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Rebels at the Gate: Lee and McClellan on the Front Line of a Nation Divided
Rebels at the Gate is the dramatic story of the first Union victories of the Civil War and the events that caused Virginians to divide their state. In a defiant act to sustain President Lincoln's war effort, Virginia Unionists created their own state government in 1861-destined to become the new state of West Virginia.
Paperback, 400 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by Sourcebooks
(first published 2004)
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You have to be a Civil War buff to dig this deep in the now relatively obscure campaign that made West Virginia a state. Mr. Lesser does a solid job of covering the battles and the politics that influenced the results that lead to the first state created out of an existing state. He not only touches on the two most important Generals that fought in the 1861 struggle, but does a superb job of touching on the locals impacted, the soldiers who suffered on Cheat Mountain to the politicians that stru ...more
An enjoyable narrative history of the first year of the Civil War in what would become West Virginia. The book shifts back and forth between the military and political conflicts that resulted in the creation of the new state, with lots of detail on many major and minor participants in the conflict. Highly (and often overly) detailed, it will appeal to those who want lots of information on this oft-overlooked chapter of the war.
Good book, but it gets lost in the it's own research. There is such a thing as being too specific and too research intensive and this fits the bill. The tiniest of details are given which actually bogs down the flow of the reading. The writing is well done and interesting, but leave the miniature details to regimental histories.
A great resource on the first campaigns in the Eastern Theater in the area that would become West Virginia. It is interesting to see the early activities of Lee and McClellan knowing the reversal of fortunes of each that would eventually occur in the Civil War.