14 February 2008 by Published in: Civil War books and authors 11 comments

On July 11, 1864, Confederate staff officer Charles Blackford wrote to his wife,

The sinking of the Alabama gives us great concern, and we are very anxious to hear from Early. I fear he has undertaken more than he can do with his small force, and he is likely to come to grief.”

From that, J. D. came up with a great title for our project, which I unveil here:

Likely to Come to Grief: Jubal Early’s Washington Raid, the Battle of Monocacy, the Johnson-Gilmor Raid, and the Fight at Fort Stevens

I like it.

Scridb filter


  1. Thu 14th Feb 2008 at 11:06 pm

    I like it too. Good luck with it!

  2. Thu 14th Feb 2008 at 11:14 pm

    I’m glad you like it, Sarah. It’s long, but I think it’s going to be a terrific title for this project.


  3. Fri 15th Feb 2008 at 1:19 am

    Part of his concern, I’m sure, was that his little brother Eugene was commanding Rodes’ sharpshooters and was sure to be in the forefront of things.

  4. David
    Fri 15th Feb 2008 at 7:42 am

    When does it look like the book will be published and available to readers? Will it include a driving tour, similar to some of your other works? Really looking forward to reading it.

  5. Fri 15th Feb 2008 at 10:21 am


    I can’t honestly tell you when it will be available, as we haven’t even begun writing yet.

    It will definitely include a driving/walking tour.

    Thanks for your enthusiasm.


  6. Fri 15th Feb 2008 at 10:30 am


    I thought you’d pick up on that ๐Ÿ™‚ Charles’ letters of the period definitely betray a sense of anxiety.

    We’ll begin writing very soon, and with any luck we should complete it sometime by late summer/early fall, which may mean a release sometime early 2009 if all goes well.


  7. B. F. Cooling
    Fri 15th Feb 2008 at 10:44 am

    Am curious – why do you think the project is worth doing – your seventeen page bibliography suggests that it has been done over and over and over. Even I am postholing Fort Stevens and a new biography of Wallace looms with Gary Gallagher presumably still working his Early biography. Fred Ray has done the sharpshooters, the Ohio 100 dayers story has been done. The arcane and obscure belong to the NPS on site for their interpretation and Ed Bearss gave them a good basis awhile ago – his flock publishing the government study. So, what gives with your curiosity?

  8. Fri 15th Feb 2008 at 11:31 am

    I assume you’ll be looking at Eugene’s letters at MDHS and USAMHI. Unfortunately not a whole lot of detail there.

  9. Fri 15th Feb 2008 at 11:38 am

    Mr. Cooling,

    Honored to hear from you! Well, to be quite honest, it’s often been said that Jeb Stuart’s ride to Gettysburg, and the retreat from Gettysburg, had been told and done to death.

    Regardless, when we began gathering sources for each of those stories, they began to shape the events much more fully than before. In the event of Jeb’s ride, we began developing a perspective on his decision-making that hadn’t yet been explored. And previously there had been precious little ever put together on the fights at Fairfax Court House or the shelling of Carlisle. We discovered a good amount of material on the battle of Hanover that completely changed the interpretation of it. And a mountain of primary source never used in telling the fight at Hunterstown came to us. No book had ever fully told the story of the resulting controversy of Stuart’s ride and performance until our 3 chapters on the subject.

    Our book on the Gettysburg Retreat developed the same way – Brown’s masterful study didn’t fully tell the story of the 22 fights and skirmishes from July 4 – 14, and no book yet fully explored Meade’s decision-making.

    In the case of Jube’s Raid, we have combed all present and past works, including your own, and we determined to put our twist on it – telling the narrative in the context of all else that was taking place. There is yet much to be said about the Johnson-Gilmor Raid, and the fight at Ft. Stevens still hasn’t received a modern study. Judging by the amount of material we’ve gathered, we see the door open to tell this story just as we explored Jeb’s ride and the Gettysburg retreat. We are building on the wonderful work you and others have done, to lay the groundwork for such a study as ours.

    I think I speak for Eric as well when I say we’d be honored if you would be involved as we work through the project, and give us your thoughts and critique as we get closer to putting it together.

    Best regards,
    J.D. Petruzzi

  10. Fri 15th Feb 2008 at 12:20 pm

    What? You’re not using “Get down you d___ fool!” as related from O.W. Holmes to President Lincoln?

  11. Fri 15th Feb 2008 at 12:27 pm

    LOL Cas, that was our second choice ๐Ÿ™‚


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