A Civil War Battle of the Books and the Battle for Washington DC

For the third year in a row, GPO is doing its own version of the NCAA basketball playoffs. This year’s theme, appropriately enough, given that GPO opened for business shortly before Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter, is the Civil War. Since I’m a minor Civil War buff myself, I’ve blogged about several of the “competitors,” including Clara Barton: Clara Barton National Historic Site, Battle of Ball’s Bluff and, just a week or so ago, Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Greatness.

A couple of the books in this year’s tournament are National Park Service Cultural Resources Studies, which are detailed assessments of a particular park’s history, cultural landscape, and historical materials. Monocacy National Battlefield: Cultural Resources Study is meaningful to me because I’ve visited that Maryland park a number of times over the years, beginning when it first opened to the public. As a GPO employee, references to Jubal Early’s 1864 raid, which actually penetrated as far as Fort Stevens in Northwest Washington, DC, remind me that GPO employees actually were mustered into service for a day or two to help defend the city. If Early’s force had arrived a day earlier, it could have been a disaster for the Union, but the hastily assembled force at Monocacy commanded by General Lew Wallace provided just enough delay to ensure the safety of the capital. Wallace, who was criticized, not altogether fairly, for his generalship at Shiloh in 1862, was credited by General Grant for blocking Early at Monocacy. Later, Wallace had the last laugh by writing what is arguably one of the bestselling novels of his century – Ben Hur. To add to his fame, during his post-war career as governor of the New Mexico Territory, Wallace met Billy the Kid, which ensured his regular appearance in movies and TV westerns – giving him a great deal more fame than many more successful Civil War generals.

Monocacy is also a beautiful park, with a walking trail near the Monocacy River and a neat little visitor’s center. Now that spring is on the way, I’m ready to walk those trails again. You can read more about the park itself here, browse the cultural resources study here, or get your own copy via GPO. The study is also available in libraries.

Above all, don’t forget to vote for your favorites at the Civil War Super 16 Tournament. After 150 years, it’s time for a rematch!

4 Responses to A Civil War Battle of the Books and the Battle for Washington DC

  1. Pisanie prac says:

    Very useful topic really thank very much

    Like

  2. zannias vasilis says:

    DEAR SIR, THIS IS ONOTHER STORY ABOUT AMERICAN CIVIL
    WAR!AS YOU KNOW , I OVE THE BATTLES , THE MILITARY
    STORIES , AND IN MY PREVIOUS MESSAGE I HAVE MENTIONED
    THAT I HAD STUDIED VERY WELL THE HISTORY OF THE U.S.A.
    THE MAIN EVENT WAS THE MURDER OF PRESIDENT A.LINCOLN!
    AND YOU , HAVE YOU STUDIED TE HISTORY OF YOUR COUNTRY?I HAVE SOME STRANGE INFORMATION FOR YOU:
    -A.LINCOLN BECAME MEMBER OF CONGRESSO IN 1846!
    -J.F.KENNEDY BECAME MEMBER OF CONGRESSO IN 1946!
    A.LINCOLN BECAME PRESIDENT IN 1860!
    -J.F.KENNEDY BECAME PRESIDENT IN 1960!
    -BOTH OF THEM HAD ACTION ABOUT THE RIGHTS OF CITIZENS!
    -THE WOMEN OF BOTH OF THEM HAD LOST CHILDREN DURING
    THEIR LIFE IN WHITE HOUSE!
    -BOTH OF THEM WERE DIED …FRIDAY!
    -BOTH OF THEM WERE SHOOTED ON HEAD!
    THE SECRETARY OF LINCOLN WAS KENNEDY
    -THE SECRETARY OF KENNEDY WAS LINCOLN!
    -A.LINCOLN AND JFK WERE DIED BY PEOPLE FROM SHOUTH!
    -A.JOHNSON BECAME PRESIDENT AFTER LINCOLN WAS BORN IN
    1808!
    -L.JOHNSON BECAME PRESIDENT AFTER KENNEDY WAS BORN
    IN 1908!JOHN WILKES BOOTH HAD KILLED A.LINCOLN WAS
    BORN IN 1839!
    -LEE HARVEY OSWALD HAD KILLED JFK WAS BORN IN 1939!
    -THE NAMES OF A.LINCOLN AND JFK HAD 15 CHARACTER!
    -A.LINCOLN WAS KILLED IN A THEATRE WHICH HAD THE NAME
    “FORD”!
    -JFK WAS KILLED IN A CAR WHICH HAS THE NAME “LINCOLN” , BRAND “FORD”!
    -A.LINCOLN WAS KILLED IN A TREATRE AND BOOTH WENT IN
    A STOREHOUSE TO ESCAPE!
    -JFK WAS KILLED BY A STOREHOUSE AND OSWALD WENT IN A
    THEATRE TO ESCAPE!
    -BOOTH AND OSWALD WERE MURDERED BEFORE TRIAL!
    -A.LONCOLN A WEEK BEFORE DIE WAS IN MONROOE IN
    MARYLAND!
    -JFC A WEEK BEFORE DIE WAS WITH MERYLIN MONROE!
    DEAR SIR , PLEASE EXPLAIN THEM!

    Like

  3. Joaquim Trindade da Silva says:

    Gosto da publicação do artigo.

    Like

  4. Expert reviews says:

    My main interest in the Monocacy Battlefield is hiking, not history, so if you are a history buff–well, you’ve probably already researched it on your own!

    Like

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