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From the publisher:
This account of the first year of the Civil War is much more than a merely military chronicle in which politicians stride on & off the stage. This volume, the first of four dedicated to the War, is a study of the transformation of a nation. Dr. Nevins is supremely conscious of the chaos that faced Lincoln on inauguration day & well aware that confusion couldn’t be finally routed before Appomattox. But the author is also positive that in the opening months of the conflict the first steps were taken to transform the loosely organized country that fretted over Bull Run into the firmly knit nation that emerged in 1865. The war was fought for a more perfect union, & this the reader is never allowed to forget.