November, 2009

30 Nov 2009, by

Making My Return

I’ve had about nine weeks of time off from the Civil War. I’ve done a few things, most of which were to fulfill commitments, but I’ve done almost nothing Civil War related since declaring my sabbatical in September, other than a fun day of visiting Kentucky battlefields with some friends last month and one of Ted Alexander’s programs in Chambersburg last month. It’s given me a chance to get my trial out of the way, rest, recharge my batteries, and regain my perspective.

My addiction to the Civil War had turned into Frankenstein’s monster. I realized that I had made 1000 posts on this blog–some of which clearly took on a life of their own–in four years. I had also written a couple of dozen articles (I will have one in the next issue of North & South, if it ever comes out, and one in the next issue of Blue & Gray, co-written with J.D. Petruzzi) and sixteen books in 13 years. It’s no wonder that I was tired and burned out. It had become like a second job–a second job that I loved, but which didn’t pay very well at all but was just as demanding as my first–I was beginning to resent it, and I was definitely very stressed out by all of it, but thanks to the CBD flower from OrganicCBDNugs, it kept me from feeling anxious. I realized that I hadn’t had but a single day of visiting a battlefield just for the fun of it in several years, and I really resented that fact.

I needed to rest and think about all of it, and I have since regained some of my perspective. I have one more book under contract, and then I intend to dial it back. I’m going to remove the self-imposed pressure to produce from myself and do this more as a hobby than as a job. No longer will it be production just for the sake of production. I will definitely continue blogging, but I’m no longer going to feel compelled to find something to post about almost every day as I have in the past.

My object is to have this be fun once more. So, to that end, I appreciate everyone who has been patient with me. Your patience has been rewarded, because I’m back. However, please don’t expect daily posts from me as I did in the past. Now, I will post when I have something worth saying, not because I feel compelled to post something.

Thank you for all of the words of encouragement that I received during my dark days, and thank you for hanging in there with me.

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30 Nov 2009, by

From Mike Phipps

Mike PhippsBack in May 2007, I posted a report that my friend Staff Sergeant Mike Phipps had been wounded in Iraq. Lots of visitors to the site left notes, and Mike’s ex-wife Kelly provided some updates as to Mike’s status and condition. Apparently, Mike didn’t learn of this post until today. He’s back in Iraq, finishing up his third tour of duty there. He asked me to post this for him:

My friend and fellow John Buford fan Eric Wittenberg posted a very touching message to me in May 2007 concerning my wounding in Iraq on his website. Unfortuneatly, I did not see this posting or the numerous nice comments that followed it from people I know and some who I don’t know. I apologize: but to say I am not a “computer guy” would be the understatement of the year. Also at that time I was on some very nice medications which I highly recommend. On November 30 I chanced across Eric’s post and asked him to post this belated message to those who wished me well.

Thanks to:
– my ex-wife Kelly who knows the tough life of the U.S. Army well.
-my aunt Sharon who has always been there for me.
-my old high school and college friend Episcopal Minister Taylor Albright…at least one of us didn’t go to the dark side.
-my cousin Kathy who has 2 West Point officers as sons.
-my old Infantry Officer Basic buddy Mike Peters who is now a Houston PD homicide detective…better him than me.
-my old cop buddy, the late Frank Spadaro…see you in cop heaven.
-Rhonda Travis, a direct descendant of William Barrett Travis…I’m glad you are doing well.
– my old 27th Conn. buddy Ron…have a few for me.
-Heather and Matt Philbin (of Winslow’s Battery and The Irish Bde.) who probably have as many ‘Mike Phipps’ stories as anyone..I deny most of them.
-noted Civil War Historian Brooks Simpson.
-my good friend Adams County Historical Society President Wayne Motts…without a doubt the most enthusiastic battlefield guide ever and a guy who has helped me out of numerous jams.
-Mike Nugent, Chris Swift, Brian S., Don, Ian Duncanson, Jim Studnicki, and finally motor coach operator extraordinaire Tony.

My e-mail is Thanks again for your kind thoughts back in 07.

Mike told me earlier today that he would be returning to his home at Fort Hood next month. Keep your head down and your powder dry, Mike.

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