Lincoln’s Political Generals

The Battlefield Performance of Seven Controversial Appointees


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About the Book

Lincoln’s most controversial generals—his so-called “political generals”—were appointed, promoted or kept in service for political purposes without regard for their competence. “It seems but little better than murder,” the Army’s general in chief, Henry Halleck, protested, “to give important commands to such men.” The book shows these seven generals—Butler, Banks, Sigel, Frémont, McClernand, Hurlbut and Wallace—in action, allowing readers to decide for themselves if Halleck was right in his withering assessment of Lincoln’s political generals.

About the Author(s)

Formerly with the New York Times and the Saturday Evening Post, Benton Rain Patterson is an emeritus associate professor of journalism at the University of Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Benton Rain Patterson

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 244
Bibliographic Info: 35 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7857-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1681-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1.  Major General Benjamin Franklin Butler 5
2.  Major General Nathaniel Prentice Banks 64
3.  Major General Franz Sigel 102
4.  Major General John Charles Frémont 128
5.  Major General John Alexander McClernand 140
6.  Major General Stephen Augustus Hurlbut 186
7.  Major General Lewis Wallace 196
Chapter Notes 223
Bibliography 229
Index 231

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “the author’s writing style makes this an enjoyable volume to read…highly recommended.”—Civil War News
  • “recommended”—ARBA