Lifelong Learning Institute, Manassas

LLI: The Forgotten Union Commander Who Almost Won the First Battle of Bull Run, Irvin McDowell

Hylton Performing Arts Center, Jacquemin Family Foundation Rehearsal Hall


Speaker/Host: Gene Schmiel

Union General Irvin McDowell was a major actor in the Civil War for a short, but critical time. At the First Battle of Bull Run, this Ohio-born general commanded the largest army in American history to that time. He was a dutiful, dependable, and diligent military officer. But in hindsight he may have been called upon to perform duties which were beyond his capacity and which served to enhance his peculiarities, including impulsiveness. Dr. Schmiel’s book, Searching for Irvin McDowell, Forgotten Civil War General, is the first full-length biography of McDowell, and it builds the bridge to understanding McDowell and his role in the Civil War era. Signed copies of the book will be available for purchase at the LLI session or via this web-site:…

Gene Schmiel is a retired U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Officer who also was an Assistant Professor of History at St. Francis University (PA). He holds a Ph.D. degree in History from The Ohio State University. Gene has written 18 books about the Civil War. His first, Citizen-General: Jacob Dolson Cox and the Civil War Era, was published in 2014 by Ohio University Press. He is currently working with the University of Tennessee Press on a companion book, My Dearest Lilla: Civil War Letters Home by General Jacob D. Cox. Gene is a native Ohioan who lives in Gainesville, Virginia, on the border of the Manassas battlefields.

This event is open to the public. For more information about the Lifelong Learning Institute, Manassas, visit