The Civil War in Fairfax County

Civil War in FairfaxI mentioned on Thursday that I was going to be speaking that evening to the Bull Run Civil War Roundtable in Centreville, Virginia. I have a quick follow-up that I think will be of interest to hardcore Civil War buffs.

On Thursday, as a gift, the Bull Run Civil War Roundtable presented to me a two-volume publication: Chronology of the Civil War in Fairfax County: Battles, Skirmishes, Incidents & Events of The War Between the States Occurring in Fairfax County, Virginia, 1859-1862, and Appendix (partial 1863) by Edward T. Wenzel.

Ed’s book is breathtaking in its scope, covering day-by-day the Civil War history of Fairfax County during the first two years of the war. With more than 50 maps and more than 350 photos, Ed’s exhaustive study comes in at 618 pages. The index, totaling another 200 pages, comes in its own volume.

Some of the actions and movements covered: Blackburn’s Ford, First Manassas/Bull Run, Grigsby’s Hill, Lewinsville, Dranesville, Second Manassas/Bull Run, Chantilly, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg.

Plus there are entries related to secession, troop reviews, raids and reconnaissance missions, balloon observations, quartermaster activities, the flight of refugees and contrabands, the construction of fortifications, bridge burnings, and railroad incidents and wrecks. It is non-stop activity and action.

Five years in the making (two and a half times longer than it took for the events to spool out in real time!), Chronology of the Civil War in Fairfax County stands as an impressive monument all its own. This is national history written through the local lens, making it great fun for buffs to sift and sort and browse through.

What a really, really neat gift. My thanks to Ed and the roundtable for their work and thoughtfulness!

2 Responses to The Civil War in Fairfax County

  1. Chris: Great job, as always, with your lecture this past Thursday evening @ BRCWRT. The membership loved it. And, thanks so much for publicizing Ed’s book, which the Round Table took so much pride in supporting. Kudos, job well done… Jim Lewis

  2. Chris,
    That was a great talk on Spotsylvania’s Bloody Angle last Thursday. A superb job as usual and well received. Thank you for your blog about our Fairfax Chronology book! That was quite unexpected. I’m glad you like the book and am truly humbled by your kind words. Also, very appreciative for the publicity. Our book team included Charlie Balch, Steve Hull, and David Mudrick, each of whom labored many hundreds of hours to produce the indexes and all the technical work involved in getting the text, photos, and maps ready for publishing/printing. It was a great effort by BRCWRT members and HMDL’s history committee (Hunter Mill Defense League).
    Thanks again,

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