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The Siege of Washington is 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." Publishers Weekly
"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." --Library Journal
"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." --Huffington Post
"The Lockwoods' account of the first days of the Civil War is a tale well told, full of intrigue and real peril." --Daily Hampshire Gazette
"[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." --Roll Call
"[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: "On to Washington!"
Monday, April 15: "The Capital Can't Be Taken"
Tuesday, April 16: "The Uprising of the North"
Wednesday, April 17: "Independence or Death"
Thursday, April 18: "Between Many Fires"
Friday, April 19: "Minute Men of '61"
Saturday, April 20: "Lincoln is in a Trap"
Sunday, April 21: "A Real State of Siege"
Monday, April 22: "Enveloped by the Traitors"
Tuesday, April 23: "Fight, Sir, Fight!"
Wednesday, April 24: "The Destiny of the Capitol . . . Suspended by a Hair"
Thursday, April 25: "The Seventh Have Come!"
Epilogue: "Jeff Davis Shan't Get It Without Trouble"
Acknowledgments, Notes, Photo Credits, 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.