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In his latest book, The Civil War in Fairfax County: Civilians and Soldiers, Charles Mauro has given voice to the heretofore silent majority of the participants in the Civil War: the civilians. This overdue study examines the full spectrum of men, women, slaves and freedmen who lived in Fairfax County, Virginia, during this chaotic, uncertain period. Drawn from the files of the Southern Claims Commission, Mauro recounts the stories the civilians told the Commission after the war to document their losses, lives and living conditions. The citizens of Fairfax County found themselves occupying front row seats at the most horrific show that this country has ever seen. Because of its position just across the Potomac River on the doorstep of the city of Washington, Fairfax County was heavily targeted by the Confederate army and defended with equal determination by the Union army. Fairfax was the first county in the South that the Union army invaded, and the last it occupied as soldiers were mustered out of service after the Grand Review. The Civil War in Fairfax County contains stories of the devastation that both armies brought upon the civilians and their property, as well as the daily strife caused by a war that pitted neighbor against neighbor and family members against themselves. It gives an important, fascinating and unprecedented look into the everyday lives of the civilians who lived through the most tumultuous four years in American history, in a county that was occupied by both the Confederate and Union armies throughout the entire Civil War.