Every drop of blood : the momentous second inauguration of Abraham Lincoln

2020, Book , xxxvi, 376 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates :
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Summary/Review: "By March 4, 1865, the Civil War had slaughtered more than 700,000 Americans and left intractable wounds on the nation. That day, after a morning of r more...
Summary/Review: "By March 4, 1865, the Civil War had slaughtered more than 700,000 Americans and left intractable wounds on the nation. That day, after a morning of rain-drenched fury, tens of thousands crowded Washington's Capitol grounds to see Abraham Lincoln take the oath for a second term. As the sun emerged, Lincoln rose to give perhaps the greatest inaugural address in American history, stunning the nation by arguing, in a brief 701 words, that both sides had been wrong, and that the war's unimaginable horrors-every drop of blood spilled-might well have been God's just verdict on the national sin of slavery. Edward Achorn reveals the nation's capital on that momentous day-with its mud, sewage, and saloons, its prostitutes, spies, reporters, social-climbing spouses, and power-hungry politicians-as a microcosm of all the opposing forces that had driven the country apart. Achorn weaves together the stories of the host of characters, unknown and famous, that had converged on Washington-from grievously wounded Union colonel Selden Connor in a Washington hospital, embarrassingly drunk new vice president Andrew Johnson, and poet-journalist Walt Whitman, to soldiers' advocate Clara Barton, African American leader Frederick Douglass (who called the speech "a sacred effort"), and conflicted actor John Wilkes Booth-all swirling around the complex figure of Lincoln. In indelible scenes, Achorn vividly captures the frenzy in the nation's capital at this crucial moment in America's history and the tension-filled hope and despair afflicting the country as a whole, soon to be heightened by Lincoln's assassination. His story offers new understanding of our great national crisis, and echoes down the decades to resonate in our own time"--
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