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I am authentically informed that the Forts in Charleston Harbor are now being thoroughly prepared to turn, with effect, their guns upon the interior and the city. Jurisdiction was ceded by this State expressly for the purpose of external defense from foreign invasion, and not with any view that they should be turned upon the State… Governor Francis W. Pickens writing on the 17th of December 1860

Almost totally missing from this account is Lincoln’s actions with regard to the South Carolina delegation that did everything they could to resolve the Sumter issue – he ignored them publicly and subverted them privately, a course he had followed since he was president-elect. This book is like one of those historical prints that shows the gallant defense of Sumter against shot and shell from the South Carolina Militia [there was no Confederate army and no Confederate nation at this time] when the reality was that the only union casualties occurred when the fort was surrendered and one of the union cannons blew up during the salute while lowering the flag. The example of the war being a wound inflicted on the union by the “union” – i.e.; northern troops – is one that has never been sufficiently exposed.

Cry havoc! : the crooked road to Civil War, 1861    New York : Viking, c 2007   Nelson D. Lankford United States History Civil War, 1861-1865 Causes Hardcover. x, 308 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 24 cm.  Includes bibliographical references (p. 277-292) and index.  A compelling re-creation of the eight crucial weeks preceding the Civil War. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust   jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG   

In early March 1861, civil war loomed. By late April, Americans had begun to kill their fellow citizens. Cry Havoc! recounts in riveting detail the events that divided the states and reveals how quirks of timing, character, and place all conspired to transform the nation into a battlefield. Nelson Lankford, author of Richmond Burning, chronicles the eight critical weeks that began with Lincoln’s inauguration through the explosion at Fort Sumter and the president’s fateful response to it. Before Fort Sumter, the balance could have tipped in favor of a peaceful resolution. This book addresses the many might-have-beens, both familiar and lesser known. What if Lincoln had delayed the proclamation calling for troops? Could wavering Unionists in the upper South have held the line? A must read for all who wish to understand the birth of the modern United States of America, Cry Havoc! probes the fateful series of events and analyzes each of the failed possibilities that hindsight affords.


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