Chapter

Introduction

Burrus M. Carnahan

in Lincoln on Trial

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780813125695
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135380 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813125695.003.0001
Introduction

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President Abraham Lincoln signed an order to General Winfield Scott. If the Maryland legislature voted “to arm their people against the United States,” Scott was “to adopt the most prompt, and efficient means to counteract, even, if necessary, to the bombardment of their cities.” A serious effort to analyze Lincoln's treatment of Southern civilians must start by determining what measures he authorized, or at least which ones he knew about and did not oppose. Where treatment of enemy civilians is concerned, it is easy to make emotionally charged accusations against Lincoln and his officers. This study seeks an answer to the question: Did President Lincoln authorize or condone violations of the laws of war, as they were understood in his time? The focus is on the words and actions of Lincoln in relation to enemy civilians. An overview of the chapters included in the book is provided. President Lincoln probably authorized the bombardment of Baltimore at the urging of the army's general in chief, Winfield Scott.

Keywords: Abraham Lincoln; Baltimore; Winfield Scott; Southern civilians; violations; laws of war; enemy civilians

Chapter.  3253 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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