Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln

Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln

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Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln Journal of Southern History , February 2016 Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln. By Jonathan W. White. Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2014. Pp. [xviii], 275. $39.95, ISBN 978-0-8071-5457-1.) In the dedication of Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln, Jonathan W. White salutes his adviser, Mark Neely, "who taught me to challenge the reigning paradigms" (p. v). Like adviser, like student, for in this provocative volume White takes aim at what he claims passes for conventional wisdom about how soldiers in the Union army viewed emancipation and electoral politics, especially during the presidential contest of 1864. The result will spark discussion, and in some cases controversy. White reminds readers that emancipation was not overwhelmingly popular in the ranks of the Union army. Although debate continues over the racial attitudes of the boys in blue, White demonstrates that recent scholars emphasizing the army's role in destroying slavery must accept that many of the liberators were reluctant ones. Soldiers who criticized administrative
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