LFCC History Instructor Publishes Book on a Little-Known—But Crucial—Civil War Battle

For Immediate Release:
July 24, 2007

Primary Media Contact:
Sally Voth
Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
Phone: 540-868-7134

WARRENTON, Va. – Marc Leepson, author, journalist, historian and history instructor at Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC), released his sixth book, “Desperate Engagement: How a Little Known Civil War Battle Saved Washington, D.C., and Changed American History,” this month.

The book examines the Battle of Monocacy, which occurred on July 9, 1864, 50 miles west of Washington, D.C. The subsequent skirmishing near Washington, D.C., marked the first and only time in U.S. military history that a sitting U.S. president found himself so close to the battlefield that he was actually fired upon by the enemy.

Leepson researched memoirs, diary accounts, newspaper stories, official records and a published eye-witness account to present a description of this overlooked battle of the Civil War. Readers will come away with a greater appreciation of just how close our nation’s history came to turning out quite differently, based on the outcome of this little-known battle.

A former staff writer for Congressional Quarterly in Washington, D.C., Leepson has been a freelance writer since 1986. He has written for many newspapers and magazines, including Smithsonian, The Washington Post, The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and USA Today. Leepson has been interviewed many times on radio and television, including “The Today Show,” CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. Leepson currently teaches U.S. history part time at LFCC’s Fauquier Campus.


Founded in 1970, Lord Fairfax Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill— the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. LFCC offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. LFCC also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. LFCC serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.

Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Lord Fairfax Community College. Lord Fairfax Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors. LFCC also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment.