In Out Flew the Sabers: The Battle of Brandy Station, June 9, 1863―The Opening Engagement of the Gettysburg Campaign, Civil War historians Eric J. Wittenberg and Daniel T. Davis have written the latest entry in Savas Beatie’s critically acclaimed Emerging Civil War Series.
“I find myself drawn back to those beautiful, verdant fields, knowing that good, brave men fought and died there for causes that they believed in,” said Wittenberg, who has written on Brandy Station before. “This was truly the field where the Army of the Potomac’s Cavalry Corps achieved parity with its vaunted foe, and from that moment forward, things were never again the same.”
Wittenberg is the expert on cavalry in the Eastern Theater, and the battle of Brandy Station was the largest cavalry battle of the war. He’s been with Emerging Civil War for a year and a half, but this is his first book with the Emerging Civil War Series.
Davis is the heir-apparent when it comes to the Federal cavalry. This will be the fifth book he’s co-authored for the series.
“My interest in the Civil War began, in part, through weekend trips to the Fredericksburg area battlefields with my dad when I was a child,” said Davis. “Brandy Station is also close to my parents’ house, and we made numerous trips there to visit the battlefield and attend a couple of reenactments. Having the opportunity to work on the project with the recognized authority on Civil War cavalry has made it even more special.”
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From the back cover:
One day. Fourteen hours. Twelve thousand Union cavalrymen against 9,000 of their Confederate counterparts―with three thousand Union infantry thrown in for good measure. Amidst the thunder of hooves and the clashing of sabers, they slugged it out across the hills and dales of Culpepper County, Virginia.
And it escalated into the largest cavalry battle ever fought on the North American continent.
Fleetwood Hill at Brandy Station was the site of four major cavalry battles during the course of the Civil War, but none was more important than the one fought on June 9, 1863. That clash turned out to be the opening engagement of the Gettysburg Campaign―and the one-day delay it engendered may very well have impacted the outcome of the entire campaign.
The tale includes a veritable who’s-who of cavalry all-stars in the East: Jeb Stuart, Wade Hampton, John Buford, and George Armstrong Custer. Robert E. Lee, the great Confederate commander, saw his son, William H. F. Lee, being carried off the battlefield, severely wounded. Both sides suffered heavy losses.
But for the Federal cavalry, the battle was also a watershed event. After Brandy Station, never again would they hear the mocking cry, “Whoever saw a dead cavalryman?”
Proceeds from the sale of the book will go to support the Civil War Trust.
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About the Authors:
Eric J. Wittenberg is an accomplished American Civil War cavalry historian and author. An attorney in Ohio, Wittenberg is the author of many articles and the author or co-author of more than a dozen books on Civil War cavalry subjects, including The Battle of Monroe’s Crossroads and the Civil War’s Final Campaign; Plenty of Blame to Go Around: Jeb Stuart’s Controversial Ride to Gettysburg; and One Continuous Fight: The Retreat from Gettysburg and the Pursuit of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, July 4-14, 1863. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife Susan.
Daniel T. Davis is a graduate of Longwood University, with a B.A. in public history. Dan has worked as a historian at both Appomattox Court House National Historic Site and at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, and he’s the co-author of three books in the Emerging Civil War Series. He resides in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with his wife, Katy, and their Beagle mix, Bayla. With Phill Greenwalt, he is co-author of three ECWS books: Bloody Autumn: The Valley Campaign of 1864; Hurricane from the Heavens: The Battle of Cold Harbor; and Calamity in Carolina: The Battles of Averasboro and Bentonville. With Chris Mackowski and Kristopher D. White, he’s co-author of ECWS’s Fight Like the Devil: The First Day at Gettysburg, July 1, 1863.
Eric and Dan both blog for Emerging Civil War <www.emergingcivilwar.com>.