CALLING ALL LAWYERS... Civil War Lawyers...?

5fish

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Here I found a book about how lawyers changed war and the nation during the Civil War... I not a lawyer but maybe the lawyers in this forum may be interested in the book...

Uncivil Warriors: The Lawyers' Civil War

https://www.amazon.com/Uncivil-Warriors-Lawyers-Civil-War/dp/0190851767/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=‘Uncivil+Warriors’&qid=1560430358&s=books&sr=1-1


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Book Summary:

In the Civil War, the United States and the Confederate States of America engaged in combat to defend distinct legal regimes and the social order they embodied and protected. Depending on whose side's arguments one accepted, the Constitution either demanded the Union's continuance or allowed for its dissolution. After the war began, rival legal concepts of insurrection (a civil war within a nation) and belligerency (war between sovereign enemies) vied for adherents in federal and Confederate councils.

In a "nation of laws," such martial legalism was not surprising. Moreover, many of the political leaders of both the North and the South were lawyers themselves, including Abraham Lincoln. These lawyers now found themselves at the center of this violent maelstrom. For these men, as for their countrymen in the years following the conflict, the sacrifices of the war gave legitimacy to new kinds of laws defining citizenship and civil rights. The eminent legal historian Peter Charles Hoffer's Uncivil Warriors focuses on these lawyers' civil war: on the legal professionals who plotted the course of the war from seats of power, the scenes of battle, and the home front. Both the North and the South had their complement of lawyers, and Hoffer provides coverage of each side's leading lawyers. In positions of leadership, they struggled to make sense of the conflict, and in the course of that struggle, began to glimpse of new world of law. It was a law that empowered as well as limited government, a law that conferred personal dignity and rights on those who, at the war's beginning, could claim neither in law. Comprehensive in coverage, Uncivil Warriors' focus on the central of lawyers and the law in America's worst conflict will transform how we think about the Civil War itself.

The principal wartime forum for hashing out new legal precedents was Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet—more a team of attorneys, Mr. Hoffer argues, than Doris Kearns Goodwin’s team of rivals. “Overall, one could not find a more able or imposing team of lawyers than this,” Mr. Hoffer asserts, “though like many law partnerships, there was rivalry and contention among themselves and with senior partner Lincoln.” During four years of military conflict, savvy lawyer-politicians like William Seward, Salmon Chase, Edwin Stanton and Edward Bates haggled over such cornerstone policies as the legality of the Union blockade of Confederate ports, emancipation by executive order, the first military draft, and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, along with the use of military tribunals even where civil courts continued to operate. Cabinet members helped Lincoln maneuver around the Constitution and elude oversight by a Supreme Court over which ancient, pro-slavery Chief Justice Roger B. Taney presided until only months before the Confederacy was defeated. In 1864, Lincoln would appoint Chase to succeed Taney as chief justice.

Here is a review...

https://www.wsj.com/articles/uncivil-warriors-review-lawyers-at-civil-war-1532889714

Snippets...

In “Uncivil Warriors: The Lawyers’ Civil War,” a startlingly original work of history, Peter Charles Hoffer traces how the war turned the legal worlds of the Union and the Confederacy upside down. He closes his analysis with a provocative chapter on the Reconstruction era, in which he suggests that both Northern and Southern lawyers deserve enormous credit for hashing out the details of dramatically altered statutes—earning big fees in the bargain.

Snippet...

The principal wartime forum for hashing out new legal precedents was Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet—more a team of attorneys, Mr. Hoffer argues than Doris Kearns Goodwin’s team of rivals. “Overall, one could not find a more able or imposing team of lawyers than this,” Mr. Hoffer asserts, “though like many law partnerships, there was rivalry and contention among themselves and with senior partner Lincoln.” During four years of military conflict, savvy lawyer-politicians like William Seward, Salmon Chase, Edwin Stanton and Edward Bates haggled over such cornerstone policies as the legality of the Union blockade of Confederate ports, emancipation by executive order, the first military draft, and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, along with the use of military tribunals even where civil courts continued to operate. Cabinet members helped Lincoln maneuver around the Constitution and elude oversight by a Supreme Court over which ancient, pro-slavery Chief Justice Roger B. Taney presided until only months before the Confederacy was defeated. In 1864, Lincoln would appoint Chase to succeed Taney as chief justice.

Read the link for more details...
 
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5fish

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Here is an earlier book about lawyers in the civil war...

Civil War Lawyers: Constitutional Questions, Courtroom Dramas, and the Men Behind Them

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https://www.amazon.com/dp/1616320427/?tag=civilwartalkc-20

Summary

Lawyers dominated public and political life during the first third of American history, and many lawyers prominent during the Civil War were aware of each other professionally, but also tried cases with and against each other before the War. The key members of Lincoln's cabinet were all lawyers, as were Lincoln's key diplomatic appointees and the five men who tried to end the War at the Hampton Roads Peace Conference in February 1865.

Here is a treat:

The Clamor of Lawyers: The American Revolution and Crisis in the Legal Profession Hardcover

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https://www.amazon.com/dp/1501726072/?tag=civilwartalkc-20


Summary:

The Clamor of Lawyers explores a series of extended public pronouncements that British North American colonial lawyers crafted between 1761 and 1776. Most, though not all, were composed outside of the courtroom and detached from on-going litigation. While they have been studied as political theory, these writings and speeches are rarely viewed as the work of active lawyers, despite the fact that key protagonists in the story of American independence were members of the bar with extensive practices. The American Revolution was, in fact, a lawyers’ revolution.

Peter Charles Hoffer and Williamjames Hull Hoffer broaden our understanding of the role that lawyers played in framing and resolving the British imperial crisis. The revolutionary lawyers, including John Adams’s idol James Otis, Jr., Pennsylvania’s John Dickinson, and Virginians Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry, along with Adams and others, deployed the skills of their profession to further the public welfare in challenging times. They were the framers of the American Revolution and the governments that followed. Loyalist lawyers and lawyers for the crown also participated in this public discourse, but because they lost out in the end, their arguments are often slighted or ignored in popular accounts. This division within the colonial legal profession is central to understanding the American Republic that resulted from the Revolution.
 

Cavalry Charger

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These books look like a fascinating take from another perspective on momentous occasions in American history. Bookmarking for future reference. Thanks for the share.
 

5fish

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These books look like a fascinating take from another perspective on momentous occasions in American history. Bookmarking for future reference. Thanks for the share.
I agree with you that these would give us a different perspective on the Civil War and Revolutionary too... The logic used justifies some actions during the war...
 


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