|DESPERATE ENGAGEMENT BOOK SYNOPSIS|
When Confederate General Jubal Early's men crossed the Potomac River into Maryland, it marked the third time during the Civil War the South had invaded the North (59). "It was a desperate thing to do..." Conf. Kyd Douglas wrote in his war memoir. General Robert E. Lee's bold plan to move Early's Second Corp from outside of Richmond was risky and aggressive. Lee hoped to kick the Union out of the Shenandoah Valley, collect supplies, free confederate POW's from Point Lookout Maryland, and if conditions were right, invade Washington, D.C.
Bold Lew Wallace
The little known Battle of the Monocacy, was fought in the corn and wheat fields just four miles south of Frederick, Maryland on July 9th, 1864. The veteran troops of the South were under Jubal Early and the Union troops under Lew Wallace, Commander of the Eighth Army Corps and The Middle Department (based in Baltimore).
What ensued was a viscous one day bloody battle that pushed the Union Troops to retreat back towards Baltimore, and left a wide open march for the Confederates all the way down to the Nations Capitol. The book covers the controversial Union Commander Lew Wallace and his decision to, without orders or permission of his superiors, move troops to the Monocacy Junction. Had Wallace not made this brash move, the Confederate army wouldn't have had anything blocking their direct route into Washington. Because of the Battle, Confederate troops were held back fighting and suffered loss and time in their objectives.
The battle impacted the rest of the Civil War and in turn, American history! Though monumental, the battle of the Monocacy was underscored in history.
|QUEENIE B SAYS|
Marc Leepson's rich, historical and very human recount of the Battle Of Monocacy in Desperate Engagement deserves much credit. His knowledge of the individual personnel who fought and took part in this invasion, and the aftermath, is extensive.
Leepson doesn't write in boring facts, but rather with detailed clarity about what was actually going on during the latter part of the Civil War. He takes an intensively personal look at the personalities that affected the Wars outcome. The historical figures will pop off the page for you.
Civil War lovers come on and read!
Desperate Engagement is right up there with Jeff Shaara's Killer Angles (the story of the Gettsyburg Battle of 1863). I was impressed with Commander Lew Wallace. His decision to bring his men to the Monocacy Junction saved Washington, D.C. from being invaded and thrown over. The confederate troops were Veteran strong under the awesome command of Jubal Early, who had fought in many of the major battles. Washington D.C., though protected by forts and lines of fortification, was manned only by civilians, troops untested in battle, and injured Union soldiers.
General Jubal Early Hesitates
What if Wallace hadn't interpreted the Union Intelligence as he did? What if he hadn't taken the "bull by the horns" and gathered his 2800 men to the region of the Monocacy to engage in battle? Certainly Jubal Early would have made his way straight to Washington and not hesitated to attack on D.C. as he ended up doing. General Grants men wouldn't have made it to Washington for reinforcement, and the Confederates wouldn't be strong and battle ready. Washington overtaken could have meant a burned Capitol, raiding of the Treasury Department, and Lincoln probably wouldn't have won reelection. We could be the Confederate States of America today!
Oh dear how I love civil war history. And yes, Im very much of a patriot so perhaps I get excited more then the average person about a book like Desperate Engagement, but its interesting to note how and why the things that happened in our historical past make us the mighty United States of America today!
|DESPERATE ENGAGEMENT DISCUSSION QUESTIONS|
- Do you think the Confederates should have attacked Washington D.C. after they won the Battle at the Monocacy Junction?
- What do you think about the "Missing Brigade"?
- Do you think Lew Wallace was an unsung hero of the Civil War?
More Queenie B Book Reviews90 Minutes in Heaven, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Blonde Ambition, Can't Wait to Get to Heaven, Celebrity Detox, The Day Donny Herbert Woke Up, Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood, Fanny Kemble's Civil Wars, For One More Day, Good Dog. Stay, Love in the Time of Cholera, Lucky, Magic Hour, My Lobotomy, One Thousand White Women, Sage-ing While Age-ing, Steve and Me, The Sister, A Novel of Emily Dickinson, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, The Wednesday Letters, What Matters Most.
AUTHOR(S): Marc Leepson
TYPE OF BOOK: Nonfiction
NUMBER OF PAGES: 302
YEAR PUBLISHED: 2007
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