Title: The Siege of Washington: The Untold Story of the Eleven Days That Shook the Union
Author: John and Charles Lockwood
Release: Apr 21 2011
The Siege of Washington provides a day-by-day, even minute-by-minute account of the nerve-wracking period in April, 1861-between Lincoln's emergency proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteers on April 15th and the arrival of Northern regiments on April 26th-when it seemed possible that Washington might fall into Confederate hands. When Fort Sumter fell on April 13th, Washington was largely surrounded by hostile forces: Virginia had joined the Confederacy, and Maryland, while not technically party to the rebellion, had a sizeable secessionist minority. By April 19th the nation's leaders were rendered powerless: the city's telegraph lines had been cut and Southern forces controlled the Potomac River to the south and all land routes in and out of Washington. Secessionists in Baltimore rioted in response to the presence of Union troops passing through the city on their way to reinforce Washington.
Preserving the Union first meant defending its capital, which involved a number of fascinating and colorful figures including General Winfield Scott, who supervised the city's defenses, and John Andrews, governor of Massachusetts, who had quietly trained and outfitted that state's militia troops earlier in the year; the 600 men of the Sixth Massachusetts would be the only fully armed and trained soldiers ready to withstand attack against a force of Confederates estimated in the thousands. Aiming to reach a broad non-specialist audience, the Siege of Washington brings to life this untold story from the early days of the Civil War.