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We Have the War Upon Us: The Onset of the Civil War, November 1860-April 1861
New York: Knopf (2012).
First Edition. Signed. $30.00
From a highly regarded historian, a new perspective
on the period between Lincoln's election in November 1860 and the firing
on Fort Sumter in April 1861 when all efforts to avoid or impede
secession and prevent war failed.
In rapid succession a series of events led to the great cataclysm in American history, the Civil War. Lincoln won the presidential election; southern states initiated the process of secession; Congress proved unable to devise a compromise acceptable to the Republicans and the Lower South; the Lower South seceded and formed the Confederate States of America; Lincoln took the oath of office; shots rang out at Fort Sumter; Lincoln moved to suppress the rebellion; the Upper South seceded; war ensued. William J. Cooper captures the sense of contingency, showing Americans in these months as not knowing where decisions would lead, how events would unfold. He helps us understand what the major actors said and did. And he highlights Lincoln's unbending posture on slavery and attributes it to a basic ignorance of the South, resulting in a tone deafness to how Southerners would react as events unfolded.
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