Six Miles to Charleston, Five Minutes to Hell, and 192 Pages of Awesome

The latest book from the Emerging Civil War Series is now available from Savas Beatie: Six Miles from Charleston, Five Minutes to Hell: The Battle of Secessionville, June 16, 1862 by Jim Morgan (click here to order).

The battle of Secessionville took place on June 16, 1862, as an opening movement against the city of Charleston. It involved joint Union army and naval operations, but their efforts quickly bogged down on a narrow spit of land defended by the Confederate Fort Lamar, commanded by Brig. Gen. Nathan G. “Shanks” Evans. Union Brig. Gen. Henry W. Benham withdrew his stymied forces and was thereafter relieved.

“When I moved to Charleston in early 2018, one of the first things I did was go to the Secessionville battlefield to have a look. It’s only about 8 miles from my house,” says Jim. “I’d heard about it, and was curious, but didn’t know anything in detail.  Mostly, I think I just loved the very curious name; that alone made it worth looking into.”

As Jim delved deeper into the battle, a conversation with ECW Editor-in-Chief Chris Mackowski convinced him to parlay that research into a book. “I thought about it very briefly and decided to say ‘yes’ as I’d been doing a lot of reading on the battle anyway,” Jim says. “It seemed like a useful and fun project. Plus, I realized that the last book on the subject was written in 1996, and there was lots of new material available for inspection. I thought it might be time for an update.”

The book features a foreword by Dr. Kyle Sinisi, professor of history at the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina and ten maps by cartographer Edward Alexander.

About the Book:

The small, curiously named village of Secessionville just outside of Charleston, South Carolina was the site of an early war skirmish, the consequences of which might have been enormous had the outcome been different. It quickly would be forgotten, however, as the Seven Days’ battles, fought shortly afterward and far to the north, attracted the attention of Americans on both sides of the conflict. The battle was as bloody and hard fought as any similar-sized encounter during the war. But it was poorly planned and poorly led by the Union commanders whose behavior did not do justice to the courage of their men. “Let us never again disparage our enemy and call them cowards,” on Confederate officer later said, “for nothing was ever more glorious than their three charges in the face of a raking fire of grape and canister.”

About the Author:

Jim Morgan is a co-founder and past president of the Fort Sumter Civil War Round Table in Charleston. He is a member of the board of the Fort Sumter-Fort Moultrie Historical Trust. He also is a past president of the Loudoun County Civil War Roundtable in Leesburg, Virginia, and was a co-founder and chairman of the Friends of Ball’s Bluff. His previous work includes a tactical study of Ball’s Bluff titled A Little Short of Boats: The Battles of Ball’s Bluff and Edwards Ferry and a chapter on the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War for ECW’s Turning Points of the Civil War. He also has written for Civil War Times, America’s Civil War, The Artilleryman, Blue & Gray, and other periodicals. Retired in 2014 from the State Department, Jim spends much of his time as a National Park Service volunteer at Forts Sumter and Moultrie.

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