FORT SUMTER by W. A. Swanberg


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No one ever seriously believed that 600 odd men, lacking everything from food to cartridge bags, divided in authority, uncertain what course the Government in Washington wished them to take, could hurl back the Confederate thousands with their superior weapons and commanding position. During the interminable wait before the inevitable attack, Major Anderson and Captain Doubleday (the man, by the way, who invented baseball) dared not even take proper defensive measures for fear of inciting the Charlestonians and setting off a war. The press, municipal and State leaders, local society created a hell of accusation against Lincoln and his Yankee forces at Sumter- but it was a hell where the devils consumed each other along with the enemy. And always in Washington there was indecision, dissension, confused reports. Such is the background of the fort's last gallant, bloodless stand. The narrative, though of indifferent literary merit, somehow deepens one's awareness of historical process; it appeals to the more serious Civil War interest and any tangent curiosity.

Publisher: Scribner