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Friday, January 15, 2021

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Welcome to the Illinois State Historical Sociey's online store. Over the years the Society has accumulated many books and since it is neither a research center nor a lending library, we have created this Store to make these books available for purchase. Most are single title items in like new condition. In addition to books, we are also offering for sale back issues of the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, art work, and stationery. All proceeds from these sales will be used to support the Illinois State Historical Society.

*Most of the books for sale are new or very gently used and in extremely good condition.  If you have any specific questions, please feel free to call the office at 217-525-2781, Ext. 1.

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The Civil War Diary of Gideon Welles: Lincoln's Secretary of the Navy (NEW) -
Manufacturer: William E. Gienapp and Erica L. Gienapp, Editors
The Civil War Diary of Gideon Welles: Lincoln's Secretary of the Navy (NEW)

Gideon Welles’s 1861 appointment as secretary of the navy placed him at the hub of Union planning for the Civil War and in the midst of the powerful personalities vying for influence in Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet. Although Welles initially knew little of naval matters, he rebuilt a service depleted by Confederate defections, planned actions that gave the Union badly needed victories in the war’s early days, and oversaw a blockade that weakened the South’s economy.

Perhaps the hardest-working member of the cabinet, Welles still found time to keep a detailed diary that has become one of the key documents for understanding the inner workings of the Lincoln administration. In this new edition, William E. and Erica L. Gienapp have restored Welles’s original observations, gleaned from the manuscript diaries at the Library of Congress and freed from his many later revisions, so that the reader can experience what he wrote in the moment. With his vitriolic pen, Welles captures the bitter disputes over strategy and war aims, lacerates colleagues from Secretary of State William H. Seward to General-in-Chief Henry Halleck, and condemns the actions of the self-serving southern elite he sees as responsible for the war. He can just as easily wax eloquent about the Navy's wartime achievements, extoll the virtues of Lincoln, or drop in a tidbit of Washington gossip.

Carefully edited and extensively annotated, this edition contains a wealth of supplementary material. The several appendixes include short biographies of the members of Lincoln’s cabinet, the retrospective Welles wrote after leaving office covering the period missing from the diary proper, and important letters regarding naval matters and international law.

Publisher: Knox College Lincoln Studies Center and the University of Illinois Press, 2014

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