The Maps of First Bull Run: An Atlas of the First Bull Run (Manassas) Campaign, including the Battle of Ball’s Bluff, June-October 1861 is a new Civil War book by veteran author Bradley Gottfried.
As a long-time Civil War buff and miniature wargaming enthusiast, I am always looking for well-crafted maps that depict the deployment and movement of troops during various stages of Civil War battles. Often, period maps are lacking in detail or intermix movements from throughout the various stages of the engagement, often “muddying the waters” in terms of gaining an understanding of which regiments were in what position at what time in the battle. This new book is an invaluable resource to help demystify the often fluid situation at First Manassas where positions often changed hands, troops were shifted frequently, and official reports and records unclear in recounting the timeline of what transpired that summer day.
The text is well written and easy to comprehend, and the corresponding map offers a useful depiction of the general terrain in terms of the road network, streams / creeks, farms and houses, and major terrain features such as the hills that played a key role in the troop depositions and movements. Unencumbered by contour lines that are often unncessary in other maps for a wargaming scenario or for a general understanding of a battle, Gottfried’s full color maps in this book are clear, precise, and uncluttered. In their own understated simplicity, they convey the essential information that a battlefield tramper or tabletop miniaturist will need to understand the battle.
The author’s earlier work on the maps of Gettysburg has proved to be a useful reference work on that 1863 conflict; this new book is sure to become an even more valuable resource in that there is far less documentation in the historiography of First Bull Run. Not only does the author thoroughly cover the actual battle itself, but he also includes strategic maps that help set up the movements in the Shenandoah Valley that allowed Joe Johnston’s army to outmaneuver an aged Union general and arrive via train just in time to play an important role in the fighting at Manassas. Also included are maps and narrative on the skirmishing along Blackburn Ford that preceded First Bull Run, as well as some of the fighting that ended the summer excursion by McDowell’s Union army.
Priced at an affordable level, this book is sure to be a cornerstone of the series of map books that the author will be producing in conjunction with Savas Beatie, a series that will be welcomed by gamers, trampers, Civil War buffs, reenactors, battlefield tourists, and general military enthusiasts alike.
- Hardcover: 144 pages
- Publisher: Savas Beatie (June 10, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 193271460X
- ISBN-13: 978-1932714609