Sample text for If the South had won the Civil War / MacKinlay Kantor.


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If the South Had Won the Civil War


The Past is immutable as such. Yet, in Present and in Future, its accumulated works can be altered by the whim of Time.…
As we enter the centennial of those military events which assured to the Confederate States of America their independence, it seems incumbent upon the historian to review a pageant bugled up from dusty lanes of the nineteenth century, to comment upon the actors appearing in such vast procession, and to inquire into the means by which they galloped toward fame or ignominy.
(If one would wish to apply this scrutiny to earlier epochs, he might in the same manner ask himself what would have befallen had winds not torn the canvas of the Spanish Armada?—had the Pilgrims landed on that Virginia coast for which they were originally primed?—had the boat bearing Washington capsized in the Delaware River?—had Pakenham been able to sweep triumphantly across the cotton-bale breastworks at New Orleans?)
Fruit of history contains many seeds of truth; yet unglimpsed orchards might have bloomed profusely in any season, were all the seeds planted and cultured before they dried past hope of germination.
Our American Civil War ended abruptly in July, 1863, with the shattering of the two most puissant armies which the North had been able to muster and marshal.
There was no more rebellion. Instead there had been a revolution, and the success of that enterprise now became assured—first, in Mississippi—and, almost simultaneously, some fourteen hundred miles away, among the green ridges which bend across the Pennsylvania-Maryland line.

Copyright © 1960 by MacKinlay Kantor. Renewed © 1988 by the Estate of MacKinlay Kantor.



Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Fiction.
Southern States -- Fiction.