In the mid-nineteenth century, Arlington was an eleven-hundred-acre estate managed by U.S. Colonel and Mrs. Robert E. Lee; Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun Counties consisted of rolling farmland and tiny villages. This peaceful region was thrown into chaos as South Carolina seceded from the Union in December 1860 and other slave states followed until Virginia finally joined the Confederacy in April and May 1861. The "invasion" of Northern Virginia on May 24, 1861, created a no-man's land between Yankee and Rebel armies. Some citizens joined Confederate forces, while others stayed to face uncertainty. William S. Connery offers new insights into this most important time in American history.