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A Battlefield Guide

Ethan S. Rafuse

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Imprint: University of Nebraska Press
Published: 05/2014
Pages: 232
Subject: History
eBook ISBN: 9780803254275


This volume is the essential guide to the Manassas battlefields, site of two of the Civil War’s critical campaigns. Ethan S. Rafuse, a distinguished scholar of the Civil War, provides a clearly organized, thorough, and uniquely insightful account of both campaigns, along with expert analysis and precise directions for armchair traveler and battlefield visitor alike. The July 1861 Battle of First Manassas and the August 1862 Battle of Second Manassas unequivocally influenced the course and outcome of the Civil War. The first battle dealt a decisive blow to hopes that the inexperienced armies of the North and the South could bring about a quick military resolution of the secession crisis. The second battle was the climactic engagement of a spectacular campaign that carried the war to the outskirts of Washington DC and marked the coming of age of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Manassas: A Battlefield Guide presents readers with a clear, convenient guide to the sites in northern and central Virginia that shaped the course and outcome of these campaigns. Lucid, concise narratives give readers a better understanding of the events that took place on these battlefields and of the terrain, personalities, and decisions that shaped them.


Ethan S. Rafuse is a professor of history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and has led staff rides and tours of historic battlefields for many military and civilian groups. He is also the author of several books, including Antietam, South Mountain, and Harpers Ferry: A Battlefield Guide (Nebraska, 2008) and McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union.


"Rafuse's Manassas ranks among the best tools for touring the Second Bull Run campaign and battlefield and for the first battle it is without peer among traditionally formatted guide books."—Civil War Books and Authors

"[Manassas] belongs in every serious visitor's knapsack."—Free Lance-Star

“This guidebook explores the campaigns of Manassas like no other. It will take you to obscure places long forgotten and accord them significance; it takes the familiar and illuminates them in ways not done before. Well written and dashed with analytical twists both thoughtful and helpful, Dr. Rafuse’s work is by far the best of its kind.”—John Hennessy, author of Return to Bull Run: The Campaign and Battle of Second Manassas