19 July 2009 by Published in: Research and Writing 5 comments

I just signed a contract with The History Press for a second installment its Civil War Sesquicentennial Series. The first, of course, is my Brandy Station project, which is just about finished. The manuscript is pretty much done, subject to some feedback from old friend Clark B. “Bud” Hall. I had a nearly finished manuscript that was looking for a publisher when I signed that contract.

This project, however, is completely different. This one starts from scratch, and will be titled The Battle of Yellow Tavern: Jeb Stuart’s Last Battle, and will be a study of Phil Sheridan’s May 1864 raid on Richmond, with particular focus on the May 11, 1864 Battle of Yellow Tavern, where Jeb Stuart received his mortal wound. It will cover the raid, including Beaver Dam Station, Yellow Tavern, and the fight at Meadow Bridges on May 12. It will also address Stuart’s death, funeral, and burial at Richmond’s famous Hollywood Cemetery, and will include a driving tour.

The problem with Yellow Tavern is that the entire battlefield has been obliterated. An Interstate highway cuts right through the middle of battlefield, and that which was not destroyed by the freeway is now either a commercial development or a couple of different residential subdivisions. The monument to Stuart’s wounding is stuck between houses and looks like it’s actually in someone’s yard (which it is, to be honest). The tavern itself is long gone. The only part of the original battlefield that remains intact is the intersection of the Mountain and Telegraph Roads. It’s a testament to what happens when no foresight at all is exercised and a battlefield is permitted to be obliterated. Perhaps it can provide a lesson to all of us of the importance of foresight with respect to battlefield preservation.

I have already undertaken gathering primary source material, and will keep you all posted as to the progress of the project as my research proceeds. This is another of those projects that I have always wanted to tackle, so this is another of those labors of love for me.

Scridb filter

Comments

  1. Sun 19th Jul 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Eric – Congratulations. You must be really happy with working with The History Press. That’s terrific. Anything ever happen with the Monocacy project?

    All My Best,

    Jim Schmidt

  2. Sun 19th Jul 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Outstanding news my friend. BTW: I just sent the final files of for my next book from The History Press this week. Oh what a feelin’

  3. Bill Daniel
    Sun 19th Jul 2009 at 10:20 pm

    I will be so excited to read this new book. It is really a sad thing to have to drive deep into a neighborhood to visit the monument to JEB Stuart, but it is also a somewhat peaceful area.

  4. Chris Evans
    Sun 19th Jul 2009 at 11:10 pm

    Really excited to hear about this. Look forward to the book. I have always found Stuart’s death to be very moving and sad. Douglas Southall Freeman’s description of it in ‘Lee’s Lieutenants’ is poignant. I always loved the line that Freeman wrote, “His spirit rode on to new adventures.”
    Chris

  5. Jimmy Price
    Mon 20th Jul 2009 at 9:29 am

    Hi Eric — Just wanted to say that I’m very excited about your Yellow Tavern project! I did a talk on the battle in May and was amazed at the complexity of the battle and how little has been written about it. If you have access to old editions of Civil War Times Illustrated, the November 1966 issue has an article on the battle written by William W. Hassler that has a great picture of the Telegraph Road taken in the 1880′s. Best of luck!

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