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Fairfax County History

Virginia Room Research Last Updated: Jun 23, 2024 10:04 AM

Civil War in Northern Virginia

The Civil War books listed here are entirely devoted to the events and places in the Northern Virginia counties of Fairfax, Arlington, Prince William, Loudoun, Fauquier, and the City of Alexandria. These materials are accessible in Fairfax County Public Library's Virginia Room.  

Civil War Battles

First and Second Manassas

Bull Run Remembers by Hanson, J.M, National Capitol Publishers, Inc., 1951 VREF 973.73 H
This volume by a former superintendent of the military park was written as a guide for visitors. Though well done, readers should note that it was written more than 50 years ago and that much at the park has since changed.

Manassas (Bull Run) National Battlefield Park by Wilshin, F. F., National Park Service, 1957 VREF 973.73 W
Like the preceding volume, this book was prepared as a visitors guide over half a century ago. It remains useful for its maps and photographs only.

The Manassas Battlefields, McElfresh Map Co., 2007 VREF 973.731 M
This map shows the ground on which the two Battles were fought based on several well recognized sources.


First Manassas/First Bull Run

Donnybrook – The Battle of Bull Run, 1861 by Detzer, D., Harcourt, Inc., 2004 VREF 973.731 D
This is a very competently written account of the Battle, but suffers from the inclusion of just one map that only shows the positions late in the day.

The First Battle of Manassas– An End to Innocence, July 18-21, 1861 by Hennessy, J., H. E. Howard, Inc., 1989 VREF 973.73 H
Part of the highly authoritative Virginia Civil War Battles and Leaders Series, volume by a former director of the National Battlefield Park is the definitive treatment of the first great Battle of the Civil War.

First Manassas Battlefield Map Study by Bearss, E., H. E. Howard, Inc., no date VREF 973.731 B
A companion volume to the one above, this book prepared by a noted Civil War authority documents the positions of Union and Confederate forces at six different points in the action based on the extant documentary evidence.

First Manassas 1861 – The Battle of Bull Run by Hankinson, A., Osprey Publishing, 1990 VREF 973.731 H
This volume tells the story of the Battle through Osprey’s unique blending of vivid illustrations and maps with a concise text.

Battle of Young’s Branch, or, Manassas Plain, Fought July 21, 1861 By Warder, T. B. and Catlett, J. M., Enquirer Book and Job Press, 1862 VREF 973.73 W
This is a reprint of a book issued in 1862 after the Confederate victory at Manassas to foster a martial spirit in the South. Decidedly partisan, it provides details of the Battle not found elsewhere.

"We Shall Meet Again” – The First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run) July 18-21, 1861 by McDonald, J. M., Oxford University Press, 1999 VREF 973.73 M
Through diary entries and letters, the author conveys the horrors of war with realism and compassion.

Battle at Bull Run – A History of Their First Major Campaign of The Civil War by Davis, W. C., Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1977 VREF 973.73 D
This very readable account of the Battle was written by an editor of the Civil War Times.

Bull Run: Its Strategy & Tactics by Johnston, R. M., John Kallmann, Publishers, 1996 VREF 973.73 J
This volume is a reprint of a work published in 1913. The author laments that with an adequate standing army the Civil War would have been swiftly brought to an end.

The Battle of Bull Run, Kraus Reprint Co., 1977 VREF 973.73 U
Extracted from the congressional Report of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, 1863-1866, this monograph provides the full testimony before the Committee which investigated the reasons for the loss.

First Manassas, Editors of Time-Life Books, 1997 VREF 973.731 F
This volume in the excellent Voices of the Civil War series, tells the story of the Battle in the words and images of soldiers and civilians who participated in the Battle.

First Manassas– The Bull Run Campaign by Jones, V. C., Eastern Acorn Press, 1980 VREF 973.731 J
This very well illustrated booklet provides a good brief overview of the Battle.

The First Battle of Bull Run – Campaign of First Manassas by Hill, J., CartoGraphics, Inc., 1991 VREF 973.731 H
This booklet provides a highly concise overview of the Battlefield using splendidly drawn maps of equal use to novices and seasoned buffs.

