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For two weeks in 1861, Washington, D.C., was locked in a state of panic. Would the newly formed Confederate States of America launch its first attack on the Union by capturing the nation's capital? Would Lincoln's Union fall before it had a chance to fight?Wedged between Virginia and Maryland--two states bordering on secession--Washington was isolated; its communications lines were cut, its rail lines blocked. Newly recruited volunteers were too few and were unable to enter the city. A recently inaugurated Lincoln struggled to form a plan--defense or attack?

In this final chapter of his trilogy on the Civil War, David Detzer pulls the drama from this pivotal moment in American history straight from the pages of diaries, letters, and newspapers. With an eye for detail and an ear for the voices of average citizens, he beautifully captures the tense, miasmic atmosphere of these first chaotic days of war.

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This fast-paced popular history of the frantic days between the attack on Fort Sumter and the Battle of Bull Run completes Detzer's "trilogy on the first hundred days of the Civil War." The earlier titles-Allegiance and Donnybrook-were critical and commercial successes, and the latest volume should also score with critics and readers. Detzer, professor emeritus of history at Connecticut State University, combines yeoman research-in official histories of the war, contemporary newspapers, journals, diaries and personal correspondence-and gritty prose. In the early days of the conflict, the nation's capital, geographically wedged between two states (Virginia and Maryland) considering secession, was ground zero for the aspirations and fears of a divided nation. If Washington had fallen to the Confederates in those turbulent days of "incredible noise"-hence the title-Detzer suggests that the war would have been lost. At the center of the cauldron, President Lincoln struggled to get his bearings: cautious, anxious and uncertain in the beginning, but gaining confidence with time. Despite a tendency to hype potential dangers, Detzer has written an engaging and comprehensive account of the early days of the Civil War that should have wide appeal. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"Fast-paced popular history. Detzer has written an engaging and comprehensive account of the early days of the Civil War." PRAISE FOR DISSONANCE"Clear, enthralling, multifaceted history."THE PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTEPRAISE FOR DONNYBROOK"A highly readable, comprehensive, and thoughtfully written examination of a pivotal moment in our greatest national tragedy."CIVIL WAR BOOK REVIEW" PRAISE FOR DISSONANCE "Clear, enthralling, multifaceted history." THE PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE PRAISE FOR DONNYBROOK "A highly readable, comprehensive, and thoughtfully written examination of a pivotal moment in our greatest national tragedy." CIVIL WAR BOOK REVIEW" PRAISE FOR DISSONANCE "Clear, enthralling, multifaceted history." THE PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE PRAISE FOR DONNYBROOK "A highly readable, comprehensive, and thoughtfully written examination of a pivotal moment in our greatest national tragedy." CIVIL WAR BOOK REVIEW"

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