Mayfield Fort

A few weeks ago, presidential historian Brooks Simpson and I were in the DC area attending the Annual Meeting of the Society for Military History. On the first day of the conference, we entertained and enlightened (Brooks as chair; myself as one of the presenters) a packed house of our fellow historians in a session on “Union Generalship and the Politics of War: Three Case Studies”. The next day, we field checked sections of my forthcoming Manassas guide in the University of Nebraska Press’s This Hallowed Ground series. We started at Cedar Mountain, the first stop on the section of the guide devoted to the Second Manassas Campaign, and worked our way back to Manassas.

Among the places we stopped was Mayfield Fort in Manassas, which is where the guide discusses the rout of George W. Taylor’s command on the morning of 27 August 1862, and its effect on the campaign.

It is a site well worth visiting, not least for the interesting artillery display there.

Anyone can look distinguished on their book jacket picture standing next to a smoothbore Napoleon or Parrott Rifle; only a real scholar can pull it off with a Quaker gun.

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