Well, I've finally done it. Sent Rebel Belles to press. The 3rd installment in my Kate Warne, Civil Wwr Spy series should hit Amazon in 3-5 days. So exciting! So Scary!
I've been writing a novel based on the life of union organizer Angela Bambace, set in the 1910s-30s, so it's weird to be thinking about the Civil War this morning. In the second Kate Warne book (the one with the floating circus elephant on the front) we left off with Juba rescued from slavery and Rose Greenhow still spying for the Confederacy in Washington City (which is what they used to call DC).
Of course Rose Greenhow was a real person and a real spy, so it was an awful lot of fun to write about how naughty she was (badness being so much more interesting than goodness, and all that). We can lay the union defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run at her feet. General McDowell, who had command of the Union Army, had a MUCH bigger force than Beauregard's Confederate Army. If McDowell had marched to battle with Beauregard not knowing this the Union may very well have won. But, Rose and her minions not only figured out how big the Union forces were, but got that information to General Beauregard and the Confederacy's President Davis. So the Confederates pulled Gen.Johnston's troops from the Shenandoah Valley and sent them, hurry scurry, south to reinforce Beauregard.
Oh, I know, most of you are thinking: Really Peg? WTF? But stay with me.
The geography is kinda interesting. For you westerners, who know exactly where Two Dot Montana is, but have no idea about Virginia, let me explain. The Shenandoah Valley is northwest of Washington. Bull Run was just south of Centreville Virginia, south of Washington (see the 1860s battle map above). So the Union army marched right at Beuaregard's army, thinking they'd hammer them with a superior force. But Johnston did something that had NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE--he put his army on trains and swung them south to the Manassas Junction train station--you can see it at the bottom of the map. See, McDlowell's thinking, "There's no way Johnston's dudes can get her fast enough to save that little ponce, Beauregard." But NO! The train goes much faster than men can march. Who knew? OK. You knew. But not many people in 1861 knew armies could be moved by train.
SO the battle starts and then Johnston swoops in from the railroad that no one was paying any attention too. McDowell's army was all, Shit Dude! This is SOOOO not how we saw this going. Panic, panic, panic. Run Away, Run Away, Run Away! And the Union Army gets its ass handed to them on a silver platter. Don't you hate it when that happens? (OK, the dudes who think there are good people in the KKK probably don't hate it, but the rest of you do.)
And it was Naughty Rose who sent the info about McDowell's army in the first place. Rose, who was having an affair with the senator who headed up the Senate Military Committee.And maybe having an affair with Lincoln's Sec. of State. Huh? See the power of Lady Bits in action!
Rebel Belles begins with the disastrous defeat at First Bull Run (aka First Manassas) and goes on from there, to the eventual, climactic downfall of Naughty Rose. And it's not all military strategy and spying. Super Sexy Captain Hazzard retruns for hot kissing scenes with our hero, Kate. You could ask for more . . . but should you?
OH, and you're welcome. I know you woke up this morning thinking, how the heck did the Union Army let the Confederates beat them in the first major battle of the Civil War. I'm glad I could help.