Last year, we concentrated on getting some Emerging Civil War Series books in the works on the Western Theater. The result: titles on Atlanta and Chattanooga, with titles on Shiloh and Franklin later this year. We have Vicksburg in the works, too.
This year, we’ve turned our attention to 1862, which has been underserved in the ECW canon. Well, no more! We have several 1862-focused books coming out (including the aforementioned Shiloh book). The first to hit the shelves will be Richmond Shall Not be Given Up: The Seven Days’ Battles, June 25-July 1, 1862 by Doug Crenshaw.
“One of my great passions is trying to help others appreciate the campaigns around Richmond and telling the stories of the soldiers and civilians who were there,” Doug says. “When I saw the ECW book No Turning Back, I thought ‘What a great idea!’ Here was a book that would appeal to visitors and others who didn’t want to dive into a lengthy tome. It had great text and lots of images, and it pulled you in.
“One day the opportunity came to write a book on the Seven Days, and I jumped on it. I loved getting even more in depth on the subject, but even more I was excited to lay out a tour for visitors, providing brief explanations and context for what had happened here. Hopefully it will lead many, including a new generation, to a deeper study. Spending a day walking the fields with Chris Mackowski and Kris White was a definitely a highlight of the whole experience!”
Doug says he’s passionate about getting people to visit the battlefields because that’s how he got hooked on the Civil War. “To some it’s a familiar story. When I was eight years old, my uncle, ‘The General,’ took me to Cold Harbor, and it was a day I have never forgotten,” Doug shares. “Something about those long lines of trenches running through the pine trees moved me in a powerful way that I could not explain.”
Doug didn’t live in Virginia back then, but as fate would have it, many years later his family returned to its Richmond roots. “I read everything I could find about the battlefields surrounding Richmond, and spent many, many days walking the grounds,” he says. “While I have studied the war in depth, and have visited many other battlefields, I have always felt a special kinship with those fields around Virginia’s capital.”
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From the back cover:
In the spring of 1862, the largest army ever assembled on the North American continent landed in Virginia, on the peninsula between the James and York Rivers, and proceeded to march toward Richmond. Between that army and the capital of the Confederate States of America, an outnumbered Confederate force did all in its feeble power to resist—but all it could do was slow, not stop, the juggernaut.
To Southerners, the war, not yet a year old, looked lost. The Confederate government prepared to evacuate the city. The citizenry prepared for the worst.
And then the war turned.
During battle at a place called Seven Pines, an artillery shell wounded Confederate commander Gen. Joseph E. Johnston. His replacement, Gen. Robert E. Lee, stabilized the army, fended off the Federals, and then fortified the capital. “Richmond must not be given up!” he vowed, tears in his eyes. “It shall not be given up!”
Federal commander Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, confident of success, found himself unexpectedly hammered by a newly aggressive, newly emboldened foe. For seven days, Lee planned ambitious attacks and launched them, one after another, hoping not just to drive Federals from the gates of Richmond but to obliterate them entirely.
In Richmond Shall Not Be Given Up, historian Doug Crenshaw follows a battle so desperate that, ever-after, soldiers would remember that week simply as The Seven Days.
McClellan reeled. The tide of war turned. The Army of Northern Virginia was born.
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About the Author:
Doug Crenshaw, a longtime volunteer for Richmond National Battlefield, leads tours of the battlefields around the former Confederate capital. A member of the Richmond Civil War Roundtable, he has written books on Glendale and Fort Harrison, and he blogs for Emerging Civil War (www.emergingcivilwar.com).