In 1991 The First Battle of Bull Run booklet was published and over the next several years sold successfully at the Manassas National Battlefield Park visitor center. Despite selling 5,000 copies no further guides were produced. Why?
The creation of Bull Run was a “proof of concept” project designed by Dana Lombardy in conjunction with the Chief Historians and Park Rangers at the Park and written by John Hill. It was enthusiastically endorsed by them, and we hoped it would be the first in the “American Civil War Notebook Series” of graphic booklets for other Parks—useful guides for visitors, reference material for wargamers, and user-friendly introductions to Civil War battles.
Unfortunately, the project was brought to a standstill higher up in the National Park Service. NPS decides what will be sold at the parks and later released its own “guides.” These did not contain detailed color maps, color orders-of-battle, or as many historical illustrations as our Bull Run.
The lesson learned: don’t try to sell something to the U.S. government unless you have “inside” support.
Dana went on to design and publish (in 2014) the first full-size book in the Map Study Series: Grant Rising, Mapping the Career of a Great Commander Through 1862.
The First Battle of Bull Run remains a unique and unmatched battlefield guide booklet and is available for purchase as a print edition or pdf from our Shop.