75th Anniversary of the Manassas National Jubilee of Peace, July 1911 by Manassas City Museum, 1986 VREF 973.731 H
This booklet includes photos and contemporary content from the 1911 celebrations in which President Taft was a participant.


Second Manassas/Second Bull Run

Return to Bull Run by Hennessy, J. J., Simon & Schuster, 1993 VREF 973.732 H
This very well written book is by a former historian at the Battlefield and leading authority on the Battle.

Second Manassas Battlefield Map Study by Hennessy, J., H. E. Howard, Inc., 1991 VREF 973.732 H
This volume, by the author of the definitive history of the Battle, provides detailed information about troop positions and movements during Second Manassas.

The Second battle of Manassas by Greene, A. W., Eastern National, 1995 VREF 973.732 G
This semi-official booklet in the National Parks Civil War Series includes fine maps and illustrations, and provides an excellent introduction to the Battle.

Second Manassas- The Battle and Campaign by Kelly, D., Eastern Acorn Press, 1983 VREF 973.732 K
This interpretative booklet is quite serviceable, but the more modern set-up and graphics makes the title above a better choice.

Second Manassas, Editors of Time-Life Books, 1995 VREF 973.732 S
This volume in the excellent Voices of the Civil War series tells the story of the Battle in words and images of the participants.

Brave Men’s Tears: The Iron Brigade at Brawner Farm by Gaff, A. D., Morningside, 1985 VREF 973.733 G
This volume provides a highly detailed view of the fierce action that opened the Battle of Second Manassas. The action is noteworthy as the introduction to Battle of a brigade that would become legendary in the Army of the Potomac.


Ball’s Bluff

Battle at Ball’s Bluff by Holien, K. B., Publisher’s Press, Inc., 1985 VREF 973.73 H
This volume provides a highly detailed account of the relatively minor but politically significant Battle of October 1861 in Loudon County that led to the arrest and imprisonment of Union commander General Stone.

The Battle of Ball’s Bluff – “The Leesburg Affair” by Howard, W. F., H. E. Howard, Inc., 1994 VREF 973.731 H
This volume in the authoritative Virginia Civil War Battles and Leaders series is based on original Battle reports and previously unpublished accounts by participants in the fight.

The Battle of Ball’s Bluff Kraus Reprint Co., 1977 VREF 973.73 U
The Union fiasco at Ball’s Bluff prompted the formation in Congress of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the war. This extract from the committee report provides just the testimony related to Ball’s Bluff.

A Little Short of Boats: The Fights at Ball’s Bluff and Edwards Ferry by Morgan III, J. A., Ironclad Publishing, 2004 VREF 973.731 M
This book is the product of the author’s knowledge of the Battle terrain, the culling of more than 130 sources, and careful use of primary source material. The book includes a numerous excellent maps and a visitor’s tour guide.

The Battle of Ball’s Bluff by Patch, J. D., Potomac Press, 1958 VREF 973.73 P
The author, a retired army major general, notes that Ball’s Bluff provides useful lessons about politics, leadership, tactics and logistics.

Ball’s Bluff by Farwell, B., EPM, 1990 VREF 973.731 F
The author tells the complete story of the Ball’s Bluff affair, combining his research and storytelling ability to explore players and events from background to aftermath.

History of the Battle of Ball’s Bluff by White, E. V., “The Washingtonian” Print, 1987 VRARE 973.73 W
This booklet is a reprint of an early work written to raise funds for the erection in Leesburg of a monument to Confederate soldiers of Loudon County.


Chantilly/ Ox Hill

He Hath Loosed the Fateful Lightning byTaylor, P., White Mane Books, 2003 VREF 973.733 T
This well-illustrated history tells the story of the largest Battle fought in Fairfax County during the war in the immediate aftermath of Second Manassas/Second Bull Run.

Tempest at Ox Hill by Welker, D. A., Da Capo Press, 2002 VREF 973.733 W
This is another well done account of the Battle.

The battle of Chantilly (Ox Hill) by Mauro, C. V., Fairfax Co. History Commission, 2002 VREF 973.733 M
This booklet does an excellent job of telling in brief the story of the Battle. Particularly interesting are modern photographs showing where the Battle was fought.

