30 Apr 2009, by

Choosing Images

Those who are familiar with my work know that I firmly believe that no book can ever have too many maps or too many illustrations. I’ve been busy the past couple of days selecting the images to use in the Brandy Station book. I get a total of 55 of them, and I have to save some of them for the tour portion of the book. There will be 12 maps, which leaves me approximately 37 images of the participants to use in the book. I usually end up with a few more Union images than Confederate simply because Union images are easier to find, but I try to keep the ratio at about 55-45%.

After 15 books, I’ve accumulated …

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Jackie Barton of the Ohio Historical Society, who is the coordinator for the sesquicentennial commission, saw my post from yesterday, and left a comment. It had enough good and useful information in it that I decided to feature it:

Hi Eric,

Thanks for the coverage and the support. The Advisory Committee hasn’t actually been appointed yet: we’re working on criteria/goals. And though we are certainly behind states like Virginia and Pennsylvania, we are mostly in line with or even ahead of some others. I’ve been participating in a quarterly call with all the state coordinators who are planning to commemorate the 150th through American Association of State and Local History, and some states are just starting to plan.


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Gov. Ted Strickland has FINALLY gotten around to establishing a committee for the commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War here in Ohio. From today’s issue of The Columbus Dispatch:

Committee named to plan Ohio’s 150th anniversary Civil War events
Monday, April 27, 2009 10:41 PM
By Alan Johnson
Ohio’s contributions and losses in the Civil War will be recognized by a committee commemorating the 150th anniversary of the conflict.
Gov. Ted Strickland today established the Civil War 150 Advisory Committee under the direction of the Ohio Historical Society. The 18-member committee will plan events for the sesquicentennial commemoration from 2011 to 2015.

No new state funding was allocated for the Civil War 150 committee,

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About two weeks ago, I posted about my Brandy Station project. I mentioned that I had not located a publisher for the project, and I also mentioned that the thing didn’t even have a title yet. I’m pleased to announce that both problems have been resolved.

The History Press, of Charleston, South Carolina, has accepted my proposal, and I am prepared to sign a contract with them to publish the work. My proposal was for a 68,000 word manuscript, with 50 maps and illustrations, and it was accepted as proposed. I am due to submit the manuscript some time around Labor Day, and I think that there’s a reasonable chance that it will be out before the anniversary …

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Time for another of my infrequent profiles of forgotten cavalrymen. Tonight, we feature Colonel John Beardsley of the 9th New York Cavalry, a scoundrel if ever there was one. He’s one that probably should remain forgotten.

Colonel John BeardsleyBorn on October 12, 1816, in Fairfield, Herkimer County, New York, John Beardsley was appointed to the United States Military Academy in 1837. He graduated 17th in the class of 1841, which included such future luminaries as John Reynolds, Robert Garnett, Richard Garnett, Don Carlos Buell, Nathaniel Lyon and Israel Richardson, all of whom would become generals in the Civil War.

Upon graduation, Beardsley joined the 8th Infantry. Beardsley served in the Seminole War in Florida from 1841-42, and in Mexico. In 1846 with …

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Dana B. Shoaf is the editor of both America’s Civil War and Civil War Times, and he faces a big task. First, and foremost, it’s a big challenge to find sufficient quality content to fill 12 issues per year of two different magazines. Second, the two magazines have slightly different focuses.

The biggest challenge he faces is finding material that will appeal to the masses but which maintains some scholarly credibility. Dana recently gave a talk on the subject. From yesterday’s issue of the Hagerstown Herald Mail newspaper:

Historian: Articles should appeal to masses

APRIL 20, 2009
HAGERSTOWN — What do Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Sex Pistols have to do with the Civil War?


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From yesterday’s edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Civil War Museum Won a Battle, Lost the War
By Stephan Salisbury

Philadelphia Inquirer (PA)

The Civil War Museum of Philadelphia — which state officials once believed was so critical to the city’s cultural fabric that they waged a court fight to keep it here — has been refused promised capital funding by Gov. Rendell and has lost access to its planned new home in the heart of Independence National Historical Park.

The museum, a reconfigured version of the Civil War Library and Museum in the 1800 block of Pine Street for more than 80 years, has sold its old quarters and put its unparalleled collection of artifacts and documents in

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There is a Barnes & Noble superstore six or seven miles from my house. It’s right next to the Cheesecake Factory, so we visit it often. We visited it tonight, and I was absolutely appalled to see that the Civil War section has now shrunk to two shelves, or about 35 titles. That’s it. What was there was an odd mix of new books, like Jeff Wert’s bio of Jeb Stuart and Benson Bobrick’s new bio of George H. Thomas, and older books, including some Bruce Catton stuff. With only about 35 titles to choose from, the selection was obviously extremely limited.

I understand that it’s a business, and I likewise understand that they’re going to carry what sells, but …

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I believe that I’ve lost the right to claim the title as most prolific Civil War historian working today. My friend Scott Mingus now gets to claim that title. Scott has published five books on the Civil War since 2007, and his sixth book is due out this fall. That’s really a remarkable track record and some really remarkable productivity.

Scott’s next book looks particularly interesting, as it provides in-depth coverage of the role of one the best-known Confederate units in the Gettysburg Campaign. The book is titled The Louisiana Tigers in the Gettysburg Campaign, June-July 1863 , and will be published by the Louisiana State University Press in October. Amazon.com is currently offering a 30% pre-order discount, so, if …

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I own this web site. I pay for it. That means I get to make the rules.

My rules are really pretty simple. No anonymous comments are allowed. Be civil. Stay on topic. Be polite. Insulting me on my own web site is guaranteed to get you permanently banned. Spamming is never, ever allowed. When I say “enough is enough”, I mean it. Obey the rules at all times.

There’s nothing terribly difficult or complicated about those rules. Either obey them, or you’re gone for good. They are not negotiable, and my decisions about enforcing them are not subject to any right of appeal. And if you don’t like the rules, then hit the road and don’t come back, now, …

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