Authority on Americana, author of numerous books for younger readers, Manly Wade Wellman describes the first months of the Civil War in this book, which is subtitled The Founders of the Confederacy. Focusing on the ""nature and emotions"" of those who saw the rise of the Confederacy he begins with the execution of John Brown in 1859, the secession of South Carolina, establishment of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States, the early battles, from the abandonment of Fort Sumter to the deceptive southern victory at Manassas Junction. He draws heavily on the diary of Mary Chesnut, an astute observer, wife of Senator James Chesnut of South Carolina, as a parallel to the events involving Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, Jeb Stuart, Pierre Beauregard, Robert Toombs, the Secretary of State, and that dedicated secessionist Edmund Ruffin. He concludes with the southern triumph at Manassas Junction where the independence of the Confederacy seemed assured. Extensively documented, told in a highly dramatic fashion this is a professional, competent effort direct-toward a general audience.