I have always enjoyed tour guides. They’re a useful tool for Civil War historians. I can read it from the comfort of my home and use it later when visiting the sites of a Civil War battle and/or campaign. It was a real pleasure for me to be able to co-author To Hazard All: A Guide to the Maryland Campaign, 1862 as part of the Emerging Civil War Series alongside my good friend, Rob Orrison.
Of course, the Battle of Antietam stands as the best-known event of the Maryland Campaign. Numerous guides exist to lead visitors around that hallowed ground, including one in the Emerging Civil War Series. Rob and I thus took a different approach to this book so as not to walk over heavily trodden ground. We decided to focus this book on the campaign itself and the actions preceding and succeeding the bloodiest single day battle in American military history. Chapters cover the Union and Confederate routes from the Second Manassas battlefield to Frederick, the battles of South Mountain and Harpers Ferry, and the subsequent campaign into Virginia, known as the Loudoun Valley Campaign, that ended with Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan’s removal from command of the Army of the Potomac.
This approach was especially eye-opening for me. Most of my focus in studying the Maryland Campaign had been on the Battle of Antietam. Writing and researching this book and driving the routes both armies took just to reach the Antietam battlefield showed me the breadth of the campaign and that both armies engaged in smaller but important actions before ever reaching the slopes of South Mountain or the hills surrounding Harpers Ferry. By the standard of 19th century military campaigns, the Maryland Campaign was relatively short—just 18 days—but plenty of action, movement, and decisions comprised one of the most consequential campaigns in American history. Pick up a copy of To Hazard All and follow in the footsteps of the armies of Northern Virginia and of the Potomac as they trekked towards their bloody destiny on the banks of Antietam Creek.
To Hazard All: A Guide to the Maryland Campaign, 1862
by Robert Orrison & Kevin R. Pawlak
Savas Beatie, 2018
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