Gail Stephens on:
"The Battle of Monocacy:
  The Final Invasion; Jubal Early, 1864"


A copy of the slides to her presentation for reference while listening to this recording is available by clicking HERE.

 Summary of Presentation: 
In the fourth summer of the Civil War, a Confederate army came close to carrying off the improbable: the seizure of Washington, DC.  In June 1864, Lt. Gen. Jubal Early slipped away from the works around Richmond, where Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia faced Grant and the Army of the Potomac, and moved rapidly through the Shenandoah Valley into Maryland with an army of about 16,000 veterans.  Lee’s orders to Early:  take Washington, which had been stripped of veteran troops to reinforce Grant.  The Union high command in Washington refused to believe the first reports of a major Confederate force moving north through the Valley and took no action.  The stage was set for a race between Early’s veterans and Grant’s reinforcements.  Though the Confederates did not succeed, this little known campaign is one of the most exciting and potentially most momentous of the Civil War. 

Gail Stephens has a Bachelor’s Degree in International Politics from George Washington University in Washington DC and did graduate work at Johns Hopkins and Harvard Universities.  She worked for the Department of Defense for 26 years, retiring in 1994 as a member of the Department’s Senior Executive Service.

Upon retirement, Ms. Stephens began studying the American Civil War.  She volunteers at Monocacy National Battlefield near Frederick, Maryland, lectures regularly on various Civil War topics, including Monocacy, Major General Lew Wallace, and the 1864 Maryland campaign.  Ms. Stephens also gives battlefield tours.

In 2002, Ms. Stephens won the National Park Service’s E.W. Peterkin award for her contributions to public understanding of Civil War history. She is on the board of the General Lew Wallace Study Museum and chairs the board of the Western Maryland Interpretive Association, which is responsible for the bookstores at Antietam and Monocacy.

Ms. Stephens has written articles on Lew Wallace and Early’s 1864 invasion of the North for various Civil War publications. Her book on Wallace’s Civil War career, Shadow of Shiloh, published by the Indiana Historical Society Press in October 2010, won the Civil War Forum of New York City’s William Henry Seward Award for best Civil War biography of 2011.


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