14 August 2006 by Published in: Civil War books and authors 3 comments

You may recall that when I got home from Richmond last month, I told you that another set of letters by a trooper of the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry had surfaced, much to my shock and consternation. Fortunately, my publisher seems to have the patience of Job, because he agreed to push the thing back for the second time in order for me to add more primary source material to something that had already been submitted as a final product.

The letters arrived today, and I was unable to stop myself from reading a few of them. Before I knew it, I couldn’t put them down. I spent most of the morning reading them, yellow highlighter in hand, working on them instead of billing hours as I’m supposed to be doing. I found them compelling as hell. They’re very descriptive and the Irish soldier who wrote them was blessed with a terrific sense of humor, as they’re filled with humorous anecdotes and chuckles.

I told Rick Carlile, the owner of them, that I think that they are good enough to be published, and that I hope that they do get published on their own merits separate and apart from what I’m doing with my regimental history project.

Tonight, I got started incorporating material from them into my manuscript. I actually managed to get through five chapters worth of additions this evening. Some chapters had only a couple of things added, while others had very substantial additions. The Stoneman’s Raid chapter had about a dozen new endnotes worth of material added into it. Tomorrow night, I start with the Brandy Station chapter, and it will have major additions to it. Obviously, it means that I’ve had to interrupt my work on Scott Patchan’s manuscript, as I have to get this thing turned in to the publisher no later than August 26, and sooner if possible. Since I’ve already held the thing up significantly twice, I am on a mission to get it done as quickly as possible.

It’s going to be worth the wait. My regimental history will be as complete as it can be, and it’s going to be a full telling of the story. Most of all, I think that I will have done justice to the memories of the men of Rush’s Lancers. Or so I hope.

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Comments

  1. Tue 15th Aug 2006 at 2:59 am

    Wow. Big congrads on the find.
    It sounds like once one of these projects begin, the source information never seems to end. You could continue to add additional resources, info on any given book.

  2. Tom
    Tue 15th Aug 2006 at 8:34 am

    This is real exciting to hear Eric. I really wish more people were willing to share the civil war letters they find.

    We recently had a dealer approach us with letters and diaries of soldiers of the 18th Mass but would only let us see it if we were willing to shell out $30k – the real unfortunate part is that it was of my Great-Great Grandfather and his brothers. Unfortunately we were unable to raise that kind of dough and it is now in the hands of a private collector who does not want to devalue them by allowing any bit to be published. Oh well, one day I hope to win the lottery and perhaps can buy them 🙂

  3. Tue 15th Aug 2006 at 9:39 am

    Thanks, guys. Middle America, this is it–there can be no more, or else we will never get into print. I’m amazed that my publisher’s given me this much latitude, to be honest.

    Tom–that’s astonishing. It’s also tragic. I hate that kind of thing. I’m lucky that the owner of these letters is willing to share them.

    Eric

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