Skip to main content
Cover for Allegiance


Fort Sumter, Charleston, and the Beginning of the Civil War

David Detzer, Gene Smith (Foreword by)


List Price: 19.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (4/12/2001)


Original and deeply human, this tense and surprising story, filled with indecisive bureaucrats, uninformed leaders, hotheaded politicians, and dedicated soldiers, is a clear and intimate portrait of the prolonged drama that unfolded at Fort Sumter and incited the first shot of the Civil War on April 12, 1861.

The six-month-long agony that began with Lincoln's election in November sputtered from one crisis to the next, and finally exploded as the soldiers at Sumter neared starvation. With little help from Washington, D.C., Major Robert Anderson, a soldier whose experience had taught him above all that war is the poorest form of policy, almost single-handedly forestalled the beginning of the war until he finally had no choice but to fight.

Skillfully re-created from a decade of extensive research, Allegiance exposes the passions that led to the fighting, the sober reflections of the man who restrained its outbreak, and the individuals on both sides who changed American history forever.

Praise For Allegiance: Fort Sumter, Charleston, and the Beginning of the Civil War


"A splendid story of people, ordinary and extraordinary, living through
extraordinary experiences . . . Their story has never before been told so well."--James M. McPherson
"Historical reporting at its best."--Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Allegiance should take a place as the definitive word on the first moments of
our greatest national tragedy."--William C. Davis

Mariner Books, 9780156007412, 400pp.

Publication Date: April 12, 2002

About the Author

David Detzer is professor emeritus of history with Connecticut State University. He is the author of several books, including Allegiance: Fort Sumter, Charleston, and the Beginning of the Civil War; and The Brink: Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and several dogs.