03 January 2009 by Published in: Research and Writing 5 comments

Since J. D. let the cat out of the bag by describing our next book on the Gettysburg Discussion Group today, I might as well announce it here.

We’ve decided to push back the Monocacy study a bit in order to complete our trilogy on the Gettysburg Campaign. As one reviewer of One Continuous Fight: The Retreat from Gettysburg and the Pursuit of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, July 4-14, 1863 properly noted, the Gettysburg Campaign really didn’t end until the armies returned to the Rappahannock River and the positions that they occupied before Lee’s advance in June 1863. We addressed the period from July 14-31, 1863 in a very cursory and very brief overview in the epilogue to One Continuous Fight.

We have decided to go ahead and do a book-length sequel to One Continuous Fight that covers this period in detail for the first time. Actions covered will include David M. Gregg’s cavalry fight at Harpers Ferry on July 15, the cavalry fight at Manassas Gap/Wapping Heights on July 18, 1863, the large-scale infantry engagement at Wapping Heights between three corps of the Army of the Potomac’s foot soldiers and the Second Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia, the pursuit through the Loudoun Valley, following the same route as that used by George B. McClellan in November 1862, and coverage of the August 1 cavalry fight at Brandy Station. So far as I can tell, none of these actions have ever enjoyed any sort of a detailed treatment. Hence, it appears that we’re going to be plowing new ground again here.

Our purpose in doing this book is to disprove, for once and for all, the myth that George G. Meade was passive and lacked vigor in his pursuit of Lee. In fact, once Lee’s army got across the Potomac, Meade became hyper-aggressive, so much so that Halleck eventually had to order Meade NOT to attack and to hold his position once the draw-down of force to put down the New York draft riots began. We will show, once and for all, that Meade’s pursuit was aggressive but yet prudent, and that Lee’s masterful handling of the retreat of his army is really the factor that prevented Meade from bringing him to bay in a decisive battle on ground of Meade’s choosing.

The working title is For Want of a Nail: The Retreat and Pursuit of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, July 15-August 1, 1863, and this book, like the rest of the trilogy, will be published by Savas Beatie. Phil Laino (who does the excellent maps that appear in Gettysburg Magazine) will be doing our maps this time, and we will again feature a driving tour with GPS coordinates. Once it’s complete, we will then tackle the book on Early’s 1864 raid on Washington, D.C.

We will keep you posted as to progress.

Scridb filter


  1. Sat 03rd Jan 2009 at 7:50 pm

    I am looking forward to it. Good luck. . .

  2. Bill Shepherd
    Sat 03rd Jan 2009 at 11:07 pm

    Eric : once again, the OCF book was an extraordinary pleasure to read,as was the J.E.B. Stuart book that preceded it. One question, was General Buford involved in this series of actions post-Falling Waters ? Bill Shepherd.

  3. Sat 03rd Jan 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Thanks, John. I appreciate it.

    Bill, the answer is yes, John Buford was heavily involved. He was involved at Wapping Heights, and his division carried the bulk of the fighting at Brandy Station on August 1. And thank you for the kind words about our work.


  4. Sun 04th Jan 2009 at 12:53 am

    Certainly good news! Looking forward to some good reading. I promise this time NOT to take any driving tours offered in reverse!

  5. Sun 04th Jan 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Great title! For want of a nail, the kingdom was lost…

    Sounds good!

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