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Searching for Irvin McDowell (Paperback)

The Civil War’s Forgotten General

World History > The Americas > USA

Imprint: Savas Beatie
Pages: 312
Illustrations: 20 images, 10 maps
ISBN: 9781611216202
Published: 15th May 2023



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Irvin McDowell was a prominent figure during the early months of the Civil War. The West Point graduate was a dutiful, dependable, and diligent military officer. With so much at stake in 1861, he was called upon to lead the Union’s most prominent Eastern army. Pressed by the media and President Abraham Lincoln to move into Virginia and defeat the gathering Confederate forces, McDowell led his neophyte army to the plains of Manassas and was soundly defeated after a long day of hard fighting. Thereafter, he held a large independent command in northern Virginia during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign and served in the Army of Virginia under Gen. John Pope during the disastrous Second Manassas Campaign.


Despite his significant contributions, a lack of primary materials (and few personal papers) made it seemingly impossible to pen his biography. Authors Frank Simione Jr. and Gene Schmiel used available sources to create a reliable synthesis of the man and his career in Searching for Irvin McDowell: The Civil War’s Forgotten General. Unless or until his private papers surface, it will stand as the best treatment of McDowell.

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