All Quiet on the Potomac Picture

David Frey's
  Civil War Rumblings

Battle of Gettysburg Picture

About my Book

I'm pleased that McFarland Publishers has finally released my book, Failure to Pursue: How the Escape of Defeated Forces Prolonged the Civil War. For me this culminates several years of researching, writing, and editing, and since I obviously am not a professional writer the results of this effort are all the more satisfying.

In the early years of my Civil War interests I, like most budding Civil War enthusiasts, read various accounts of battles, campaigns, and biographies; I also visited several battlefields and museums, pretty much on a random basis. For the most part these were read or visited without much context, that is to say that the sides fought a battle, one side won while the other retreated, and there wasn't much change in the overall strength or advantage of either side.

Book Front Cover
However upon my first of several visits to Gettysburg I had the same question as did Lincoln, and I suspect as have hundreds of other visitors to that national treasure: Why didn't Meade's Northerners immediately take after Lee's retreating, and presumably shattered, virtually defenseless Southerners? I asked similar questions repeatedly as I visited and/or toured other battlefields - Antietam quickly comes to mind. Also as I started reading about other battles and various commanders the same nagging question kept repeating itself in a variety of forms: Why didn't Grant pursue after Shiloh? What, if anything, was restraining Buell after Perryville? And Rosecrans after Stones' River? Is the criticism of McClellan for dragging his feet after Antietam justified?

Battle of Gettysburg Picture