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Blogging

Eight years ago today, I made my first post on this blog. It hardly seems possible that eight years, 1327 posts, and 9.244 comments have gone under the bridge, but they have indeed. When I began this little venture of mine, I never imagined that it would still be around and still going strong eight years later, but here it is still going strong.

I’ve had my ups and downs, but I’m still here, and will be for the foreseeable future. One of the primary reasons why is because I so value the interactions with my readers. Those interactions have become an important part of my routine and when life interferes and prevents me from posting as often as I might otherwise like, I miss those interactions a great deal.

Thank you for your support and for eight great years. We will continue this journey together.

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1 Sep 2013, by

I’m back!

Those of you who follow this blog regularly know that with the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Campaign, I had an insanely busy spring and summer this year. When you mix in a family wedding in northern Michigan and our annual summer beach vacation, we were gone every weekend but one from early May until the end of July. Every one of those was a driving trip, averaging six hours at a shot. And when I was in town, I still had my professional responsibilities to my clients to fulfill. I also had my Buford at Gettysburg manuscript to complete. In short, all of it just plain wore me out. I’m only just now feeling back to normal again.

That means that I will be posting here with more frequency again. I regret the lack of posts, but there are only so many hours in a day, and only so much energy to go around, and I had reached the limits of what I had left in the tank.

More to come. Stay tuned…..

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I’m proud and pleased to welcome two new sponsors to this blog.

First, I’d like to welcome the fine magazine The Civil War Monitor aboard as a sponsor. My old friend Terry Johnston, who is the editor and publisher, is doing a fine job of it, and I’m proud to have Terry and his excellent publication aboard.

The other new sponsor is a favorite organization of mine, the Chambersburg Civil War Seminars, as a sponsor. My pal Ted Alexander, the chief historian of the Antietam National Battlefield, runs these programs for the Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce, and Ted does a great job of it. These are some of my favorite programs each year, and I hope you will check them out.

Welcome aboard, and thanks for sponsoring this blog!

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Regular reader Lee Hutch has started a new blog that looks like an eclectic mix of Western Theater Civil War history. Check it out here.

I have also added a link to it.

Welcome to the blogosphere, Lee.

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This is the 1,300th post on this blog since it began in September 2005. Had anyone suggested that it would still be around and still going strong, I would not have believed it.

1,300 posts is a LOT of posts.

I appreciate all of you. I treasure my interactions with all of you here, which is, in large part, why this blog is still around and still going strong. Thank you for your support in the past, and thank you for your support going forward. And with your continued support, it will continue to go forward….

Thank you to all of you who indulge my rantings. It means more to me than I can say.

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3 Mar 2013, by

Link added

Thanks to Bruce Long for bringing his blog on the Civil War in northeast North Carolina to my attention, as I had missed it previously. Those of you who have followed this blog for a long time know of my fascination with the Civil War in the Tarheel State, which has long interested me a great deal. I’m glad to add this one to the blogroll.

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25 Feb 2013, by

New blog

Dr. Matt Lively, a physician from West Virginia, who will have a book released by Savas Beatie later this spring titled Calamity at Chancellorsville that focuses on the accidental mortal wounding of Stonewall Jackson. Matt has begun a new blog. It’s called Civil War Profiles, and it features profiles of historic figures and their feats. There are only a few posts there now, as it’s a new blog, but it looks interesting. Check it out.

I’ve added a link for it.

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Seven years ago today, September 23, 2005, I made the first post on this blog. 1,263 posts later, I’m still here. And I have no intention of going anywhere. We’ve talked about a lot of different things here, and we’ve debated a lot of issues. I’ve enjoyed every minute of that.

Thank you to each and every one of you who takes the time to visit this blog and to indulge my rantings. Although I have never met many of you in person, I’ve come to view many of you as friends. I value the relationships that I have developed with people here, and I greatly look forward to continuing those relationships as we move forward.

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Steve Light, who works in the education department at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, is also an alumnus of Gettysburg College, and is a long-time student of the Battle of Gettysburg. Steve has started an interesting blog on the Battle of Gettysburg called Battlefield Back Stories. I’ve added a link. Please check it out.

