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Civil War

  • ... the Yankees aren't fiends. They haven't horns and hoofs, as you seem to think. They are pretty much like Southerners — except with worse manners, of course, and terrible accents.

  • We are divorced, North from South, because we have hated each other so. If we could only separate politely, and not have a horrid fight for divorce.

  • All quiet along the Potomac to-night; / No sound save the rush of the river; / While soft falls the dew on the face of the dead — / The picket's off duty forever!

  • 'All quiet along the Potomac,' they say, / 'Except now and then a stray picket / Is shot, as he walks on his beat to and fro, / By a rifleman hid in the thicket ... '

  • North and South were equally confident that God was on their side, and appealed incessantly to him.

  • I have never seen an adequate description anywhere of the amazement, the uncomprehending horror of the bulk of the American people which preceded the firing of that gun at Sumter. Politicians or far-sighted leaders on both sides knew what was coming. And it is they who have written histories of the war. But to the easy-going millions, busied with their farms or shops, the onrushing disaster was as inexplicable as an earthquake. Their protest arose from sea to sea like the clamor of a gigantic hive of frightened bees.

  • [On John Brown:] The poor wretch is hanged, but from his grave a root of bitterness will spring, the fruit of which at no distant day may be disunion and civil war.

    • Fanny Kemble,
    • 1861, in Margaret Armstrong, Fanny Kemble: A Passionate Victorian ()