Cry Havoc!

Cry Havoc!

The Crooked Road to Civil War, 1861

Written by:

Additional Formats
  • Ebook
  • ISBN 9781101221327
  • 336 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult


A “compact, engrossing narrative”* that vividly reimagines the events that led to the outbreak of the Civil War

What separates historian Nelson D. Lankford’s engaging examination of the causes of the Civil War from other books on the subject is its willingness to consider the alternative possibilities to history. Cry Havoc! recounts in riveting detail the small quirks of timing, character, and place that influenced the huge trajectory of events during eight critical weeks from Lincoln’s inauguration through the explosion at Fort Sumter and the embattled president’s response to it. It addresses the what-ifs, the might-have-beens, and the individual personalities that played into circumstances-a chain of indecisions and miscalculations, influenced by swollen vanity and wishful thinking-that gave shape to the dreadful conflict to come.
Cry Havoc!

Cry Havoc!

Written by: Nelson Lankford


Daniel M. & Marilyn W. Laney Book Prize – winner


“Disturbs the time-honored march of history with a series of provocative what- ifs.”
-The New York Times Book Review*

“Captures the drama and complexity of this volatile period [and] reminds readers that . . . events could have taken a different path. Anyone interested in the background of our greatest national crisis will find Cry Havoc! hugely rewarding.”
-Gary W. Gallagher, author of The Confederate War

Table of Contents

Cry Havoc!Prologue: Harpers Ferry, October 1859

1. Faithfully Execute
Washington, D.C., March 4, 1861

2. Wait And See
Early March

3. Toujours La Politesse
Washington, D.C., Early to Mid-March

4. Contrivances Of Delay
Richmond, Mid-March

5. Collision Course
Late March to Early April

6. Flash Point
Charleston, April 12

7. Tidings Of War
April 12 to 15

8. Cheated And Deceived
April 15 to 17

9. Give The Old Lady Time
Richmond, April 15 to 17

10. John Brown In Gray
Harpers Ferry, April 17 to 18

11. Burning Bridges
Baltimore, April 17 to 19

12. Alone
Washington, D.C., April 18 to 21

13. Broad Stripes And Bright Stars
April 18 to 21

14. Sunday Rest
Gosport Navy Yard, April 21

15. Wild Excitement
Baltimore, April 20 to 21

16. Countless Rumors
April 21 to 25

17. Dismembering The Nation
Late April to Early May

Epilogue: Spring 1865


Maps appear on pages 14, 52, 140 , and 160