20 March 2006 by Published in: Civil War books and authors 7 comments

When J. D. and I wrote our manuscript on Stuart’s Ride in the Gettysburg Campaign, we wanted the book to have a foreword written by a prominent historian. Experience shows that a good foreword can help sell books, and it can also lend credibility to the work. I’ve been fortunate enough to have the likes of Jeff Wert and Gordon Rhea write forewords for my work, which I have always really appreciated.

One well-known academic historian had originally agreed to do this for us, but circumstances prevented him from fulfilling the obligation. Unfortunately, he waited until the last moment to tell us. We have perhaps two weeks before it would be entirely too late, as we are in the process of reviewing page galleys and making final revisions as I write this. If the book is going to be out in mid-June, as we have planned, there is very little play available in the schedule or else we won’t be able to meet that date.

Fortunately, I know Mark Grimsley, who teaches history at Ohio State, and who maintains two different blogs that are linked to this blog. I approached Mark today, hat in hand, and asked him if he could help us out and get a foreword together for us in just two weeks, as that’s literally all the time that’s available for getting this done and for us to meet our publication deadline. It’s going to cost me lunch at a nice restaurant, and I will, of course, now be indebted to Mark. However, I definitely think it’s worth it, and I really appreciate Mark’s willingness to do this for us, especially on such short notice.

Mark is a guy with a great deal of credibility, and having his name appear on our book and having his words in it will only make what we hope is already a good book an even better one. Thanks, Mark.

In addition, while I was in Tennessee last week, I had a chance to peruse a rarely seen and rarely used source. Basil Duke, who was John Hunt Morgan’s chief lieutenant, was the editor of a Confederate veterans’ publication called The Southern Bivouac, which was very similar to the Southern Historical Society Papers. The Bivouac was, in fact, patterned on the SHSP. However, unlike the SHSP, the Bivouac was only published for six years. It’s very rare. I didn’t know that my friend Greg had a set of the Broadfoot reprints of the Bivouac until I got to his house; it’s a recent acquisition by him. So, after my talk the other night, I spent an hour or so, going through the six volumes one page at a time, looking for whatever might be of interest, but in particular, looking for stuff on Morgan’s 1863 Indiana and Ohio Raid (I found and copied half a dozen or so articles, none of which appear in any bibliography of the raid I’ve yet seen).

Imagine my surprise when I found an account of Stuart’s cavalry in the Gettysburg Campaign–including Stuart’s Ride–that I had never seen or even heard of previously. None of the prior published accounts of the raid mention this account, let alone use it. What’s more is, it’s GOOD. There’s some really good material in this thing. So, here we are, at the last moment, adding new and previously unused primary source material to the book. Again, we’re fortunate here. We’re lucky to have Ted Savas, who is not only understanding but also supportive, even though we’re adding work for him by making significant additions at the last possible moment–in this case, during the process of reviewing and correcting page galleys.

This process of researching and finding new materials seems never-ending. And, my experience shows that it is, in fact, never-ending. That’s what makes this so much fun.

Scridb filter


  1. Tue 21st Mar 2006 at 8:58 am


    Great story! That’s the kind of home run that makes this avocation so much fun — I refer to it as “literary archeology.” A similar story happened to me. A little over a year ago, I had the galley proofs for my then forthcoming history of the 26th NYSV sitting on my desk. Out of the blue, I get an email from a guy I didn’t know letting me know of an upcoming sale at an upstate NY auction house. Included in the sale is a lot of several dozen letters that he thinks were written by someone from the 26th. I immediately got on the horn to the auction house who confirmed my benefactor’s story – somewhat… Anyway, a few days later I found myself bidding on the collection by phone and winning the lot –and thinning out my wallet considerably in the process! 🙂 So at the 11th hour, I was able to weave some of that unpublished material into the manuscript.

    This story and the “somewhat” mentioned above is the genesis of my next project, a slender one mentioned here: http://www.paulrtaylor.com/Product4.htm


  2. Tue 21st Mar 2006 at 10:01 am

    Thanks, Paul. I thought it was pretty remarkable.

    Your new project looks intresting. Good luck with it, and please let us know when it’s out.


  3. Tue 21st Mar 2006 at 1:03 pm

    this subject reminds me of a pet peeve I have with Amazon. One thing that Amazon does that I think has to be annoying for authors is they put the name of the person who writes the forward in the author section and to top it all off, they list that person’s name first. Sometimes the name of the actual author is cut off completely in the search results pages. As an example, see your own search page by author: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-form/ref=s_sf_b_as/102-6265356-5227330

    and scroll down to:

    Gettysburg’s Forgotten Cavalry Actions
    by D. Scott Hartwig (Foreword), et al

    The “et al” is only the guy who actually wrote the damn book!!

  4. Brian S.
    Tue 21st Mar 2006 at 1:21 pm


    This post gives me a chance to ask a question I’ve had for awhile…Do you have any comments/opinions about the Stuart chapter from the book ‘Last Chance for Victory’ by Scott Bowden? I’m at work and I can’t refer to my copy ( no jokes about how ‘work’ is coming along, please 😀 ) but I thought it was well thought out. If I remember right the general arguement was that Stuart was wrong in his ride around the AOP…I think in general Bowden bashed Stuart pretty good. Just wondering if you have any pre-publication comments 🙂 Brian

  5. Tue 21st Mar 2006 at 1:55 pm


    Believe me, I’m well aware of that one, and it’s a pet peeve of mine, but there doesn’t seem to be a whole heck of a lot that can be done about it.


  6. Tue 21st Mar 2006 at 1:58 pm


    I have read Scott’s book, and we discuss it in this work. I don’t agree with his analysis, as I think that he badly overstates his case. There is some legitimacy to the criticism, but it goes too far, which, in my opinion, means that it loses credibility.

    If you read th orders, it’s quite clear that Lee specifically ordered it, and also specifically ordered Stuart to take a route that went to the east of South Mountain. Thus, there was no other option available.


  7. Tue 21st Mar 2006 at 4:47 pm

    I quite agree with Eric re: Scott’s conclusions regarding Stuart. We do discuss it in our book, and I think our assessment will stand scrutiny.

    I will echo Eric’s sentiments about our publisher, Ted Savas. We’ve been nearly constantly adding bits of new material right up to the page galleys, and now Eric will be adding a few more things. Thank goodness Ted has been very accomodating, because he realizes the value of what we’ve discovered literally in just the past few weeks. I honestly think that by this point, most other publishers would have cut us off once the mss was submitted, or told us to stick the whole thing in our ear after trying to add this late material :-0

    We’re fortunate indeed, and once the thing is published Eric and I will certainly be able to tell tales about our sources…


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