Coming Soon: New Bull Run Campaign Study

1 07 2014

downloadNovember 21, 2014 is the scheduled release date for a new Bull Run campaign study from University of Oklahoma PressThe Early Morning of War: Bull Run, 1861, by prolific author Edward G. Longacre. I’ve not heard a lot of buzz about the book, but it weighs in at 648 pages and has an Amazon pre-release price of $21.74 for Prime members.

From the publisher:

This crucial campaign receives its most complete and comprehensive treatment in Edward G. Longacre’s The Early Morning of War. A magisterial work by a veteran historian, The Early Morning of War blends narrative and analysis to convey the full scope of the campaign of First Bull Run—its drama and suspense as well as its practical and tactical underpinnings and ramifications. Also woven throughout are biographical sketches detailing the backgrounds and personalities of the leading commanders and other actors in the unfolding conflict.

Longacre has combed previously unpublished primary sources, including correspondence, diaries, and memoirs of more than four hundred participants and observers, from ranking commanders to common soldiers and civilians affected by the fighting. In weighing all the evidence, Longacre finds correctives to long-held theories about campaign strategy and battle tactics and questions sacrosanct beliefs—such as whether the Manassas Gap Railroad was essential to the Confederate victory. Longacre shears away the myths and persuasively examines the long-term repercussions of the Union’s defeat at Bull Run, while analyzing whether the Confederates really had a chance of ending the war in July 1861 by seizing Washington, D.C.

Brilliant moves, avoidable blunders, accidents, historical forces, personal foibles: all are within Longacre’s compass in this deftly written work that is sure to become the standard history of the first, critical campaign of the Civil War.

And two pretty good blurbs:

“In this book, Edward Longacre has applied his considerable skills as a biographer to a vivid piece of American history, injecting humanity and fresh insight to the story of the Civil War’s first major battle. Practicing the lost art of personification and characterization with both flourish and wisdom, Longacre makes the players in this immense drama live anew.”—John Hennessy, author of Return to Bull Run: The Campaign and Battle of Second Manassas

“Extensively researched and full of fresh insights and information, Edward G. Longacre’s finely crafted Early Morning of War offers a remarkably thorough, highly readable account of the men and events that shaped the course of the first great campaign of the American Civil War.”—Ethan S. Rafuse, author of McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union and Manassas: A Battlefield Guide

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14 responses

1 07 2014
Joseph Rose

And he didn’t contact you with any questions before writing it?

1 07 2014
Harry Smeltzer

No he didn’t, but I wouldn’t read anything into that. Mr. Longacre has been writing books for a long time now. I’m sure he had questions, and I’m sure he went about getting the answers from sources he considers reliable.

1 07 2014
Joseph Rose

I will be interested in seeing your review of the work. It states on Amazon that “Longacre has combed previously unpublished primary sources, including correspondence, diaries, and memoirs of more than four hundred participants and observers, from ranking commanders to common soldiers and civilians affected by the fighting.” If he didn’t talk to you, I sure hope that he utilized your website.

1 07 2014
Harry Smeltzer

As proud as I am of Bull Runnings, there is plenty of information on it that is available elsewhere, and plenty which is available elsewhere that is not on it. But I appreciate the sentiment!

1 07 2014
Susan Evelyn McDowell Cole

I think I will have to pick this one up. It always struck me that the South was being very aggressive about going after Washington DC and Lincoln was not nearly aggressive enough in going after Richmond. He fired one Union general after the other when his objectives were not met. Maybe this time I will find out why.

1 07 2014
Susan Evelyn McDowell Cole

Harry writes a good blog but I have been researching General Irvin McDowell for over five years now. There are things that show up in rare book rooms you will never find on the web. Since much of McDowell’s career was spent in California, you can only really those books in the rare rooms in the western half of the United States.

2 07 2014
Jonathan Soffe

I hope the orders of battle are correct! :)

2 07 2014
Harry Smeltzer

No excuses if they’re not!

11 07 2014
Chris Evans

At over 600 pages I think this is definitely Longacre’s biggest book ever!

It is larger than his cavalry books on the Eastern Army that were about the entire war.

Chris

11 07 2014
Harry Smeltzer

Yes, Chris, to use a cavalry term it appears the publisher in this case gave the author his head.

14 07 2014
Don Hallstrom

Hello Harry

I Enjoy your blog. I’m a little surprised that the “ultimate treatment” of such an important campaign has taken this long to appear.

I’ve never finished any of this author’s previously published titles. I’m a little leery of content when an author is a publishing machine. What is the overall opinion of Longacre’s previously published books?

Having Hennessy and Rafuse comment on the content is a hopeful sign.

I too look forward to your comments after you get to look at the book.

Regards
Don

14 07 2014
Chris Evans

I like Longacre’s work overall. Some of his work is hit and miss. I think he probably will try his best on the Bull Run book.

The Eastern Theater cavalry books Longacre did are very important and good. Ditto, his Henry Hunt, James Wilson, John Buford, Custer, Cavalry raids in the Civil War and Gettysburg books. His Chamberlain, Grant, and Appomattox books are not as hot.

I had what was for a while one of the most expensive modern day Civil War books in his biography of Dorsey Pender. Then they went and reissued it in paperback and the Hardcover price plummetted.

Again I like his stuff and think the Bull Run one could be his book best (at least I hope so). At least it will be fun to compare with Hennessy, Rafuse, Davis, and Detzer.

Chris

16 07 2014
Drew Wagenhoffer

“I had what was for a while one of the most expensive modern day Civil War books in his biography of Dorsey Pender. Then they went and reissued it in paperback and the Hardcover price plummetted.”

Hate it when that happens, esp. after years of searching for and finally getting a reasonably priced orig. edition copy.

17 07 2014
Harry Smeltzer

I have that one – got it cheap (hardcover). New one should be here tomorrow.

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