Decisions at Second Manassas

The Fourteen Critical Decisions That Defined the Battle

  • Author(s): Spruill, Matt and Matt Spruill IV
  • Series: Command Decisions in America’s Civil War
  • Imprint: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 2018-01-18
  • Status: Active
  • Available in Paper: Price $29.95 | Buy Now
  • Available in PDF: Price $29.95 | Buy Now


Many consider the Battle of Chancellorsville to be Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s greatest offensive operation. However, the Battle of Second Manassas, may be even more significant. Lee’s victory at Chancellorsville resulted in the status quo. His success at Second Manassas moved the center of the war in the east from Richmond to just outside Washington, DC, and set the stage for Lee’s first incursion onto Northern soil.

Decisions at Second Manassas introduces readers to critical decisions made by Confederate and Union commanders. Matt Spruill III and Matt Spruill IV examines the decisions that shaped the way the campaign and battle unfolded. Rather than offering a history of the Battle of Second Manassas, the Spruills focus on the critical decisions, those decisions that had a major impact on both Federal and Confederate forces in shaping the progression of the battle as we know it today. This account is designed to present the reader with a coherent and manageable blueprint of the battle’s development. Exploring and studying the critical decisions allows the reader to progress from an understand of “what happened” to “why events happened” as they did.

Complete with maps and a guided tour, Decisions at Second Manassas is an indispensable primer, and readers looking for a digestible introduction to the Battle of Second Manassas can tour this sacred ground—or read about it at their leisure—with key insights into why events unfolded as they did a deeper understanding of the Civil War itself.

Decisions at Second Manassas is second in a series of books that will explore the critical decisions of major campaigns and battles of the Civil War.


Matt Spruill III is a retired U. S. Army colonel and Civil War historian and lecturer. A former Gettysburg licensed battlefield guide he is the author of eight previously Civil War books including most recently Decisions at Stones River: The Sixteen Critical Decisions That Defined the Battle and Summer Lightning: A Guide to the Second Battle of Manassas.

Matt Spruill IV is a retired U. S. Army lieutenant colonel and vice-president of a company in the modeling, simulation and training industry. He is the author of two previous books, Summer Lightning: A Guide to the Second Battle of Manassas and Echoes of Thunder: A Guide to the Seven Days Battles.