Lincoln's Citadel : the Civil War in Washington, DC

Lincoln's Citadel : the Civil War in Washington, DC

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
Rate this:
WW Norton
In the late 1840s, Representative Abraham Lincoln resided at Mrs. Sprigg’s boardinghouse on Capitol Hill. Known as Abolition House, Mrs. Sprigg’s hosted lively dinner-table debates of antislavery politics by the congressional boarders. The unusually rapid turnover in the enslaved staff suggested that there were frequent escapes north to freedom from Abolition House, likely a cog in the underground railroad. These early years in Washington proved formative for Lincoln.In 1861, now in the White House, Lincoln could gaze out his office window and see the Confederate flag flying across the Potomac. Washington, DC, sat on the front lines of the Civil War. Vulnerable and insecure, the capital was rife with Confederate sympathizers. On the crossroads of slavery and freedom, the city was a refuge for thousands of contraband and fugitive slaves. The Lincoln administration took strict measures to tighten security and established camps to provide food, shelter, and medical care for contrabands. In 1863, a Freedman’s Village rose on the grounds of the Lee estate, where the Confederate flag once flew.The president and Mrs. Lincoln personally comforted the wounded troops who flooded wartime Washington. In 1862, Lincoln spent July 4 riding in a train of ambulances carrying casualties from the Peninsula Campaign to Washington hospitals. He saluted the “One-Legged Brigade” assembled outside the White House as “orators,” their wounds eloquent expressions of sacrifice and dedication. The administration built more than one hundred military hospitals to care for Union casualties.These are among the unforgettable scenes in Lincoln’s Citadel, a fresh, absorbing narrative history of Lincoln’s leadership in Civil War Washington. Here is the vivid story of how the Lincoln administration met the immense challenges the war posed to the city, transforming a vulnerable capital into a bastion for the Union.
The stirring history of a president and a capital city on the front lines of war and freedom.

Baker & Taylor
Describes the Civil War from Abraham Lincoln's point of view in Washington, D.C., chronicling how the president supported fugitive slaves and also personally comforted wounded troops during wartime.

Book News
Winkle (history, University of Nebraska) spotlights how ordinary people experienced the war in Washington, which, itself, becomes a main character, sitting trapped between Confederate Virginia and secessionist Maryland. DC more than tripled during the Civil War, while the number of hospitals increased from one to more than 100. When attacked in July of 1864, the Union Army's 37-mile ring of forts and 93 artillery positions held the city secure. By the end of the war Washington had transformed from slavery to freedom. Winkle invites the reader to peer through Lincoln's window on the war. He presents the "interior history" of the Civil War in Washington that Walt Whitman, as an inhabitant for the duration, saw and experienced for himself. There are 20 chapters and epilogue divided into three parts: abolition house; cleaning the devil out of Washington; and an an unknown something called freedom. The audience for Lincoln's Citadel is certainly Lincoln and Civil War scholars and students, but this eminently readable and fascinating book is also for the intelligent general reader. There are maps, notes, and 16 pages of photographs. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

Describes the Civil War from Abraham Lincoln's point of view in Washington, D.C., chronicling how the president supported the fugitive slaves by tightening security and providing them with food, shelter and medical care and also personally comforted wounded troops during wartime. 15,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, 2013
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780393081558
Branch Call Number: 975.302 LINCO WINKL


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at GL

To Top