In 1862, the United States had been ripped apart by a civil war entering its 18th month. Until now, few have
understood how close this breach was to becoming a permanent fixture on the map of history.
It was the nation’s, and Mr. Lincoln’s, most trying month, as Gen. Robert E. Lee invaded Union soil, panicking entire cities, destroying fragile political alliances and causing all of the North to rethink the fight and question whether it was best to redouble its war efforts or give up and let the South pursue its own course. For three weeks in September, the air was electric, nerves were at the breaking point and the whole of the North held its breath.
In this fascinating work, Dennis Frye draws from a voluminous cache of period newspapers to expertly demonstrate just how fragile the national bond had become by the autumn of 1862.