"For two weeks in 1861, Washington, D.C., was locked in a state of panic. Would the newly formed Confederate States of America launch its first attack on the Union by capturing the nation's capital? Would Lincoln's Union fall before it had a chance to fight? Wedged between Virginia and Maryland-- two states bordering on secession--Washington was isolated; its communications lines were cut, its rail lines blocked. Newly recruited volunteers were too few and were unable to enter the city. A recently inaugurated Lincoln struggled to form a plan-- defense or attack? Intelligence rumors and incendiary headlines revealed Norfolk and Harpers Ferry fallen to rebels, and the notorious "mobtown" Baltimore ignited by riots" -- publisher description (October 2006).