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The Battle of Dranesville (Hardback)

Early War in Northern Virginia, December 1861

Military > Pre-WWI > American History > American Civil War

Imprint: Savas Beatie
Pages: 288
Illustrations: 50 images, 6 maps
ISBN: 9781611216936
Published: 27th March 2024



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After the guns of Manassas fell silent, the opposing armies grappled for position wondering what would come next. Popular history has us believe that daily briefings reported something along the lines of “All quiet along the Potomac.” Reality was altogether different. In fact, the fall and early winter of 1861 was a hotbed of activity that culminated in the December combat at Dranesville. The Union victory—sorely needed after the string of defeats at Bull Run, Wilson’s Creek, and Ball’s Bluff—was small when measured against what was to come; it also helped shape the bloody years to follow.Ryan Quint’s The Battle of Dranesville: Early War in Northern Virginia, December 1861 is the first full history of that narrow but critically important slice of the war. No one knew what was coming, but for the first time in a long while civilians (sympathetic to both sides) were thrown into a spreading civil war of their own as neighbor turned on neighbor. In time, this style of warfare, both on the home front and on the battlefield, came for the small town of Dranesville in Fairfax County.Quint’s mostly forgotten tale uses overlooked or underused sources to sweep readers along from the White House and Secession Hall in Charleston to midnight ambushes and the climatic Dranesville action. A host of characters and commands that would become household names cut their teeth during these months, including Generals Jeb Stuart and Edward Ord, and the Pennsylvania Reserves, whose baptism of fire at Dranesville set the Keystone State soldiers on a path to becoming one of the best combat units of the entire war. Though soon eclipsed by larger and bloodier battles, Dranesville remained a defining moment for many of its participants—soldiers and civilians alike—for the rest of their lives.Here, for the first time, shared through the eyes of those who lived it, is the story of Dranesville and the early war in Northern Virginia.

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