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"A thrilling story brilliantly told. In April 1861, the fate of the nation's capital--surrounded, isolated, and vulnerable--hung in the balance while dread, spies, and conspirators filled its streets. Who would arrive in Washington first? Union troops to save it? Or the rebel army to sack it? The Lockwoods possess an unerring eye for the human drama and illuminating details that make great history."
--James L. Swanson, author of the New York Times best-sellers Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer and Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse
"An exciting blow-by-blow history of a tense, historically significant fortnight."
"[An] absorbing history.... The authors' well-paced narrative captures the suspense of the ordeal and the Union's achievement in improvising a defense from scratch. This vivid portrait of a weak and jittery Washington turns into a story of how Northern vigor and organization trumped Southern élan, presaging the larger war."
"The Lockwoods have filled a surprising gap in Civil War literature by describing the 12 days in April 1861 from the 'first shot' of the Civil War at Fort Sumter to the relief of the federal capital by Union troops.... This day-by-day accounting captures all the confusion and fear that reigned in the first days of the war and shows how luck as much as decision determined the fate of the Union."
"This book by two brothers goes day by day, capturing the drama at every turn...an entertaining glimpse of a key early moment in the struggle for this nation's soul."
"Vibrantly brings to life the first weeks of the war."--WORLD
"[T]his is a much-needed title, well-written, and certainly worthy of inclusion on the shelves of your Civil War library." --48thPennsylvania.com
"[A] detail-laden treasure.... The Siege of Washington adds to our sum of knowledge about the war by putting those earliest days on a well-lighted stage and focuses our attention on just the right actors."
"[A] remarkable look at a rarely told bit of our history." --Lincoln Star
"[A] lively and thoroughly researched account of how local residents, government leaders and military officers reacted to events--real and imagined--occurring around them. Their narrative, sprinkled with colorful and mostly little-known anecdotes, adroitly captures the uncertainty and tension pervading President Lincoln's capital."
--America's Civil War
"[A] fascinating work of micro-history."
--Atlanta Journal Constitution
Prologue April 15th, 1861
April 16th, 1861
April 17th, 1861
April 18th, 1861
April 19th, 1861
April 20th, 1861
April 21th, 1861
April 22th, 1861
April 23th, 1861
April 24th, 1861
April 25th, 1861
Epilogue References Index
Posted June 17, 2013
I was fascinated by this book outlining the panicky first days of the civil war when the safety of the capital was in doubt. I have read a few general histories of the civil war but somehow I didn't grasp how tenuous the hold on Washington was. Just the riots on the troops passing through Baltimore was enough to unnerve any president in the position Lincoln was in. Since a lot of general histories accelerate into the hardcore fighting stages of the war, you don't always have it presented to you in anything like this sort of detail. For the first time I realize how very different this country might have been if just a few things might have turned the other way in those first few weeks. Highly recommended.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.