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The northern part of Loudoun County was a Unionist enclave in Confederate Virginia that remained a contested battleground for armies and factions of all stripes throughout the Civil War. Lying between the Blue Ridge Mountains, Harpers Ferry, and Washington, D.C., the Loudoun Valley provided a natural corridor for commanders on both sides, while its mountainous fringes were home to partisans, guerillas, deserters and smugglers. This detailed history examines the conflicting loyalties in the farming communities, the peaceful Quakers caught in the middle, and the political underpinnings of Unionist Virginia.
A comprehensive guide to one of America's unique national parks, The C&O Canal Companion takes readers on a mile-by-mile, lock-by-lock tour of the 184-mile Potomac River waterway and towpath that stretches from Washington, D.C., to Cumberland, Maryland, and the Allegheny Mountains. Making extensive use of records at the National Archives and the C&O Canal Park Headquarters, Mike High demonstrates how events and places along the canal relate to the history of the nation, from Civil War battles and river crossings to the frontier forts guarding the route to the West. Using attractive photographs and drawings, he introduces park visitors to the hidden history along the canal and provides practical advice on cycling, paddling, and hiking—all the information needed to fully enjoy the park's varied delights. Thoroughly overhauled and expanded, the second edition of this popular, fact-packed book features updated maps and photographs, as well as the latest information on lodgings and other facilities for hikers, bikers, and campers on weekend excursions or extended outdoor vacations. It also delves deeper into the history of the upland region, relaying new narratives about Native American settlements, the European explorers and traders who were among the first settlers, and the lives of slaves and free blacks who lived along or escaped slavery via the canal. Visitors to the C&O Canal who are interested in exploring natural wonders while tracing the routes of pioneers and engineers—not to mention the path of George Washington, who explored the Potomac route to the West as a young man and later laid out the first canals to make the river navigable—will find this guide indispensable.
This book is an operational and tactical study of cavalry operations in Northern Virginia from September 1862 to July 1863. It examines in detail John Mosby’s first six months as a partisan, within the context of the larger threat to the Union capital posed by Jeb Stuart. Previous studies of Mosby’s career are largely based on postwar memoirs. This narrative balances those accounts with previously unpublished official contemporary records left by the Union soldiers assigned to the defense of Washington, D.C. The formation of the Michigan Cavalry Brigade is fully documented, along with the exploits of the brigade in the months before George Custer took command. Largely forgotten events, such as Jeb Stuart’s Christmas Raid, the fight at Fairfax Station during Stuart’s ride to Gettysburg, as well as the vital role played by Union general Julius Stahel’s cavalry division in the critical month of June 1863, are examined at length.

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