- Paperback: 407 pages
- Publisher: John F. Blair Publisher (Sep 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 089587184X
- ISBN-13: 978-0895871848
- Product Dimensions: 2 x 18.8 x 21.4 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,152,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Each stop is clearly marked on easy-to-read maps accompanied by side notes or script detailing the historical significance of the stop. My particular favorite is the Harpers Ferry tour where the author gives an interesting overview of the town along with a brief account of how West Virginia became a state. Although one could spend days going over the surrounding historical sites the author does not drag you into detail after detail, but gives you a brief synopsis of what occurred. Coming from someone who has visited this site many times I've become very familiar with the back-roads and sights to see, and Mr. Johnson does a fine job in taking you around to many of those same areas. However, this book won't give you the detail you need to understand every site, but that can be obtained from the Harper's Ferry National Park visitor center, or by taking a ranger guided tour of the town.
By using this book the average reader will enjoy his journey into the past with stops along the way at several key historic areas. This is not a book for the well-read historian or a tactical study on terrain and warfare, but simply a good book for those mildly intrigued by the Civil War. It may serve to whet their appetite and further their desire for more research.
If you purchase this book and choose to go forth, your trek will take you to numerous battlefields, both small and large. It is my hope that you will leave with a better understanding of what took place during that bloody struggle we now call the Civil War. So, in finishing your journey you will find yourself as did Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia, in a quiet little place known as Appomattox Court House. "This is a quiet reverent place, the spot where one country died and another was reborn."
Johnson's writing style is engaging without being simplistic and he takes the pains to write excellent directions to the many Civil War sites in both Virginias. Thankfully, he groups the many sites by geography instead of time frame.
While the better-known sites are covered (Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Wilderness, Chancellorsville, Richmond, Petersburg, both Bull Run battles, Appamattox, etc.), Johnson also covers lesser-known events (Saltville, Mine Run, Chantilly, etc.). Doing this gives the reader a better appreciation of the quantity of Civil War engagements in the area and also makes the reader aware of sites the typical person may miss.
All in all, an excellent and highly recommended read!