The Battle of Chantilly by Moore, J. G., 1964 VREF 973.733 M
This is a copy of an article that appeared in Military Affairs magazine telling the story of the Battle.

The Battle of Chantilly (Ox Hill) by Mauro, C. and Morgan, B., BLM Productions, 2005 DVD VREF 973.733 M
This is a staged version of key events including the Battle during 1862 and commemorative events in 1883 and 1915.

Communities During the Civil War

Fairfax County

Chronology of the Civil War in Fairfax County, or, Battles, Skirmishes, Incidents & Events of The War Between the States Occurring in Fairfax County, Virginia. Part 1 by Edward T. Wenzel, 2015 VREF 975.503 C PT. 1
A very informative and detailed work covering the first two years of war in Fairfax County from 1859-1862. Includes 588 pages, 50 maps and 350 photos.

A Civil War Action at Lewinsville, Virginia– 11 September, 1861 by Hon, E. R., 1988 VREF 973.731 H
This unpublished manuscript describes a minor action fought in Fairfax County in the area of modern day Chain Bridge Road, Lewinsville Road, and Great Falls Street.

The Civil War in Fairfax County by Mauro, Charles V., 2006 VREF 975.529 M 2006
This book studies the men, women, slaves and freedmen of Fairfax County and their involvement in the Civil War.

Comments on the Reports in affair Near Vanderburgh’s House, Munson’s Hill Virginia– September 28, 1861 by Hon, E. R., 2002 VREF 973.73 H
Another unpublished manuscript by the above author describing operations near the same time and place in eastern Fairfax County in the period after First Manassas/First Bull Run.

War Comes to Dranesville by Hanafin, R. L., 1993 VREF 973.731 H
This unpublished manuscript describes a minor action between troops under Jeb Stuart and Union troops on December 20, 1861.


Loudoun County

The Civil War in Loudoun County by Meserve, S. F., The History Press, 2008 VREF 975.528 M
This brief, well-illustrated volume covers the fighting at Balls Bluff, the cavalry actions of 1863, and the lives of the citizens of the county, a third of who rejected succession.

Loudoun County and the Civil War by Divine, J. et al, Loudon County, 1961 VREF 975.528 L
This volume, prepared for the centennial commemoration of the Civil War, provides a guidebook for the student of the war or the visitor interested in the Balls Bluff Battlefield or other sites in Loudoun.

To Talk is Treason by Divine, J. E. and Souders, B. C. and J. M., Waterford Foundation, Inc., 1996 VREF 975.528 T
Based on family letters and a diary kept by a Quaker woman, this book tells the story of a group that remained steadfastly loyal to the Union but helped the hungry and wounded on both sides that came through Waterford.

Where Did They Stand? by Chamberlin, T. M., Waterford Foundation, Inc., 2003 VREF 975.528 C
This booklet first discusses the secession referendum held in Loudoun County in May 1861 and provides the names of those who voted and how they voted. A chapter is then devoted to the “Burning Raid” conducted by Sheridan’s forces to carry away or destroy property that might be come available to Mosby. A final section lists by claimant those who sustained losses of property during the war and could prove their Union loyalties to the Southern Claims Commission.

The Cavalry Battles of Aldie, Middleburg and Upperville by O’Neill, R. F. Jr., H. E. Howard, Inc., 1993 VREF 973.734 O
This volume in the Virginia Civil War Battles and Leaders Series, describes cavalry actions fought in the Loudoun Valley from June 10-27, 1863 to screen the movement of Lee’s army north to Pennsylvania.


Fauquier County

The Civil War in Fauquier by Scheel, E. M., The Fauquier National Bank, 1985 VREF 975.5275 S
Although no major Battles were fought in the county, there was much guerilla and other activity involving such well known figures as Mosby and Jeb Stuart that is well described.


Northern Virginia – All

Civil War– Sites and Scenes in Northern Virginia by Crouch, H. R., SCS Publications, 2003 VREF 973.73 C
The book includes Civil War-period photos and sketches of Northern Virginia localities and photos taken by the author showing those places now.

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