301 Fall 2018 The Battle of Ball’s Bluff and the Arrest of Union General Charles Stone
Mondays, 11:50–1:15, Sept. 17–Sept. 24
Instructor: Philip Massey
On October 21, 1861, the Battle of Ball’s Bluff was fought about three miles east of Leesburg. This small but important battle was the third Union defeat in that year. A sitting US Senator, Edward Baker, was killed there. After this battle, Congress sought a greater role in oversight of the war, and in December, they created the Joint Committee for the Conduct of the War (JCCW). General Charles Stone was the division commander at Balls Bluff and became the primary culprit in the JCCW investigation of the battle. Accusations against Stone went beyond poor generalship to include treason, and he was arrested and imprisoned for 189 days. We will look at the battle and General Stone's role in it, the proceedings against him, his life before the battle including his service to the country, and attempts by Stone to restore his reputation.
Philip Massey has been a member of OLLI since 2014, and was a practicing radiologist in Northern Virginia for 32 years. He has an interest in American history, especially the American Civil War.