- Paperback: 483 pages
- Publisher: Carroll & Graf Pub; Reissue edition (March 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0881847321
- ISBN-13: 978-0881847321
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,761,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Reveille in Washington: 1860-1865 Reissue Edition
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You're hooked from the start -
"That winter, the old General [Winfield Scott] moved from the rooms he had rented from the free mulatto, Wormley, in I Street to Cruchet's at Sixth and D Streets. His new quarters, situated on the ground floor - a spacious bed-room, with a private dining-room adjoining - were convenient for a man who walked slowly and with pain; and Cruchet, a French caterer, was one of the best cooks in Washington."
The "star" of the book is, indeed, the city of Washington, D.C. Many players walk across the D.C. stage and Leech's research paints vivid portraits not seen before about the Lincolns, Walt Whitman, Andrew Carnegie, Winfield Scott, John Wilkes Booth, and many, many others. It's a D.C. you have never really seen or heard that much about. It's a scrappy, dusty/muddy, unfinished city, begging for respect. A city that found itself a lynchpin between Union soldiers heading to battle and the many battlefields of Virginia. We see the soldiers come, go and return. Some are dead, many are wounded. But the focus is always on the District of Columbia.
Past and present D.C. residents will get a kick out of reading things like "Tennallytown" for today's Tenleytown; the importance then of today's Bladensburg; the importance then of what today are mere Metro stops - e.g., Fort Totten, the Navy Yard and Silver Spring. Even Rockville, Maryland, puts in a guest appearance.
Leech covers the key years - 1860 to 1865 - with painstaking research.Read more ›
For the Civil War afficianodo, there are many tidbits that add to one's understanding of the Civil War as viewed from Washington, D.C. These involve fascinating interactions among the players (Lincoln, members of the Senate, Stanton, Seward and Chase), and also reminders that even in the midst of war, Washington still minded the habits and customs of society in our nation's capital. Lincoln still had (as the first host) parties, endured the countless details of administration and grinding demands of petitioners, and found time for levity and respit.
Like its counterpoint "Ashes of Glory," an excellent account of wartime Richmond, Reveille in Washington will broaden the understanding of those of us who have waded through countless military oriented books of the Civil War. Ms. Leech also includes a helpful timeline and an excellent appendix on scores of the characters in her book. For those who often wonder "what happened after..." to historical personages, the appendix will satisfy by tying up a lot of loose ends. More history books should follow this habit.
My only slight criticism is Ms. Leech's overuse of adjectives. She describes every person and proper noun, sometimes to the point of distraction like a florid romance novel. This both helps and hinders the tale. While it makes the events and persons more imaginable to the mind's eye, she undoubtedly takes some literary license in describing thoughts, feelings and descriptions that can only be surmised. All in all it is not a major distraction, but does sometimes become tiresome.
That having been said, this portrait of Washington fills the gaps to a great story.Read more ›
This excellent, informative work evokes two eras. First its subject matter giving us a history of Washington during the Civil War. This subject has not been covered as heavily as the various battles & endless biographies of the notable figures of that war. The book was written 76 years after the war. Here we are 62 years after that listening to Ms. Leech words, also of a different era than our own. The language in which it was written is quaint, colloquil & even offensive to some in our time. That is part of it significance as an important work. It is also an entertaining history book. Imagine that.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting. The kindal version was not well writen. There was all kind of errors in writing and page layout.Published 8 months ago by Delores Larson
The history is great, but buy the more expensive version. This one has been scanned poorly and much text is missingPublished 15 months ago by chas
The author makes you feel as if you are actually on the street in Washington in the 1860's. Very descriptive.Published 19 months ago by flyerguy7345
I found this book referenced in another source and read the e-book version. Written in 1941, it does provide 'color' of the period - as promised - and accurate detail historically... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Arlon Stubbe
This book is amazing. From the moment I picked it up, it grabbed my attention. Leech does a great job in covering the time period, bringing the capital and selected citizens alive... Read morePublished on October 3, 2011 by rmj
so my interest in the Civil War was piqued about six years ago when he started attending Gettysburg, Antietam, and Cedar Creek reenactments. Read morePublished on March 24, 2010 by Customer
Reveille In Washington, Margaret Leech (a/k/a Margaret Leech Pulitzer); Harper & Brothers Publishers (1940)
"There... Read more
When we look to history books, tend to see the BIG picture. This is the small picture and as such, is much more interesting. Read morePublished on June 2, 2009 by Jerome Boyle