Civil War: The Coming Fury, Terrible Swift Sword, and Never Call Retreat

by Bruce Catton

Book cover for Civil War: The Coming Fury, Terrible Swift Sword, and Never Call Retreat

Three Volume set includes: The Coming Fury, Terrible Swift Sword, and Never Call Retreat. A journalist and public official before becoming editor of American Heritage magazine, Bruce Catton won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for his Civil War history A Stillness at Appomattox. As for this monumental Civil War trilogy, first published in the 1960s, historian Henry Steel Commager appraised: "better than any other history of our Civil War it combines narrative vigor, literary grace, freshness of view and independence of judgment, and a kind of catholic spirit which embraces the whole vast tumultuous scene." The first volume opens with the Democratic Party's Charleston convention in 1860 and the split that resulted in two Democratic candidates, followed by the Republican Convention and Lincoln's victory. The country first drifted and then was swept into war, even as Lincoln and Jefferson Davis were declaring that a peaceful solution could be found. The second volume shows how the Union and Confederacy slowly reconciled themselves to an all-out war, and how the statures of Lee, Grant, Sherman, Jefferson Davis, and many others emerged. McClellan's character is impaled here in extracts from his arrogant letters. In the final volume, Lincoln remains resolute in the belief that a house divided against itself cannot stand, while Jefferson Davis struggles valiantly for political and economic stability. Catton traces the most bitter years of the war here, from the fighting at Fredericksburg to the surrender at Appomattox and the end of the Confederacy, and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Each book includes a section of color maps, and the three volumes are contained in a blue and red box.

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