Author Noah Trudeau Seeks To Unravel The Last Great Abraham Lincoln Mystery

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Author Noah Andre Trudeau has launched to unearth letters and documents related to Abraham Lincoln in the two weeks prior to his assignation. These efforts are directed toward a new book that Trudeau believes will tell the last great Lincoln story.

Is there any stone left unturned about Abraham Lincoln, without question the most written about President in United States history? Author Noah Andre Trudeau thinks that there just might be one.

He believes that Lincoln’s visit to the war front at City Point, Virginia (March 23-April 9, 1865) may be it. But to prove his point he needs to open up a vein of primary material only occasionally tapped by historians – first hand accounts that are presently in private hands. To help accomplish this he has launched a website that outlines the events of Lincoln’s visit to the front and identifies the types of material he is seeking.

Trudeau believes that Lincoln had several reasons to travel to Virginia in March, 1865. One was that he was tired and needed to get away from the Washington pressure cooker. Another was the chance to have a face-to-face with the man who was winning the war for the Union, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, whose headquarters were at City Point. Lincoln also saw this as an opportunity to touch the face of war, to see some of his armies in action, and to acknowledge the men and women – white and black – whose service and sacrifice was vital to restoration of the Union. And Lincoln needed to regroup. He understood that the war’s end also meant an end to the expanded powers he had exercised as a commander-in-chief in war time. The nation would face profound challenges in the months to come and Lincoln needed to find ways to bind up the nation’s wounds in a postwar political landscape.

Lincoln had originally planned to spend just a few days at the front, but the dramatic course of events (which included the capture and occupation of Petersburg and Richmond), plus his desire to be on hand when the Confederacy’s great Army of Northern Virginia, was finally run to ground, kept him there from March 24 (when he arrived) to April 8 (when he departed).

This is a story that is told in every Lincoln biography and every history of the war’s final months, but Trudeau feels that many previous writers have been seduced by the powerful attraction of the events of April 14, 1865, and in their rush to get that tale have not given the City Point sojourn the attention it deserves. He notes that several of the most often cited sources are often factually confused, that a number of the most often recalled incidents derive from unverified single sources, and that one of the most often quoted sources may be a later concoction by someone who wasn’t even there.

The only cure for this problem lies in his locating fresh source material from what he calls his “Lincoln witnesses,” men and women who saw or met Lincoln during his 1865 City Point visit and who wrote about it in letters, diaries, or memoirs that have been kept in family collections since that time. He hopes that through an outreach via print, radio and the internet that word of his search will reach families with such material to share. His initial efforts have resulted in his discovery of several items that have never been published before. He hopes that there is more to be found that will help him tell this last great Lincoln story of the Civil War.

To schedule an interview with Mr. Trudeau, please contact: Gene Taft at 301/593-0766 or GeneTaftPR(at)gmail(dot)com

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