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When Abraham Lincoln took office in 1861, the United States faced the worst crisis of its 75-year history. Because of Lincoln's lack of experience, many believed -- including his own cabinet -- that he wasn't qualified to be president. Convinced that the war could be over in three months, Lincoln chose George B. McClellan to build the Army of the Potomac; when it came time to pursue the enemy and fight, however, McClellan hesitated. In other theaters, the ironclad ships of the Confederate and Union Navies, the Merrimac and the Monitor, fought an epic four-and-a-half hour battle, revolutionizing naval warfare. In April, the troops of Union General Ulysses S. Grant and Confederate General Sidney Johnston became embroiled in a murderous battle at Shiloh, MS. The battle's 23,000 casualties proved the bloodiest battle (up to that time) in American history, exceeding the combined casualties of the Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Mexican War. Landmines, repeating guns, and the longer range of the new minie ball assured that this battle was only a harbinger of things to come.