The Presidents' War: Six American Presidents and the Civil War That Divided Them

The Presidents' War: Six American Presidents and the Civil War That Divided Them

Chris DeRose

Language: English

Pages: 392

ISBN: 1493009540

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


For the first time, readers will experience America’s gravest crisis through the eyes of the five former presidents who lived it. Author and historian Chris DeRose chronicles history’s most epic Presidential Royal Rumble, which culminated in a multi-front effort against Lincoln’s reelection bid, but not before:
     * John Tyler engaged in shuttle diplomacy between President Buchanan and the new Confederate Government. He chaired the Peace Convention of 1861, the last great hope for a political resolution to the crisis. When it failed, Tyler joined the Virginia Secession Convention, voted to leave the Union, and won election to the Confederate Congress.
     * Van Buren, who had schemed to deny Lincoln the presidency, supported him in his efforts after Fort Sumter, and thwarted Franklin Pierce's attempt at a meeting of the ex-Presidents to undermine Lincoln.
     * Millard Fillmore hosted Lincoln and Mary Todd on their way to Washington, initially supported the war effort, offered critical advice to keep Britain at bay, but turned on Lincoln over emancipation. 
     * Franklin Pierce, talked about as a Democratic candidate in 1860 and ’64, was openly hostile to Lincoln and supportive of the South, an outspoken critic of Lincoln especially on civil liberties. After Vicksburg, when Jefferson Davis’s home was raided, a secret correspondence between Pierce and the Confederate President was revealed.
     * James Buchanan, who had left office as seven states had broken away from the Union, engaged in a frantic attempt to vindicate his administration, in part by tying himself to Lincoln and supporting the war, arguing that his successor had simply followed his policies. 
     How Abraham Lincoln battled against his predecessors to preserve the Union and later to put an end to slavery is a thrilling tale of war waged at the top level of power.

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Fillmore Papers, 1:403. 21 financial crisis, and advocating federal public works.: Niven, Romantic Age 461. 21 47 percent nationally while losing his home state to Harrison.: Silbey, Martin Van Buren 153–54. Chapter 4: . . . And Tyler, Too 22 he took the oath of office at Brown’s Indian Queen.: Chitwood, Tyler, 202–3. 22 the same shall devolve on the Vice President.”: United States Constitution, Article II, s. 1. 22 special election was required to complete Harrison’s term.: John Tyler,

address, 78, 165 1864 campaign, 298–99, 300–301 appearance of, 12 and the Bank of the United States, 16 and the budget deficit, 27 and Buffalo, NY, 14, 207–8, 284–85 Buffalo Historical Society, 232–33, 315 Buffalo Union Continentals, 178–79, 214, 257 chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, 27 Comptroller in New York, 41–42 and the crisis between the North and the South before the Civil War, 101–3, 114, 118, 119–20, 128, 130–31 death of wife Abigail, 61–62 early years, 12 education

Buren in supporting Margaret. This seemingly silly concern implicated questions of great magnitude, perhaps none more so than the question of who would be Jackson’s successor. Congressman James Buchanan of Pennsylvania noted, “Disguise it as we may, the friends of Van Buren and those of Calhoun are becoming very jealous of each other.” John Quincy Adams, the former president now serving in the House of Representatives, wrote, “It is the prevailing opinion . . . that Mr. Van Buren is about to

continued, but “like one of the ancient cedars of Lebanon, it will flourish to afford shelter and protection to that sacred instrument, and to shield it against every storm of faction.” The crowd interrupted with applause. “Now friends and fellow-citizens, it is probable that this is the last political speech that I shall ever make.” The crowd responded with cries such as “We hope not!” But Buchanan, who had entered politics at age twenty-three as a Federalist, knew that he indeed was giving his

night the campfires of the Confederates, who were assembling in force, could be seen on the southern bank of the Potomac, and it was not uncommon to meet on Pennsylvania Avenue a defiant Southerner openly wearing a large Virginia or South Carolina secession badge.” Various government clerks who quit their posts refused to say “goodbye,” insisting on “au revoir,” expecting to be in possession of the capital within a month. One Washington preacher left his favorite cat behind with three weeks food

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