"THE CONNECTED STORY OF THE BEGINNING, AND A PICTURE OF WHAT THE COMBAT WAS ABOUT": FIRST EDITION OF CRAWFORD'S GENESIS OF THE CIVIL WAR, 1887
CRAWFORD, Samuel Wylie. The Genesis of the Civil War. The Story of Sumter. 1860-1861. New York: Charles L. Webster, 1887. Octavo, original green cloth, circular gilt medallion on front board, patterned endpapers. $1850.
First edition of Crawford's important eyewitness account of the earliest stirrings of the Civil War, the "standard, thorough study of the fall of Fort Sumter, by a Federal eyewitness inside one fort" (Nevins), featuring portrait frontispiece, double-page plan of Charleston Harbor, 12 full-page plates and many in-text illustrations.
Crawford's Genesis of the Civil War is "the standard, thorough study of the fall of Fort Sumter, by a Federal eyewitness inside one Fort" (Nevins I:26). A surgeon attached to the Union command at Forts Moultrie and Sumter, Crawford personally witnessed the events in Charleston that led to the outbreak of the Civil War. The fear of Yellow Fever in Charleston was such that Crawford, though a northerner, received, as a medical officer, a degree of access to the city that few "Yankees" did. He attended much of the convention that passed the Ordinance of Secession, and kept daily records. "I did it for the purpose of embodying at some future time, in such a narrative as this, the events which constituted so important an era in the history of the country. Volumes have been written about the battles which followed the intellectual combat which provoked the war… But the connected story of the beginning, and a picture of what the combat was about, have never yet been presented in consecutive form" (Preface). During the bombardment he commanded a battery at Sumter and later commanded units at Antietam, Gettysburg and the final campaigns in Virginia, eventually rising to the rank of major-general. Dornbusch III:2428. Bookplate of Major Adelbert Howard Merrill of the U.S. Army Officers' Reserve Corps.
An excellent, near-fine copy, with bright gilt.