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Decision at Tom’s Brook: Talk and Book Signing

October 8, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


The meeting of the flamboyant personalities of opposing generals George Custer and Thomas Rosser at Tom’s Brook October 9, 1864, promised high drama. Custer’s Federals had devastated much of the Shenandoah Valley despite the efforts of Rosser’s enraged Confederates. The resulting battle between the two old friends–commonly known as The Woodstock Races–carried serious repercussions. Bill Miller, author of Decision at Tom’s Brook: George Custer, Thomas Rosser, and the Joy of the Fight, will discuss his new book on these stirring events and consider how flamboyant personalities affected battlefield leadership.


About the Book:

Decision at Tom’s Brook: George Custer, Thomas Rosser, and the Joy of the Fight
William J. Miller

The Battle of Tom’s Brook, recalled one Confederate soldier, was “the greatest disaster that ever befell our cavalry during the whole war.” The fight took place during the last autumn of the Civil War, when the Union General Phil Sheridan vowed to turn the crop-rich Shenandoah Valley into “a desert.” Farms and homes were burned, livestock slaughtered, and Southern families suffered.

The story of Tom’s Brook centers on two young men who had risen to prominence as soldiers: Union Gen. George A. Custer and Confederate Gen. Thomas L. Rosser. Friends since their teenage days at West Point, the war sent them down separate paths – paths that converged in the Shenandoah Valley in the autumn of 1864, culminating in the October 9, 1864, Battle of Tom’s Brook. This long-overlooked cavalry action had a lasting effect on mounted operations and influenced the balance of the campaign in the Valley.

Award-winning author William J. Miller’s Decision at Tom’s Brook presents significant new material on Thomas Rosser and argues that his character was his destiny. Rosser’s decisions that day changed his life and the lives of hundreds of other men. Miller’s new study is Civil War history and high personal drama at its finest.

For more about the book and author William J. Miller, click here.


October 8, 2016
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District
(540) 740-4545


The Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum
20 N. Loudoun Street
Winchester, VA 22601 United States
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