The Beginning and the End: The Story of Civil War Surrenders


The Beginning and the End: The Story of Civil War Surrenders - Dayton E. Pryor. Months before Fort Sumter was attacked, even before the Confederacy was formed, fifty-six U. S. forts, arsenals and ships were seized by the first states to secede, and one-seventh of the U. S. Army was surrendered to the militia in Texas. The Beginning and the End tells the dramatic story of these events, largely ignored in Civil War histories, and describes the Confederacy's other war preparations. It relates how, without guidance from the floundering Buchanan administration, a decisive army lieutenant saved Fort Pickens at Pensacola in January, while a naval commodore was court-martialed for not resisting the seizure of the navy yard there, and how other junior officers protected the two forts at the Keys. The second part of the book explains why, following the final campaigns of March 1865, Southern surrenders continued for several months after Appomattox. When Lee, who had just become general-in-chief, declined to end the war by surrendering all Confederate forces, he left the remaining C. S. generals to struggle with a hopeless situation while Davis fled to Georgia. In absorbing detail, it relates the background of Johnston's surrender on April 26 in North Carolina, Taylor's in Alabama on May 4, Jones's in Florida on May 10-the same day that Davis was captured-and Kirby-Smith's, west of the Mississippi, on May 26. The book concludes with the surrender of Indian Territory tribes, the release of prisoners of war, and the firing of the last shot in Aleutian waters on June 28. This work is complemented with maps, illustrations, and a combined full-name plus subject index.

Dayton E. Pryor is a life-long student of American history who grew up in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, the farthest point of Confederate advance. He has a B. A. in history from Bethany College and an M.A. in economics from the University of Chicago.

"This book tells the dramatic stories, often not detailed in history books…" Joan Griffis, Commercial News

(2001, 2005), 2009, 5½x8½, paper, index, 500 pp. 

ISBN 9780788420078