Lincoln’s First Crisis

Fort Sumter and the Betrayal of the President

William Johnson

In this thoughtful, careful reassessment, Johnson combines thorough research and the latest historiography with a litigator's methodical analysis and a storyteller's ear to reconstruct the beginning of the Civil War from the White House to Brooklyn Navy.
Publication date:
August 2020
Publisher :
Stackpole Books
Language:
English
Illustration :
45
Format Available     Quantity Price
Hardback
ISBN : 9780811739405

Dimensions : 152 X 229 mm
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+
Not Yet Published. Available for PreOrder.
£19.95

Overview
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When Abraham Lincoln swore his oath as president on March 4, 1861, the United States was disintegrating. Seven states had seceded, and at least another four and as many as eight remained up for grabs, depending upon how the new president handled the secession crisis, especially at the flashpoint of Fort Sumter in South Carolina, the heart of the rebellion. The fate of the republic hung in the balance.

Lincoln's First Crisis covers five of the most consequential months in American history, December 1860 through April 1861. The seceded states hoped to maneuver Lincoln into firing the first shots at Sumter and sparking a civil war, and actively worked toward that goal.

The Sumter crisis has been hotly debated, and deeply researched, for more than 150 years. In this thoughtful, careful reassessment, Johnson combines thorough research and the latest historiography with a litigator's methodical analysis and a storyteller's ear to reconstruct the beginning of the Civil War from the White House to Brooklyn Navy Yard, from Charleston Harbor to Pensacola.

Through perseverance, principle, and personality, Lincoln bested his rivals and established himself as commander in chief, and even though his actions to relieve Sumter helped spark the war, he did so on his own political, moral, and military terms that helped lay the foundations for a meaningful Union victory. From letters, notes, and memoranda not examined before now, Johnson pieces together a new narrative of this crucial period, culminating in a new theory of how and why the Civil War began as it did, and how and why, if the new president's orders had been properly carried out by his subordinates, it might have been averted.