There are several things I liked about the book. It is obvious that Mr. Connery knows a great deal about the area's involvement in the Civil War. I found his information on Mount Vernon and the efforts to maintain it fascinating. I also liked his description of the Battle of Dranesville. The book has a number of fine photographs that add to the narrative.
I present the following criticisms/suggestions in the hope that the author and publisher might consider a revised second edition. What I found lacking was a good readable map of Northern Virginia. The map included is impossible to read. Yes, I could have opened a Virginia state map, but that kind of defeats the purpose of a self-contained book. Maps would help me locate the various places described in the book. A driving tour in an appendix would be a great addition.
I wish the author had included a time line of events in Northern Virginia during 1861. This would have provided a reference point for the events and places described. I had trouble finding a unifying format in the book. A county-by-county or a month-by-month framework would have helped immensely.
The most disturbing point of the book was the absence of footnotes. True there is a bibliography, but the historian/scholar in me wanted to know exactly where these morsels of information came from. For example, I would have liked a reference for the casualty numbers for Ball's Bluff.
It is for the above reasons that we limit our recommendation to the rank of Brigadier General.