Also, Gettysburg Daily has faded to black. I’ve moved the link to the compilations category, as the content remains available.

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I wanted to take a moment to explain why there haven’t been a lot of substantive posts from me recently, and I wanted to apologize to you for that.

On July 4, 2007, my father had a massive cerebral hemorrhage five weeks before his 87th birthday. It was the sort of stroke that normally kills the victim. The only reason why he survived is because it was far enough to the outside of his brain that he never lost consciousness. Fortunately, my mother recognized that something was wrong and called 911. There is a level-1 trauma center roughly two miles from their house, which meant that my father got treatment within the so-called “golden hour.” They were able to reverse a lot of the damage, but the stroke destroyed his speech center. Very little of the constant flow of gibberish that comes out–he lost his filter with the stroke–can be understood, so communicating is exceedingly difficult for him. He gets very frustrated when people don’t understand him because he does not realize that there is a major disconnect between his brain and his mouth, and to him, he makes perfect sense.

The stroke also sent him spiraling down the rabbit hole into dementia. He’s now 91, and has the mentality of a five year old. He cannot be alone at all, and can do very little for himself. As of a week ago, he still knows who I am, but I harbor no illusions that that will continue much longer. I view these last nearly five years as borrowed time. Because Susan and I have paid for it, we’ve managed to keep him at home with help, but those days are rapidly coming to an end for his own safety and well-being.

My mother has also started down the same rabbit hole. She is 87 and presently has mild to moderate dementia. She had two bad falls in a week and was hospitalized after the second one. She was released yesterday and was involuntarily sent to a local nursing home for a rehab stint. She is the only person on the face of this earth who doesn’t think that she needs to be in a nursing home, and she’s determined to make everyone else just as miserable as she is. We’ve never had a good relationship, as we are two completely different people, she does not understand me, and I have never understood her. The dementia has brought about negative personality changes that have made her substantially more difficult to deal with than she was previously. She’s combative, demanding, and very unpleasant to deal with most of the time. The phone rings constantly with one unreasonable demand after another, regardless of what I’m doing or whether I have time to speak to her and have the same conversation again and again and again. I am subjected to a constant barrage of emotional and verbal abuse, and it just exhausts me. The bottom line is that I just don’t have the tools or energy to handle this ordeal, but there is no escape.

I recognize that I am very fortunate to still have both of my parents at the age of 51, and I try never to take that fact for granted. However, as this situation grows worse and worse, and as my nerves get more and more frayed, that becomes more and more difficult to do.

I am an only child, and I live 400 miles away from where they live. I’ve had to bear this burden alone, with only Susan to fall back on. Aside from the financial burden, the emotional toll has been terrible. I won’t bore you with the details of what I’ve been subjected to, as nobody really cares. I only bring any of this up because it has dramatically impacted my productivity. This never-ending and ever worsening ordeal drains me emotionally and mentally, and leaves me completely exhausted at the end of each day. It’s all I can do to make myself get up and go to work each day–which I have to do for financial reasons and because I have employees who depend on me–but by the time I get home at night, I am so tired and emotionally drained that I just cannot muster up the degree of intense focus needed to sit down and write to the level of excellence that I demand of myself. Instead, I simply don’t have the emotional energy to do much more than be a video idiot in front of the television for a few hours until 10:30 at night, at which time I drag myself upstairs and crawl into bed. Consequently, I have not written a word in months, largely because I just don’t have it in me right now. It also means that I lack the focus to tackle anything ambitious here, which is why there have been so few forgotten cavalrymen posts or other items of substance lately.

I tell you this not because I seek your sympathy, but rather because I feel that I owe you all an explanation and an apology. I think that I finally have mustered up some energy to go back to writing–I have projects that need to be completed, and time inevitably marches on–and I intend to do so this weekend. If I’m right about being able to muster up some focus and some motivation, then hopefully more substantive posts will begin rolling out again very soon. All I can say is that I’m sorry. It hasn’t been intentional, and it surely hasn’t been something I ever wanted to have happen. Life, such as it is, interfered, and all I can do is to try to keep on doing the best I can to manage the situation.

Thank you for your patience. My interactions with you here mean more to me than I can possibly say.

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