The Battle of Ball's Bluff:
All the Drowned Soldiers
In the early months of the Civil War, a small group of Union soldiers encounters the enemy just outside Leesburg, Virginia. Shots are exchanged, a Union soldier falls wounded, and a fierce battle quickly evolves in the woods and fields along the rain-swollen Potomac River. When the officer commanding the Union troops is killed, the Union line crumbles and hundreds of soldiers retreat from the battlefield and try to escape by attempting to swim across the river to safety. Many are lost in the attempt. In the wake of the tragedy, a Congressional investigation is launched. The inquiry embroils the nation in controversy, and challenges President Abraham Lincoln’s administration of the war. In this new book, historian Bill Howard tells the story of the Civil War Battle of Ball’s Bluff.