The Civil War: A Narrative, Volume 1: Fort Sumter to Perryville

Shelby Foote

Language: English

Pages: 607

ISBN: 0394746236

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


"Anyone who wants to relive the Civil War, as thousands of Americans apparently do, will go through this volume with pleasure.... Years from now, Foote's monumental narrative most likely will continue to be read and remembered as a classic of its kind."--New York Herald Tribune Book Review

"Here, for a certainty, is one of the great historical narratives of our century, a unique and brilliant achievement, one that must be firmly placed in the ranks of the masters."--Van Allen Bradley, Chicago Daily News

This first volume of Shelby Foote"s classic narrative of the Civil War opens with Jefferson Davis"s farewell to the United States Senate and ends on the bloody battlefields of Antietam and Perryville as the full horrible scope of America"s great war becomes clear. Exhaustively researched and masterfully written Foote"s epic account of the Civil War unfolds like a novel. "A stunning book full of color life character and a new atmosphere of the Civil War and at the same time a narrative of unflagging power. Eloquent proof that an historian should be a writer above all else." -Burke Davis "Anyone who wants to relive the Civil War . . . will go through this volume with pleasure. . . . Years from now Foote"s monumental narrative most likely will continue to be read and remembered as a classic of its kind." -New York Herald Tribune Book Review "To read this great narrative is to love the nation. . . . Whitman who ultimately knew and loved the bravery and frailty of the soldiers observed that the real Civil War would never be written and perhaps should not be. For me Shelby Foote has written it. . . . This work was done to last forever." -James M. Cox Southern Review

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for some time wanted you to tell me.… I want you to tell me how many times you have been drunk.” Flustered, Herndon stammered, and Lincoln let it pass. This was the closest he ever came to delivering a temperance lecture. They rose, walked downstairs, and paused on the boardwalk. Lincoln glanced up at the weathered law shingle: LINCOLN & HERNDON. “Let it hang there undisturbed,” he said. “Give our clients to understand that the election of a President makes no change in the firm of Lincoln and

considerable length. He was puzzled, he said, by “a curious mystery.” The general’s own report showed a total strength of 108,000; “How can the discrepancy of 23,000 be accounted for?” Beyond this, however, the President’s main purpose was to point out to McClellan that more factors were involved in this war than those which might occur to a man with an exclusively military turn of mind. In other words, this was a Civil war. The general was aware of certain pressures in his rear, but Lincoln

muttered darkly: “quem Deus vult perdere, prius dementat.” There was no middle ground for confidence where Stonewall was concerned; you either trusted him blindly, or you judged him absolutely mad. That was the obverse of his method, never better illustrated than now. It was true that he had already wrung every possible psychological advantage from his present exposed position, which he knew was growing more perilous by the hour, but there were other considerations. He had 2300 unparoled

canceling or postponing the battle; Davis was left to wonder and fret until late in the day, when investigation uncovered what had happened. At a council of war held the previous night for issuing final instructions, something in the nature of a miracle had been announced. Only the day before, Johnston had been given definite information that McDowell was on the march; already six miles south of Fredericksburg, his advance was within thirty miles of Hanover Courthouse, where Porter had been

offensive on either bank of the Chickahominy. He was proud in fact to be holding his own, and he restrained his elation somewhere short of rashness. Nor did he consider reinforcing the embattled Porter with troops from Sumner, Heintzelman, Keyes, or Franklin, who reported the rebels unusually active on their front. Convinced as he was that Lee had at least 180,000 men, McClellan saw all sorts of possible combinations being designed for his destruction. The attack on Mechanicsville, for example,

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