Last night, I was able to take a little time to continue combing the books in my library for sources for the book project Eric and I will soon begin on Early’s Washington Raid. As I was looking through the letters contained in Charles Minor Blackford’s memoirs (Letters From Lee’s Army) a line in a letter he wrote to his wife on July 11, 1864 jumped out at me:
The sinking of the Alabama gives us great concern, and we are very anxious to hear from Early. I fear he has undertaken more than he can do with his small force, and he is likely to come to grief.
How apropos, I thought. I emailed this to Eric, and we came up with the title for the book:
Likely to Come to Grief: Jubal Early’s Washington Raid, the Battle of Monocacy, the Johnson-Gilmor Raid, and the Fight at Fort Stevens
A little long, but not nearly as long as the title on our book on the Gettysburg Retreat. Blackford’s sentiment, likely written in a backdrop of anxiety on his part – since his little brother Gene was commanding Rodes’ sharpshooters and would be on the front line of any action – seemed very apropos and echoed the sentiment of many commentators I’ve read. Eric and I enjoy using just that right comment from a soldier for the main titles of our books, and I think we’ve hit on a good one.