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The withdrawal of a State from a league has no revolutionary or insurrectionary characteristic. The government of the State remains unchanged as to all internal affairs. It is only its external or confederate relations that are altered. To term this action of a Sovereign a ‘rebellion’ is a gross abuse of language… Jefferson Davis

The dogs of war, 1861 Emory M. Thomas Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c 2011 Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xi, 113 p. : maps ; 22 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

President Jefferson Davis. Arriving in the field of battle at Bulls's Run 1861

President Jefferson Davis. Arriving in the field of battle at Bulls’s Run 1861

In 1861, Americans thought that the war looming on their horizon would be brief. None foresaw that they were embarking on our nation’s worst calamity, a four-year bloodbath that cost the lives of more than half a million people. But as Civil War historian Emory Thomas points out in this book, once the dogs of war are unleashed, it is almost impossible to rein them in.

Abraham Lincoln, profile bust, May 16, 1861

Abraham Lincoln, profile bust, May 16, 1861

In The Dogs of War, Thomas highlights the delusions that dominated each side’s thinking. Lincoln believed that most Southerners loved the Union, and would be dragged unwillingly into secession by the planter class. Jefferson Davis could not quite believe that Northern resolve would survive the first battle. Once the Yankees witnessed Southern determination, he hoped, they would acknowledge Confederate independence. These two leaders, in turn, reflected widely held myths. Thomas weaves his exploration of these misconceptions into a tense narrative of the months leading up to the war, from the “Great Secession Winter” to a fast-paced account of the Fort Sumter crisis in 1861.

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