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When one with honeyed words but evil mind Persuades the mob, great woes befall the state… Euripidies

A rising thunder : from Lincoln’s election to the Battle of Bull Run : an eyewitness history    New York, NY : HarperCollins, c 1994   Richard Wheeler United States History Civil War, 1861-1865 Campaigns Hardcover 1st ed. and printing. xviii, 413 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 397-400) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

In this book Wheeler describes the tumultuous events that preceded and led up to the outbreak of the war, beginning before Lincoln’s election. He follows the conflict of words among abolitionists who wished to admonish those they thought to be sinners, those who would preserve the Union at all costs in order to fulfill their dreams of Manifest destiny – and get rich off railroads, and the defenders of the constitution, the republic and states’ rights; the confused jockeying of the political parties in the months before the 1860 election to find the most suitable candidates and platforms for them to run on; and, of course, the ineffectual efforts of Lincoln to maneuver through the shoals of turmoil.

When all efforts to avoid a final break fail, the narrative reaches a climax with the union provocation that necessitated the Confederate assault on Fort Sumter, followed by the first major battle at Manassas, a blood-letting where incompetent union leadership invaded Virginia and shattered the hopes and beliefs of those on both sides who had somehow expected a quick and easy war.

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