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The Gettysburg Lectures$
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Gabor S. Boritt

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780195089110

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195089110.001.0001

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Lincoln and the Strategy of Unconditional Surrender

Lincoln and the Strategy of Unconditional Surrender

(p.29) 2. Lincoln and the Strategy of Unconditional Surrender (p.30)
The Gettysburg Lectures

James M. McPherson

Oxford University Press

This chapter gives an account of Lincoln's limited war strategy that turned into the much unyielding total war strategy for the fight for America's Union. This speaks volumes about Lincoln's profound strategies and command decisions undertaken to win the war against the Confederacy, which he initially believed was a domestic conflict. However, the defeat at the Bull Run, the restrained Anaconda Plan, and the incessant Guerilla attacks and cavalry raids provoked him to wage total war against the “rebels.” He resorted to blockades of confederate ports, confiscated enemy property including the slaves, put guns into their hands to fight their masters, and appeased the Border States to endorse the emancipation plan to overthrow the social and political system of the Confederacy, which he did with the ultimate surrender of the Confederate officials.

Keywords:   union forces, national strategy, military strategy, Bull Run, Confederacy, slaves, Lincoln, Union victory

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