsided the agency.  Dissatisfied with what she saw as a lack of progress in 10th anniversary planning, Martin put Clare Thorpe in charge of anniversary planning with a basic question left unanswered: What is there to celebrate?  Ms. Mackevich has indicated her intent to retire once new governance is in place.  Bruce Rushton wrote about the meeting “Dysfunction on Display” for the July 24-30 Illinois Times.

The September 25 issue of the Wall Street Journal contained Christian G. Samito’s tale, “A Story of Military Justice and Civil Rights,” in which Sgt. Samuel Green of the U.S. Colored Infantry was accused of mutiny.  He conducted his own defense and won.  Sgt. Green of the 109th U.S. Colored Infantry was serving with his unit aboard a steamer on the way to their new post on the Rio Grande in Texas.  Sgt. Green then asked his captain to release some of his comrades who had been tied up on deck for neglect of duty—objecting to the punishment by comparing it to discipline endured under slavery.  Green tried to calm them.  His captain took Green’s suggestion as a threat and had him court-martialed.  The War Department applied the same disciplinary code to black and white soldiers, asserting equality before the law in military justice.  This included procedural due process not typically available to African-Americans, including the right to object to panel members, the right to defense counsel, and the right to cross-examine witnesses.  The author points out that African-Americans’ experience with military justice demonstrates “…the shift from the arbitrary rule of owners under slavery to the rule of law in freedom, help[ing] informing the post-war agenda for African-Americans by emphasizing the concept of due process….”

“Freedom, hard work and the party of Lincoln” by Richard Brookhiser appeared in the October 11 Wall Street JournalBrookhiser believes that “the Republican Party…, which he [Lincoln] helped found and which backed him loyally through the Civil War, is the natural repository of his legacy” because it espouses the values of the 16th president, who was guided by his faith in liberty and individual enterprise.

Frank Bruni’s column, “Fathers, Sons and the Presidency,” which appeared in the “Sunday Review” of the October 26 New York Times, discussed the love-hate relationships between parents and sons, with Bush ‘41 and Bush ’43 as the focus, and with references to Abraham Lincoln’s strange relationship with his father Thomas.  As Bruni noted, “to look back through the years is to see presidents in rebellion against their fathers and presidents enthralled by them, presidents trying to be bigger and better than the fathers who let them down (Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan) as well as presidents living out the destinies that their fathers scripted for them (John F. Kennedy, William Howard Taft).  It’s to behold the inevitably fraught father-son dynamic playing out on the gaudiest stages, with the most profound consequences.”

Ted Widmer’s “The Civil War’s Environmental Impact” appeared in the November 15 New York TimesWidmer chronicled wartime damage to farms, forests, and homes.  “That was only one way in which Americans ultimately came to face the hard fact of nature’s limits,” Widmer writes.  “Perhaps we can do more to teach the war in the same way that we walk the battlefield, conscious of the environment, using all of our senses to hear the sounds, see the sights and feel the great relevance of nature to the Civil War….As Lincoln noted, government of the people did not perish from the earth.  Let’s hope that the earth does not perish from the people.”


The historic Third Street original entrance to Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, IL has been restored in anticipation of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral.

Katie Spindell is chair of the 2015 Lincoln Funeral

Don Brown has written He Has Shot the President: April 14, 1865: the Day John Wilkes Booth Killed President Lincoln (Actual Times).

The Lincoln Forum book, The Lincoln Assassination: Crime & Punishment, Myth & Memory, edited by Harold Holzer, Craig L. Symonds and Frank J. Williams, has been published in paper by Fordham University Press.

Works in Progress

Richard Wightman Fox’s Lincoln’s Body: A Cultural History will be published by Norton in 2015.

Brian McGinty’s Lincoln’s Greatest Case: the River, the Bridge and the Making of America, about the burning of the Effie Afton steamboat, will be published by Norton/Liveright in February, 2015.

John C. Fazio’s forthcoming Decapitating the Union: Jefferson Davis, Judah Benjamin and the Plot to Assassinate Lincoln will be published by McFarland in Spring 2015.

Mapmaker Karen McAuliffe is preparing one of his history maps relating to Civil War Washington and Raid on Richmond!


Abraham Lincoln student and scholar Robert S. French died just two days shy of his 91st birthday on July 12, 2014.  Several years before his passing, Bob donated his Lincoln collection to Lawrence University where it serves as the cornerstone of the Lincoln Reading Room.

Charles Bracelen Flood, a Vietnam veteran and author of Grant’s Final Victory: Ulysses S. Grant’s Heroic Last Year, 1864: Lincoln at the Gates of History, and other volumes, died of cancer on August 15 at age 84.

Author’s Note

I want to thank Florence J. Baur, Thom Bassett, Randal Berry, Roger Billings, Kenneth L. Childs, Aaron Crawford, Sybil and Bill Forsythe, Harold Holzer, Richard Sloan, Tom Lapsley, Dave Leroy, William D. Pederson, Dennis E. Stark, Joseph Fornieri, Robert F. Henderson, Thomas Horrocks, Wayne C. Temple, Edward Steers, Jr., David J. Stiller, Jo Dzombak, Guy C. Fraker, Malcolm Garber, Mike Marlow, Ralph S. McCrea, William K. Miller, Tracey Minkin, David Warren, John Schildt, Philip W. Stichter, Thomas J. Trimborn, Justice William P. Robinson III, Judges W. Dennis Duggan and Dennis Curran, Frank and Virginia Musgrave, and Virginia Williams for providing information for this column.  I welcome news concerning Abraham Lincoln.  Please contact me at 300 Switch Road, Hope Valley, RI 02832; fax (401) 364-3642; e-mail