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Different dates for start of ACW.

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  • Different dates for start of ACW.

    I was again reading Shelby Foote trilogy on the Civil War and saw something I had previously missed. Foote mentions that the war began when Anderson moved the garrison from Fort Moultry to Fort Sumter. I have seen some accounts that date the start of the war from the firing on the Star of the West but the general consensus has the firing on Fort Sumter as the spark that lit the fuse, so to speak. I have also seen other accounts which declare that not until Lincoln ordered the naval blockade did an actual war begin.

    The impression I get for Foote claim is that it would place the responsibility of starting the war on the Union. I can't see no other reson for Foote claim.
    "I think I understand what military fame is; to be killed on the field of battle and have your name misspelled in the newspapers." William Tecumseh Sherman

  • #2
    Originally posted by Jack Torrance View Post
    I was again reading Shelby Foote trilogy on the Civil War and saw something I had previously missed. Foote mentions that the war began when Anderson moved the garrison from Fort Moultry to Fort Sumter. I have seen some accounts that date the start of the war from the firing on the Star of the West but the general consensus has the firing on Fort Sumter as the spark that lit the fuse, so to speak. I have also seen other accounts which declare that not until Lincoln ordered the naval blockade did an actual war begin.

    The impression I get for Foote claim is that it would place the responsibility of starting the war on the Union. I can't see no other reson for Foote claim.
    Foote is more of a novelist than a bona fide historian. While he could tell quite a few stories (many of them aprocryphal), I don't consider his work to be grade A history. This is not to insult Foote. He was a gentlemen, well educated, and his work does contain actual history more often then note, it is better to back as you have said with other sources.
    "Hit hard when you start, but don't start until you have everything ready." - Lt. Gen. James Longstreet

    Pyrrhus Travels West:
    Hanno the Infamous, General of Carthage, Rb Mhnt of Sicily

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    • #3
      Originally posted by semperpietas View Post
      Foote is more of a novelist than a bona fide historian. While he could tell quite a few stories (many of them aprocryphal), I don't consider his work to be grade A history. This is not to insult Foote. He was a gentlemen, well educated, and his work does contain actual history more often then note, it is better to back as you have said with other sources.
      I like Foote as a historian even if his CW trilogy tilts toward the southern point of view. It's a massive work and he pays much attention to the Western and Trans-Mississippi theater. It was from reading the CW that I first learned about Sibley's New Mexico Campaign and the confederacy goal of opening a trade route from west coast ports in California. Prior to Foote I don't know of any other works that included the many minor battles (let alone battles fought in the Trans-Mississippi) and minor but interesting characters in his narrative.

      Anyways.....Foote's claim that the war began when it did it's just a matter of opinion and his is just as valid as any others even though I don't agree with it. I was just wondering if his opinion is shared by others who are more inclined to view things from the southern post war perspective.
      "I think I understand what military fame is; to be killed on the field of battle and have your name misspelled in the newspapers." William Tecumseh Sherman

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