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Battle at Bull Run: A History of the First Major Campaign of the Civil War (1977)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0807108677, Paperback)From the very first pages of this book, it's clear that historian William C. Davis is ready to deliver a gripping account of the first battle of the Civil War. He describes a female spy traveling with stolen information from Washington, D.C., to Confederate headquarters in Fairfax Court House, Virginia: "The whole scene so reeked of penny romance that it bordered on the ludicrous." Maybe so, but it's also real history, and Davis understands what many academic historians do not: a good history book needs to tell good stories. Davis has written many outstanding books on the Civil War era, and Battle at Bull Run is one of his earliest. It's also one of his best, and is perhaps the finest book available on how the Union's haughty overconfidence crumbled against Southern determination in a single afternoon. Confederate General Thomas Jackson earned his immortal nickname, "Stonewall," on that day, and the soldiers who fought under him showed the North that its cry "On to Richmond!" was a hollow one. Much of the book focuses on events leading up to the actual battle--how the two armies were hastily assembled, how each side found its leaders, and so on. This is a familiar tale, but probably never has been told as well as it is on these pages. --John J. Miller
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:17 -0400)
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