Title: Tarnished Victory: Finishing Lincoln's War
Author: William Marvel
Release: Nov 16
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
William Marvel, whom Stephen Sears has called "the Civil War's master historical detective," concludes his sweeping, four-part series—beginning with the Virginia and Atlanta campaigns in May of 1864 and closing with the final surrender of Confederate forces in June of 1865. In the course of that year the war grows ever more deadly, the home front is stripped to fill the armies, and the economy is crippled by debt and inflation, while the stubborn survival of the Confederacy seriously undermines support for Lincoln’s war.
In the end it seems that Lincoln’s early critics, who played such a pivotal role in the beginning of the series, are proven correct. Victory did require massive bloodshed and complete conquest of the South. It also required decades of occupation to cement the achievements of 1865, and the ultimate failure of Lincoln’s political heirs to carry through with that occupation squandered the most commendable of those achievements, making it ultimately a "Tarnished Victory".