"Escape Across the Potomac" is told through the eyes of a fictional William Edwards, who enlists with the Union in August of 1861, a month after Bull Run. The story follows Edwards throughout his involvement of the events leading up to the Battle of Antietam.
For his research, Whitehair scoured more than 25 diaries, countless letters and newspaper clippings. An index in the book includes several pages of footnoted sources to show that the author did his research. He has also included maps and period photos throughout the book.
Harpers Ferry has been a common setting in Whitehair's books.
"I grew up in Harpers Ferry and was born in Loudoun County (Va.) or what we call 'between the hills,'" he said with a laugh.
His grandparents lived in what is now the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park bookstore. When Whitehair was young, his parents moved the family to Harpers Ferry.
"Harpers Ferry is so rich in Civil War history that you can't help but to be (influenced) by it," he said.
During Whitehair's research for "Escape Across the Potomac," he read a lot about Col. Benjamin "Grimes" Davis and wondered what exactly was his role in the event.
Faced with a certain defeat, Whitehair said Miles was about to surrender to the Confederates. But Davis, along with Col. Amos Voss, led 1,200 of the calvarymen across the Potomac. Whitehair said they ended up capturing Confederate Maj. Gen. James Longstreet's ammunition train.
Miles and the rest of men stayed behind in Harpers Ferry to be captured a day later by Longstreet. The win not only resulted in the largest capture of Union troops - 12,500 men surrendered - but Whitehair said the Confederates also ended up with a heavy stock of ammunition once they busted into Harpers Ferry.
Whitehair said he really enjoys writing historical novels and plans to write even more. He and his wife, Rhonda-Lee, who shared credit on an earlier book, "Northern Fire," are finishing their next book, "The Bloody Harvest." He said it takes place during the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and is a spy thriller.
Writing, he said, has been rewarding.
"I just have really a lot of fun doing it," he said
If you purchase ...
"Escape Across the Potomac" retails for $14.95 and can be purchased at http://www.whitehairbooks.com, http://www.borders.com, and http://www.barnesandnoble.com.
For more information about CW Whitehair's other novels, go to http://www.whitehairbooks.com