A close-up of the events which precipitated the Civil War- by the author of Mr. Lincoln's Camera Man. Here is an hour by hour record, backgrounded by the events, military and diplomatic, from South Carolina's secession late in December, 1860, through the action in April when Fort Sumter in Charleston's bay, was fired upon. The US Army officer in command was Major Robert Anderson, a Kentuckian of planter background married to a ""Georgia-born beauty"". His personal sympathies were with the Southern cause, but his officer's oath of allegiance took precedence. His stand was valiant, but Sumter fell. Four years later, to the day-April 14th- Major Anderson returned to raise the shot-torn flag again over Fort Sumter. Meredith tells the story well, and in choosing Fort Sumter as his frame of reference he has added an interesting segment to the growing literature of the Civil War. His sources, fully listed, provided authenticity of scholarship.