Lead Through Anything

Two years into the American Civil War, the Union’s prospects seemed bleak.1 Both in the east and west, the Union was either losing ground or in a stalemate. Not only did Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia decisively defeat a much larger Army of the Potomac at Chancellorsville in May 1863, but the Confederate Army continued to hold off Union armies at Vicksburg, Mississippi, that sought to divide the rebels geographically.2

Within the Union, unity was fracturing. The preliminary Emancipation Proclamation had proven divisive as antiwar Democrats, midwestern separatists, and others roiled Lincoln’s coalition.3 Personally, Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, were grieving over the loss of their ...

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